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Old 1st September 2021, 11:56 PM   #1
Radboud
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Default Composite Smallsword

Thank you for adding me, I've been browsing the forum for a while but decided to sign up to get opinions on a couple of my smallswords.

To begin I have a composite sword that has a Toledo colichemarde blade mounted in an 'English style' hilt. The hilt is bound in twisted copper wire with two alternating strands, one very thin. The guard is likely nickel or 'German silver as it is not hallmarked and looks similar to English guards of the late 18th Century. But it hasn't been finished to the fine detail you would expect. It's almost like it is an incomplete project as if someone started to pierce the guard but gave up.

The blade has a hexagonal cross-section and has a fine edge that is likely to have been sharpened.

Stats:
Length - 885mm
POB - 85mm
Weight - 540g
Blade length - 725mm
Blade width - 27.5mm to 9.7mm
Blade thickness - 7.4mm to 2.0mm

(width and thickness measured from the ricasso to 700mm)

Thank you for the look and comments.
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Old 2nd September 2021, 07:35 PM   #2
fernando
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Welcome to the forum Radboud .
Tell us, does the same 'NTOL' inscription appear in both sides ?
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Old 2nd September 2021, 08:50 PM   #3
Radboud
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Thank you for the welcome Fernando,

Yes the inscription appears on both sides of the blade.

Cheers
Bas
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Old 6th September 2021, 06:02 PM   #4
cornelistromp
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It is difficult to say anything meaningful about the origin, this type in terms of style was worn, among other countries, in England, Germany, France, and the Netherlands
The pommel is type 89 in Norman's typology, dateable from 1770 onwards.
Although the decoration on the oval shellguard and pommel consists mainly of symmetrical shapes, you can still see two Rococo shells on the rings of the grip. I expect the hilt was made in the Rococo "transition" period, around 1770-1780.
Colichemarde blades begin to appear after the mid-17th century and have been used on smallswords for over 100 years. This blade reminds me of a rapier blade as far as the fullers and inscription ( EN TOLEDO)are concerned, but it is not a cut down rapier blade, it has a small attachment at the ricasso and is made for a small sword.
It is reused for this later hilt and probably originally dating to the last quarter of the 17th century.


best,
Jasper
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Old 6th September 2021, 10:35 PM   #5
Radboud
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Thank you Jasper,

That is excellent additional information. I was in two minds that the grip might be a mid 19th Century re-build but the extra thin wire made me hopeful that it was more 'period' (end of 18th Century).

Cheers
Bas
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Old 7th September 2021, 07:52 AM   #6
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hi Bas,

yes I think the copper wire of the grip is not (partly or completely) the original 1770 wire, you would expect a silver-bound grip here.

The wood under it (probably is) and the silver? grip rings seem original to me.

best,
Jasper
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Old 8th September 2021, 01:48 PM   #7
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The hilt of your sword appears to be an exact copy of mine (by William Kinman of London, in 1772):

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=27044
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Old 9th September 2021, 12:05 AM   #8
Radboud
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That is a stunning sword you have Marius, all the more impressive for having come from a premier English silversmith/maker.

It has been suggested that the guard on mine is a cast copy of a higher grade smallsword such as yours.
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Old 9th September 2021, 08:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radboud View Post
That is a stunning sword you have Marius, all the more impressive for having come from a premier English silversmith/maker.

It has been suggested that the guard on mine is a cast copy of a higher grade smallsword such as yours.
Hello Radboud,

I believe it is quite obvious it is a cast copy.

Could you identify the metal of the hilt? My bet will go for a tin alloy.
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Old 9th September 2021, 08:34 PM   #10
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Vicker's White Metal/Britannia was coming in during this period but generally not cast in such detail. It was not hallmarked at first.

There was somewhat similarly a period in France 1789-1797 when marking plate was not regulated.

There are some simple tests like ice melting and bleach but a touchstone and acids are how a jeweler would start to grade silver. I had a rose gold chain I was selling I took a shop and the final definitive was still going below the surface.

I have a sword dish that shows casting and has gold filling (fused/fired) and an eagle pommel that is similarly fired gilt and both I suspect are Brittania.

Cheers
GC
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Old 9th September 2021, 11:52 PM   #11
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Thanks for the additional information. I don't think it's silver or at least a low content if there is any.

Some form of tin alloy is a good suggestion and another good candidate.
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