Item ref: 4152
Private collection, United Kingdom
A similarly diminutive sword with a very closely comparable silver hilt is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. That example is struck with Paris silver marks for 1758-59. The rococo styling of both of these solid silver hilts is almost identical, but in the instance of our provincially marked hilt it is clear that by circa 1770-80 it had been made in the image of the earlier Paris fashion.
The quality of the present hilt is nonetheless delightful, a perfect emulation of an adult sword of the period. The blade is entirely functional, if hopefully not purposeful. As is well-known from the portraiture of the period, children were dressed as miniaturised adults and boys would naturally be required to carry a sword as a reflection of their parents’ position in society.