Object Title

Sword

Sword

Date

1778-1779

Object Number

IX.2185

Provenance

purchased at Phillips, 16/12/81

Physical Description

Hilt: silver, of conventional form (Norman, type 112), comprising; pommel, knuckle guard, shell guard.


Pommel: ovoid form (Norman,type 89), chiselled all over with a lattice work having florettes at the intersections and partly pierced with ovals containing small naked or partly draped boys at the centres.


Knuckle guard: at the centre of the guard is an oval cartouche containing sprays of flowers and on each side of the sleeve a small boy in classical armour.


Shell guards: the two-lobed shell are edged with restrained rococco scrolls and flowers.


Grip: silver, made en-suite with the hilt. Double tapering square section, pierced with a lattice work decoration with cartouches at the centre swelling.


Blade: hollow ground triangular section. Etched near the hilt on both sides:-


'De la/manu/facture/De la/Marque/au/Raisin/faite a/Sohlingen'


above a shield-shaped compartment containing a bunch of grapes. The remainder of the blade is heavily corroded but various engraved or etched flourishes are visible.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Overall length: 985 mm (38.75 in), blade length: 832 mm (32.75 in) Weight: 373 gm (12 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

On the inside of the forward arm are struck three marks:1. the name 'Paris' in intertwined script letters. (This was the charge mark of the Regisseur des droits de marque, J_B Fouache, for the period 1775-78 applied to objects in gold or small objects in silver.)2. crowned 'P', the Paris date letter for 1778-79.3. remains of a makers mark, including the letters M and B, both slightly defaced.On the outside of the grip at the end nearest the blade are struck the following three marks:4. as in 1 above5. the maker's mark, as in 3 above, but with the hilt of a sword upright between the clearly visible letters 'M B'6. the discharge mark of Fouache, a monkeys head.On the inside of the hilt is a partially defaced mark identical with 2 above.

Associations

Notes

The maker's mark 'M B' has not been identified but in 1767/8 he made one of the finest and most imaginative French small-swords in existence (Carrington-Peirce Collection, Cat No 45)
See also 'Court Swords', Bashford Dean, No 65, pl. L.