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Silver Inlaid Transitional Rapier/Smallsword, ca. 1660

Blackened steel hilt featuring asymmetrical shell guard, horizontally recurved quillons, pas d’ane, and heart-shaped pommel, all decorated ensuite with inlaid silver floral and geometric design. Grip wrap of twisted copper wire with turks heads, likely the original. Hexagonal-section 30" blade with central fuller stamped "EN TOLEDO" on both sides and bearing an anchor stamp below the fuller. Very slight colichemarde shape to the blade, likely done in the 18th C when this was fashionable. Nearly all the original blackening remains on hilt; minor silver loss as typically found. These early transitional rapier/smallswords required extraordinary skill and expensive materials, as the decoration was inlaid in sold silver (or gold in some cases) into carved recesses in the iron hilt. Details were then carved into the silver. The later smallswords of the 18th C usually had cast or chiseled hilts in relief with the background gilt and the relief areas rubbed or blackened. This required less skill and only gold or silver leaf, which was far less expensive. Overall length 36 ½".

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