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English Silver Hilted Small Sword by John Radborn with hallmarks for 1754/5

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Price: £2,350

Ref: 016.16

Item Description

A mid 18th century English silver hilted small sword in fine condition with hallmarks for London dating to 1754/5. The makers mark is comprised of the letters JR for John Radborn in raised relief inside a panel. The sword with its delicate hand-pierced workmanship represents some the highest quality of silver hilted sword making in London in the 18th century.

The hilt consists of a double shell guard, pas d’ane rings, knucklebow and rear quillon. The shell, pommel, knuckle bow and ricasso are hand-pierced and engraved with intricate scrolling patterns, martial trophies and stands of arms. The grip consists of alternate bands of flat and roped silver wire mounted onto a wooden baluster shaped core.

The bright, tapering, colichemarde hollow ground triangular section blade, is decorated with bands of foliage and interlaced strap work. The blade is 31.5 inches (80 cm) long and the overall length is just under 38.5 inches (just under 98 cm).

John Radborn was one of the foremost silver hilt makers in London in the mid 18th century. He is recorded as active between 1737 to 1780 and worked in New Street precinct. For further information see “London Silver-Hilted Swords”, their makers, suppliers and allied traders, with directory, by Leslie Southwick, 2001, Royal Armouries, page 202 for Radborn’s history and pages 284, 288, 290 and Colour Plate 3 examples of his work.

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