EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Outstanding Dmitry! and thank you for the great illustrations as well. The information you and Mark have presented on japanning really puts that in perspective, and this on the 'pillow sword' term is great information.
It's amazing how literary notes can become collectors terms, and I found some other material that the the late Mr. Blair likely had at hand also from Aylward (1945). Here Aylward describes a 1748 reference by Smollett, citing an earlier tale of men giving up the habit of putting thier swords by the pillow (headboard) at night.
The late AVB Norman noted similar references but added the note on 'scarf sword' (p.184) which you noted earlier. On the same page Norman cited a 1970 reference from RBF van der Sloot who states that c.1655 these swords were called 'walking swords'....which nicely concurs with the 'town sword' term you have considered for these light self defense swords.