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A beautiful aristocratic French small sword, embellished with exquisitely cut, pierced and chased designs highlighted with gilt. The sword dates to the years preceding the French Revolution. It is a nicely balanced example mounted with a double shell guard hilt and a flattened hexagonal section blade.
The shell guard of the hilt is skillfully chiselled with symmetrical designs in raised relief and pierced with delicate floral patterns. Each of the two shell guards is formed with a border around the rim on each side. In the middle on each side is a roundel in the centre engraved with stands of arms attesting to the combined monetary, cultural and martial standing of the original owner. The ecusson, pas d’ane rings, knuckle bow and pommel are decorated in the same sumptuous manner.
The grip consists of a wooden baluster-shaped core spirally wrapped with bands of crimped silver strip separated by contra twisted roped silver wire and mounted with woven “Turk’s Heads” top and bottom.
The flattened hexagonal section stiff tapering blade is sumptuously engraved with panels of scrolls, highlighted with gilt, and with a roundel on each side incised in Latin with “nec temere nec timide” (neither rashly nor timidly).
Condition: the sword is in very fine condition overall. There is slight age staining in small parts of the blade which otherwise shows very little wear and retains its original polished finish. The hilt and grip similarly show very little wear and no noticeable damage.
The blade is 31 inches (80 cm) long and the overall length of the sword is just over 37.75 inches ( 96 cm) long.