A fine rococo smallsword
A fine rococo smallsword French or possibly English c 1745. The ormolu hilt is finely chiselled with a particularly succesful rocaille design involving grotesque masks, some bearded and with lolling tongues: an eagle’s wing springs from the eyebrow of a mask on the front of the grip. The colichemarde blade is etched with strapwork and foliage. The watered silk covered scabbard has the locket en-suite with the hilt. The ormolu retains virtually all of its original gilding.
Blade length 28¾” (73 cms) Overall length 35½” (90 cms)
An example of this hilt design, Hall marked for 1746-1747, with wire bound grip, is preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1991.115) and is illustrated in “London Silver Hilted Swords” L. Southwick 2001, Pl 43. Another hall marked for 1747-1748 is illustrated in “The Price Guide to Antique Edged Weapons” L. Southwick 1982 No 168