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Old 26th September 2008, 07:49 PM   #1
Valjhun's Avatar
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Default European 18th century sword for identification


I've bought that on ebay recently. Not my area, but I haven't spent much

Can somebody identify it?
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Old 26th September 2008, 07:53 PM   #2
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well, it looks like an early 18th c small sword thats had the blade snapped half way and recut.
The point is quite well done, which often means old as (in my experience) people who try and resharpen them these days do a terrible job.
I've seen similarly recut smallswords described as left handed parrying daggers, but I fear that might just be wishful thinking.

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Old 26th September 2008, 08:58 PM   #3
Norman McCormick
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Hi Valjhun,
I agree with Gene, a cut down 18thC. smallsword. In a non throwaway society broken sword equals perfectly serviceable dagger.
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Old 26th September 2008, 11:35 PM   #4
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Hi Valjhun,
Check for some little mark name, like Toledo, somewhere 'disguised' in the intrincate hilt decoration. But don't give it some much importance ... this is just a hint.
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Old 27th September 2008, 09:11 PM   #5
Jim McDougall
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While clearly of 'smallsword' style, this example seems to be a court or dress type piece intended to represent the 18th century smallswords in a neoclassic rococo style. In England there was apparantly some inclination toward what was termed Louis XIV style in art, furnishing etc. during the 19th century, and this cast sword seems that it might fall in that category.

The elaborate detail, unusual structural designs in the pas d'ane and the knucklebow do not correspond to any smallsword hilts carrying such designs in either Aylward ("The Smallsword in England" ,1945) or Norman, "The Rapier and Smallsword" (1980).

The blade also does not seem to correspond to typical smallsword blades of the 18th century, and its cut down status seems doubtful as any type of left hand dagger, as those fencing techniques were long gone even in the smallsword period as a rule. It is interesting though that it seems many broken swords were indeed made into knives with thier original hilts left as is.

A case in point were the huge M1913 Patton swords issued to U.S. cavalry, which actually never saw combat aside from some speculation concerning limited appearance in WWI combat regions. These were placed in stores with disbandment of mounted cavalry units, but later during WWII, many of these had the blades cut down but left in the huge steel bowl hilts to be used as combat knives.

"If ya dont waste nuthin, you dont want nuthin"
-Benjamin Franklin

All the best,
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