The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 21, 2024

Small Sword

Small Sword

c. 1720–60
Overall: 97 cm (38 3/16 in.); Blade: 80.5 cm (31 11/16 in.); Grip: 12.6 cm (4 15/16 in.); Guard: 7.7 cm (3 1/16 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. #218.
  • Catalogue of Arms and Armour. Vol. 4, 17th to 19th century and a few pieces of iron work. [Boston, Massachusetts]: [Frank Gair Macomber], [1900-1915]. Mentioned and Reproduced: No. (218) 237
    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: p. 132, E102; Reproduced: Plate XXXII, E102
  • 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. 1720–60|access-date=21 June 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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