Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Smallsword, known as a Mourning Sword

Date:
ca. 1790
Culture:
British
Medium:
Steel, textile
Dimensions:
L. 38 in. (96.5 cm); L. of blade 30 3/4 in. (78.1 cm); W. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm); D. 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm); Wt. 15 oz. (425 g)
Classification:
Swords
Credit Line:
Gift of Jean Jacques Reubell, in memory of his mother, Julia C. Coster, and of his wife, Adeline E. Post, both of New York City, 1926
Accession Number:
26.145.307
Not on view
The deeply blued steel hilt is set with faceted steel beads, giving the impression of jewels. Beaded steel smallsword hilts, blued to nearly jet black, were in fashion in England during the Neoclassical period and are thought to have been worn with formal dress at times of mourning.
Seattle. Seattle Art Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor," March 11, 1982–June 6, 1982, no. 66.

Denver. Denver Art Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor," July 18–October 10, 1982, no. 66.

San Antonio. San Antonio Museum of Art. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor," November 13, 1982–February 5, 1983, no. 66.

Minneapolis. Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor," May 24–July 31, 1983, no. 66.

San Francisco. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor," November 5, 1983–January 28, 1984.

Detroit. Detroit Institute of Arts. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor," April 4–June 17, 1984, no. 66.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Bashford Dean and the Creation of the Arms and Armor Department," October 2, 2012–October 13, 2014.

Dean, Bashford. Catalogue of European Court Swords and Hunting Swords: Including the Ellis, De Dino, Riggs, and Reubell Collections. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1929. no. 109, pl. LXXX.



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