Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Presentation Smallsword

Goldsmith:
James Morisset (English, London, active 1768–1800)
Date:
hallmarked for 1797–98
Geography:
London
Culture:
London, British
Medium:
Gold, enamel, steel
Dimensions:
L. 38 3/16 in. (97 cm); L. of blade 31 1/2 in. (80 cm); Wt. 14 oz. (396.9 g); Wt. of scabbard 2 oz. (56.7 g)
Classification:
Swords
Credit Line:
Gift of Stephen V. Grancsay, 1942
Accession Number:
42.50.35a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 376
The shell is engraved on the underside: "Presented by the commanders of the Jamaica ships in the London trade to Captⁿ. W.E. Cracraft, of his M.S. Severn for his particular care of the fleet of England in 1798." The enamels on the grip include Cracraft's initials and coat of arms.
Inscription: [1] 18, crown in octagon (In 1798 these marks took the place of the lion passant mark when the new gold standard of 18 fine, instead of 22 fine, was introduced. See Refs.: Jackson, p. 88).
[2] Leopard's head crowned, in octagon
[3] C in octagon (London date letter for 1798-9)
[4] I M in rectangle (maker's amrk)
[5] King's head, profile to right
Location of marks
[1] to [5] on knuckle guard; [1] and [4] on guard; [1] and [4] on socket; [1] and [4] on grip; [1] twice on pommel.

Inscribed: (on guard) PRESENTED BY THE COMMANDERS OF THE JAMAICA SHIPS IN THE LONDON TRADE TO CAPTn. W.E. CRACRAFT, OF HIS M.S. SEVERN FOR HIS PARTICULAR CARE OF THE FLEET TO ENGLAND IN 1798.
Meum stringi pro Rege et Patria sed non gloriam extra revertitis. (It is my part to be drawn for king and country but you return not without glory).
(on grip, in script) W E C
(on ribbon below coat-of-arms) the motto: DUM SPIRO SPERO

Marking: On hilt. Quarterly, 1 and 4, vert, on a bend dancetté argent, three martlets sable (for Cracroft [or Cracraft?]; 2 and 3, bary of seven argent and gules, on a bend dexter sable, three escallops argent.
Crest: A stork, argent, grasping a battle axe proper.
Ex coll.: Sir Guy Francis Laking, London; Clarence H. Mackay, Roslyn, L.I.
Jackson, Charles James Sir. English Goldsmiths and Their Marks: A History of the Goldsmiths and Plate Workers of England, Scotland, and Ireland.... 2nd Edition ed. London: MacMillan, 1921. p. 88 and p. 222.

Burke, Sir Henry Farnham, Prince Stanisław Albrecht Radziwiłł, Thomas E. Waggaman, Eugen, Archduke, Sir Guy Francis Laking, Charles A. de Cosson, Earl of Loudoun, and Yasunosuke Seki. Collection Sale. London: Christie, Manson & Woods, 1931. no. 180.

Blair, Claude. Three Presentation Swords in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and a Group of English Enamels. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1972. p. 47, no. 19.

Southwick, Leslie. "New Facts About James Morisset and a Revised List of His Known Works, With Others by his Successors John Ray and James Montague." The Journal of the Arms and Armor Society 15, no. 6 (Sept. 1997). pp. 327–29, no. 26.



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