Following the turbulent years of the Thirty Years' War and the English Civil Wars, fencing for self-defense became a necessity for those who could afford training and quality weapons. It distinguished them from and advantaged them over street thugs. As well, it became the vehicle for settling differences, particularly matters of honor, among the elite and nobility. This sword with its slender thrusting blade was made for dueling and served as well in the streets. The asymmetrical shell guards of the iron hilt are filled with plates decorated with central bird panels flanked by pierced basket weave. The blade is scalloped at the forte to engage an opponent’s blade and decorated with scrolling foliage. The left forte is struck with a maker's mark. 35" length blade.