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An English Silver Gilt Hilted Small Sword hallmarked for 1779 by Charles Freeth of Birmingham

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Price: £1,375

Ref: AA.31.23

Item Description

An interesting Small Sword by Charles Freeth of Birmingham. Freeth was an accomplished silversmith working from the end of the third quarter of the 18th century until the beginning of the 19th. He is best known for the exquisite silver mounts he produced for the most high profile London and Birmingham gunmakers in the early part of this period. Swords by Freeth are rare.

This sword has a plain hilt covered in gilt now lightly worn at the edges to reveal the silver beneath in some parts. The guard is an oval slightly concave plate. The guard bar section consists of a quillon block from which the rear quillon projects with a flattened downward facing globular terminal and a knuckle bow which extends upwards at the front with a diamond shaped swelling in the middle. The top of the bow is fashioned as a tooth which hooks into an aperture in the pommel to stabilise the structure. A pair of pas d’ane rings project from the base of the block whilst a collar above forms the base to the grip.

The tall ovoid pommel has an integral button on top and a flared neck beneath. The slightly baluster profile wooden grip is of rectangular section and bound with contra-twisted silver roped wire interspersed with silver riband. The hollow ground, triangular section, tapering blade, is engraved with a panel of scrollwork at the forte now worn due to the friction of drawing and sheathing the sword in its scabbard when it was present.

The hilt is profusely marked with Charles Freeth’s incused stamp of “C F” in raised relief inside a panel, plus the date and Birmingham hallmarks on the pommel, knuckle bow and dish guard. The blade length is 30.5 inches (77.5 cm) and the overall length of the sword is just over 37 inches (just over 94 cm).

Overall the sword is in good condition. The pommel has an area of light scratches on one side.

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