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A very fine English silver hilted small sword with London hallmarks for 1778/79 by Thomas Dealtry. Dealtry was one the most important and influential makers of silver hilted small swords in 18th century London which was a centre of quality at the time. Silver hilted small swords were fashionable attire for gentlemen in the 18th century, and despite the stylish delicacy of construction, were formidable duelling weapons. The sword retains its original scabbard with its silver mounts.
The scabbard mouthpiece is engraved with “DEALTRY” and “Royal Exchange” underneath. Thomas Dealtry first enters the records as a free cutler having completed his apprenticeship in 1749 and produced and retailed swords and related accoutrements until his death in 1783. In 1763 he moved his main business operation to the Royal Exchange area of London where he remained for the rest of his life.
The hallmarks and makers mark are arranged as four stamps on the upper part of the knuckle bow near the pommel. As can be seen in the photos below, the series starts on the left with the letter “C” for the date which is not well struck but can only refer to 1778/79. The crowned leopard’s head mark of the assay office and the lion passant follow with the maker’s mark being the last one to the right. The mark is not well struck but is almost certainly “T D” in scrolling style (Grimwade 1990 mark 2735) a mark registered in 1765.
For further information on Thomas Dealtry see “London Silver-Hilted Swords”, their makers, suppliers and allied traders, with directory, by Leslie Southwick, 2001, Royal Armouries, page 88 for his biography and plate 65 for an example of his work which is of similar proportions to our sword.