COLLECTION: Mechanical Arts & Arms

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Silver Hilted Smallsword

1765-1770
Origin: England, London; and America
Blade: 32 7/8" x 15/16"; Hilt: 6 7/8"; Overall: 40"
Silver, iron/steel, wood, enamel, and traces of gilding
Museum Purchase and Partial Gift of Patty Voght in memory of Thomas G. Wnuck
Acc. No. 2008-7
English silver-hilted smallsword presented to Major General Nathaniel Greene, by an unknown party, in 1781, perhaps at the time he received command of the Southern Department of the Continental Army.

Of classic smallsword form for the period, all elements are cast, chased & pierced. Decorative elements include openwork scrolls, foliage, shells, lions, eagles, trophies and gorgon heads. The wooden grip is bound with a number of varieties of twisted silver wire & cable, in addition to a single broad band of silver tape.

At some point during the early to mid-19th century, this sword was memorialized by the addition too two identical roundels sent onto the grip at the midpoint. Both are framed in an identical reeded bezel, and the silver one bears the engraved date and presentation to Gen. Greene. The other appliqué includes a miniature enamel portrait (on copper?) of General Greene, certainly after the portrait by Peale.
Provenance:ex. collections; Jerry Gruber and Thomas G. Wnuck (EW 394)
Mark(s):None visible.
Inscription(s):PRESENTED TO MAJ. GEN. N. GREEN 1781 on inboard side appliqué.