COLLECTION: Mechanical Arts & Arms

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Smallsword, colichemarde

1766-1767
Origin: England, London
OL: 38 1/8"; Blade: 31 1/4"
Iron/steel, silver, gilt wood.
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2002-5
An ornate, silver-hilted smallsword; the hilt is a combination of pierced and filigree work. The handle wrapping is a combination of twisted silver wire and gilded silver tape.
Label:Silver-Hilted Smallsword, 1766-67
England, London, by Joseph Clare II
Silver, silver-gilt, iron, steel & wood

Carried by officers on both sides of the Revolutionary War, the smallsword was a beautiful but deadly weapon in the hand of a trained swordsman. Often highly embellished, this extensively pierced & chased example is nearly identical to one owned by George Washington and believed to have been worn by him when resigning his commission in 1783 and at his Presidential Inauguration in 1789.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation 2002-5
Mark(s):London sterling hallmarks for 1766/7, maker's mark of Joseph Clare.