A very elaborate cut steel hilted smallsword
A very elaborate cut steel hilted smallsword by Thomas Gray, c 1791-1794. The grip, urn shaped pommel and quillon block decorated with vertical bands of steel beads, and horizontal bands of applied steel beads. The guard pierced with a star burst and applied steel beads. The design of the hilt conforms in most respects to those by Matthew Boulton illustrated in his Pattern Book after 1775. The hollow ground triangular section blade entirely covered with blued and gilt decoration, and etched with martial trophies and rococo ornament. Contained in its fishskin covered scabbard with steel mounts, the locket signed “Thos. Gray No 41 Sackville Strt”.
Blade length 31” (79cms) Overall length 37½” (95 cms)
Thomas Gray acquired 41 Sackville Street in 1791, and entered into partnership with William Constable and Gray & Constable in about 1794. For details of Thomas Gray see L. Southwick “London Silver-hilted Swords”, Leeds 2001, pp 126-128. Designs from Matthew Boulton’s Pattern Book are reproduced by A.V.B. Norman, “The Rapier and Small-Sword, 1460-1820”, London 1980; and by J D Aylward, “The Small-sword in England” London 1945 and 1960.