EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
As near as I can tell so far this would appear to be a cut steel smallsword ,in English style from c.1800-1810. These were fashionable accoutrements of the gentry, and the elaborate beaded motif is consistant with the cut steel forms of these swords, and described somewhat in Aylward ("The Smallsword in England", J.D.Aylward, 1945, p.60). Here the author notes, as these swords degenerated in the sense of effectiveness as combative weapons, in some cases the knuckleguard became a string of beads attached to quillon and pommel. Some of these used thin chains as well.
The urn shaped pommel is stated to be of a popular design devised by the Adams brothers (Durham Yard, St.James, c.1780's, Aylward op.cit. p.38).
In Bashford Dean, "Catalog of European Court Swords and Hunting Swords" (N.Y.1929) #112 has basic similarities in overall style , esp. pommel, and is stated English c.1810. It seems on your example there is faceting on the beads strung in place of knuckleguard, consistant with chiseled steel designs of this period and used heavily in the Boulton & Watt swords.
All best regards,