The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 26, 2024

Small Sword

Small Sword

Overall: 97 cm (38 3/16 in.); Blade: 79.2 cm (31 3/16 in.); Grip: 13.8 cm (5 7/16 in.); Guard: 7.6 cm (3 in.)


During the 1700s, the small-sword emerged as a light, quick weapon. Like the rapier it was carried by unarmored civilians, the noblemen of the upper classes. Over time this delicate sword became more an accessory of male attire than a weapon essential to life and death. The sword hilt, which shows even when the blade is sheathed, became the ground for elaborate decoration. These small-swords thus represent the final stage in the evolution of the sword, from the edged weapons of antiquity to the elegantly refined blades of the 1700s and 1800s.
  • Frank Gair Macomber; Boston; cat. #495.
  • Gilchrist, Helen Ives. A Catalogue of the Collection of Arms & Armor Presented to the Cleveland Museum of Art by Mr. and Mrs. John Long Severance; 1916-1923. Cleveland: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1924. Mentioned: pp. 132-133, E104; Reproduced: Plate XXXIII, E104
  • Armor Court Reinstallation. The Cleveland Museum of Art (organizer).
    The Cleveland Museum of Art (09/10/1998); "Armor Court Reinstallation"
  • {{cite web|title=Small Sword|url=false|author=|year=c.1770–80|access-date=26 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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