A fine example of a type which evolved about 1645 in response to changing social customs and swordsmanship and remained popular for about a generation. Known to collectors, as pillow swords in recent years, they were more likely knownto their owners as scarf swords. Norman discusses this and the method in which they were worn in The Rapier and Smallsword 1460-1820, page 186. Its contemporaries in Northern Europe
were the transitional rapiers and occasional dish hilted rapier. Somewhat smaller than either, it was able to be worn in social settings where the larger weapons were prohibited. Size, and thus weight, which in motion equates to inertia was always balanced against agility. In this weapon, the choice is for the latter. It has a fine blade of hollow diamond section etched each side with afigure of Mars, the God of War beneath his name and a sun or perhaps his namesake planet. The hilt is heavily encrusted in high relief silver foliage and classical portrait heads. The grip is wrapped in silver wire. The result is a lovely weapon, which in hands schooled to it, was the match of any on the street.