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Exceptional British English Cut Steel Small Sword Circa 1800

( ID: es1073 )

A very fine late 18th C. English cut-steel small sword. This example has a fine hilt with chiseled and inlaid polished steel beads approximating the look of diamonds.  

The hilt of this sword is made of cut and polished steel and is similar in design and look to those made in Matthew Boulton's Soho Manufactory in Birmingham. The blade was likely made in Solingen, Germany, famous for the production of blades. Similar hilts cut with facets are shown in the Boulton and Watt pattern book, now in Birmingham City Library. The facets were cut into the surface of the steel to improve the reflecting qualities of the highly polished surface.

This sword hilt was manufactured by the most modern production techniques available at the time. The steel was polished using wheels powered by a steam engine. At his Soho Manufactory Boulton used mass-production methods to produce his wares. As a result he could make a large number of wares very quickly which were cheaper than those of his competitors in Woodstock and London.

The blade is in fine condition, with no bends and the original polish. The scabbard is leather and mounted with chiseled silver fittings at the chape and the throat.

Overall length is 38", blade is 32".

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