Attributed to James Morisset (English, London, active 1768–1800)
Signed AT, probably for Simon Augustin Toussaint (British, London, active 1768–85)
Gold, enamel, steel
Sword: L. 39 in. (99.1 cm); scabbard: L. 32 3/4 in. (83.2 cm); box: L. 41 in. (104.1 cm); W. 6 3/16 in. (15.7 cm); H. 5 1/4 in. (13.3 cm)
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John C. Weber, 1981
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 376
This hilt is closely related to a number of English snuffboxes and other small gold objects set with Neoclassical enamels in grisaille. The enamel with Hercules strangling the Nemean Lion (on the reverse of the grip) is signed AT, probably for Augustin Toussaint, a miniaturist and enameler. Toussaint was the nephew of the goldsmith James Morisset, who made two enameled presentation swords in the Metropolitan Museums' collection (26.145.315, 42.50.35). Unlike the presentation swords, however, this example is much freer in design and more lavish in ornament. The enamels are copied after English engravings of Classical cameos and gems.
Signature: Signed on the enamel on the reverse of the grip: AT, probably for Augustin Toussaint.
Inscription: Inscribed on the rim of the shell: Rundell & Bridge London.
Ex coll.: Howard Ricketts, London
Dean, Bashford. Notes on Arms and Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1916.
Guthman, William H. "Is a New "Period" Emerging? Ruminations of an Austrian Collector." Antiques Magazine 54 (August 1978). Color advertisement for the firm of A La Vieille Russie showing this sword.