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A French Silver Hilted Small Sword date stamped for Paris 1771

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Price: £1.575

Ref: 42502513

Item Description

A very nice aristocratic French silver hilted small sword dating to the years preceding the French Revolution. It is a nicely balanced example mounted with a double shell guard hilt and a hollow ground triangular section blade. The sword is an example of the high standards of design and execution required of the 18th century Parisian silversmith as well as an example of one of the most effective weapons of the late 17th and 18th centuries. The double shell guard is skillfully chiselled with flowing designs in raised relief comprised of foliage, tendrils, floral sprays and pierced panels of intricate latticework.

Each of the shell guards both on the convex and concave sides is formed with a roped rim chiselled with a foliate border centred with a solid bold vase of flowers in raised relief in classical style with panels of latticework on each side. The ecusson, pas d’ane rings, knuckle bow, quillon and pommel are decorated in the same sumptuous manner. The silversmith’s marks are punched into one side of the pas d’ane ring nearest the rear quillon with the date represented by  a letter “H” with an open crown above in raised relief inside a shield. The hilt retains elements of its original gilt cover in places.

The grip consists of a wooden rectangular section baluster-shaped core spirally wrapped with bands of flat and crimped silver strip separated by contra twisted roped silver wire and mounted with silver woven “Turk’s Heads” top and bottom. The stiff blade tapers acutely to its point and is engraved with panels of scrolls, some still highlighted with gilt, near the hilt.

Condition: the sword is in good condition overall. The hilt and grip show little wear and no noticeable damage. The hilt retains its original pleasing shape,  there are no repairs or damage and the engraving is generally crisp. There is slight age staining and minor old pitting to a few small parts of the blade which is straight and undamaged.  The sword is well balanced in hand.

The blade is just over 29 inches (74 cm) long and overall the sword is 35.5 inches (90 cm) long. For the date mark see the French publication Les Poincons Pour L Argent, 1957, page 115.

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