Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC, U.S.A.
This is a dress-type small sword dating from late 18th/early 19th. Although small swords were falling out of fashion by the first quarter of the 1800's, many of the Germanic states were still using these types, with simple brass cast hilts often with poor or at best fair details in their casting. The hilt on yours is better than many I've seen.
Cleaning methods vary and undoubtedly, many of us have our own opinions. I personally would start with some very fine grit sandpaper, 400 grit, and some olive oil. Holding the grip, grip oiled blade firmly with paper and run it down length towards point without putting any pressure on tip to bend or break it.