An unusual mourning small-sword
An unusual mourning small-sword by Richard Johnston c 1800.The steel hilt applied overall with facetted black glass or jet ‘jewels’. The cage work grip and urn shaped pommel with collars of beads, the pierced guard applied on both sides with ‘jewels’. All surfaces, which are not ‘jewelled’, are black japanned. The hollow ground triangular section polished blade etched with rococo scrolls. In its blackened vellum covered scabbard, with black japanned steel mounts, the locket signed “R. JOHNSTON late BLAND & FOSTER Sword Cutler & Belt Maker to his MAJESTY 68 St. James’s St LONDON”.
Blade length 32” (81cms) Overall length 38½” (98 cms)
Richard Johnston succeeded Robert Foster (formerly Bland & Foster) in 1798 at 68 St James’s Street. See L. Southwick “London Silver-hilted Swords…” Leeds 2001, pp 153-154 for an account of Richard Johnston.