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This sword represents a step in the evolution of the smallsword from the rapier. It is among the earliest of the full developed form and retains the very large arms of the guard providing for a grip with the first finger ahead of the cross guard. The asymmetrical double shell guards are of rounded rectangular form. The hilt is profusely decorated in the baroque motifs, intersecting scrolls, and spirals of minute comma shapes emulating foliage. The guards, quillon block, grip and pommel are all very delicately pierced in combination with the heavier solid figures. Original pierced grips seldom survive and this one is extraordinary as well. The delicately pierced scrolls are set in a matrix with high pyramidal segments which improve purchase as well as provide geometric relief for the pattern. To produce the pyramids, the artisan was required to work with a forging, twice or more thick than that required for a simply pierced grip. The bulk of the volume was worked down before the fine finishing could start. The hilt is preserved with virtually all of its original blackened/blued finish, just slightly faded. The 31 5/8 triangular blade is inlaid in brass with segments of stylized foliage and flower heads. The surface is oxidized to a light frosty mottled patina.

Stock Number: U252

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