Thanks guys, this is pretty interesting and Ive been doing some checking. Great example Dmitry, these seem to be kind of an untapped sector of collecting, at least to me....pretty esoteric.
Apparantly these are lighter, simple hilt swords that developed around the opening years of the 17th century that were in favor of the developing French school of fencing. The Italian and Spanish schools were much more conservative, and these were lighter, faster swords.
Because they were intended to be worn about town (as noted by Dmitry) they were essentially considered in a self defense type view, with the idea that as such they could easily be grasped from the bedside. There was apparantly a reference c.1655 to these type swords called 'walking swords', but the pillow thing seems to be an expression from about mid 18th century (Aylward, p.13).
Aylward also mentions on p.54 there was a strict convention for wearing of black in mid 18th century, with some cheaper blades and blackened steel hilts for expressing grief....it is noted that these were not necessarily just for mourning. It makes sense that a sword just for mourning would be a bit extravagant, unless there were really a lot of funerals!!
This is what I could find so far, and I really appreciate you guys input, and hope we can discover more. Excellent example there Dmitry!!!
All best regards,