From the William Fagan Ltd. Collection

The form of the sword is iconic and reflects the puritanical values of the Great Awakening in America. In American Silver Mounted Swords, 1700-1815, Peterson states “American silver hilted small swords are characterized by simple chaste lines. In Europe, most of the silver-mounted small swords of the same period were completely covered with heavily modeled or pierced decoration. In America, however, such surface decoration was extremely rare as American craftsmen relied more upon the pure beauty of line and form to attain their artistic effect.” He illustrates and discusses 16 examples. #1 is by John Coney of Boston dated to 1722. Its hilt is virtually identical to this example but for the grip terminals which are integral cups on the quillon block and pommel. (Note that the small projection at the base of the knuckle bow of Peterson #1 is a repair sleeve.) Our example retains the earlier feature of turban form wire knot grip terminals and in that regard compares to Peterson #3 dated to 1725. The remainder of the Peterson examples have either integral cups or separate ferrules, both later features. This example has a 25 5/8” undecorated concave face triangular blade. Of the 13 related examples, eleven are triangular and two flat. At that time (1955) eight of the thirteen related examples were in museum collections. Silver hilted swords in Colonial America were very rare and the zenith of gentlemanly style. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston reports, in a description of a sword by Jacob Hurd “Between 1730 and 1750 he (Hurd) made about ten swords, far more than his peers, most of whom made only one or two.” The 1762 inventory of silversmith John Edwards includes “One silver hilted sword at 60 pounds, 3 shillings” at a time when the per capita income in America was 15 pounds, 12 shillings. A historic and particularly early Colonial American sword for which, but for our FNS6632, there have been no comparable examples on the market for decades.

Stock Number: FNS8024

This item isSold

Like this? Share it with your friends!