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fernando 25th June 2021 05:51 PM

Quitós ... or typical court swords.
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The most characteristic exponent of small swords in Portuguese history was the Quitó (Fom the French coteau), which became fashionable in the country in the 18th century and whose blade, according to the Johannine law of 1719, could not exceed three palms.
It is the Quitó that brings the advent of small swords to Portugal and marks a pause in the use of heavy swords, which abounded until the beginning of the 18th century in the baldrics of swordsmen.
It wasn’t so much because of successive attempts by the law to try to reduce the size of war weapons or restrict their use in civil life, but rather due to the overwhelming entry of French fashion, as a sign of a more effeminate way, in the reign of D. João V, whose light and delicate clothing, quite simply did not allow men to carry such large and heavy weapons. The Portuguese felt the need to adapt to European times and fashion, which in the 18th century saw the casual use of this type of heavy weaponry as an anachronistic sign of a virile severity that was slowly falling into disuse.
Here are two examples; the first with a silver hilt, the most common material used in these fashionable swords.The silver chain is a replacement, as the originals often fell off and disappeared. The other one with an iron hilt, not so much seen, unfortunately missing one of the quillon ends. Its blade is not as plain as the other but probably a fine one of German origin. Although these court swords were more of an attire show off, blades were tense, not fit for fencing but sharp enough to inflict damage (even lethal) in a fight, as recorded to have taken place in a few period episodes.


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