Apr 17, 2020

Small Sword

Small Sword

c. 1770

Steel, gilt-brass, porcelain grip

Overall: 90.5 cm (35 5/8 in.); Blade: 76.9 cm (30 1/4 in.); Grip: 11.3 cm (4 7/16 in.); Hilt: 8.3 cm (3 1/4 in.)

Weight: 340 g (11.99 oz.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1501

Did you know?

Small-swords with porcelain grips became fashionable in the mid- to late 1700s and added a colorful splash to male attire.


The small-sword was a light, quick weapon that emerged during the 18th century. It was carried by unarmored civilians, the noblemen of the upper classes. The porcelain hilt, elaborately decorated, would have been visible even when the sword was sheathed–making this object more an accessory of male attire than a utilitarian weapon.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email [email protected].

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.