A French Silver and Enamel-Hilted Small-Sword, c. 1785

1742 3
1742 2 v2
1742 1 v2
1742 4 v2

Item ref: 1742

  • France
  • Silver, enamel, brilliants, gold, wood and sharkskin
  • 102.5 cm / 40.4 in


Dietrich Stürken Collection, Portugal

The use of brilliants exhibited on our sword appears typical of the best quality of late-eighteenth century French small-swords. There is a similar example of the style of decoration on a small-sword hilt in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, where the very attractive use of star-filled enamel panels is also a very unusual and consequently rare feature. 

Here, the upper side of the shell is divided into eight cast and chased panels by borders of enamel; the lower side of the shell is similarly decorated but the panels divided by eight fluted borders. The blued and gilded blade is embellished with a panel of gold stars on a blue ground. The wooden scabbard is covered in green-dyed shagreen and fitted with silver mounts.