An Exclusive 18th century Woodstock Smallsword
The movable diamond shaped iron studs decorating the hilt were made in Woodstock, near Oxford (UK). These studs were made from imported Swedish horse shoenails which were transverted into these beads. They became so popular that in 1742 this Woodstock work was introduced to the British Consul in Florence to be given as diplomatic gifts. A similar example is in the Victoria & Albert museum and the Metropolitan NY.
Materials: Steel, Iron, Wood
An exquisite 18th century smallsword made in Woodstock, England.
The hilt was made of facetted-cut iron beads wich are all individually movable. Surrounded by typical late 18th century style pearl rims. The triangular blade was blued and has gilded engravings. Fashionable in the late 18th to early 19th century. This sword was made to be worn on a civil tunic to show status and being able to defend one self. The scabbard was made of thin wooden sheets covered in white paint with iron fittings. The chape is engraved: Gray & Son Bond street. (Robert and William Gray, goldsmiths, jeweler and metalworkers from London) It’s assumable that this sword was sold there because quite many of this Woodstock metalware was sold to the upper-few in London.
This quality smallswords has became very rare and most of these are in the well known musea and private collections.
A similar example in the same quality is in the Victoria & Albert museum London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Condition: Good, there are three lines of beads missing in the guard. The scabbard has some surfacial ware, but further in good condition.
Total length: 101cm
Provenance: a Dutch private collection.
Victoria & Albert Museum item number: M.29-1957
Metropolitan NY association number: 26.145.307
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