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Curators, Collectors, and Dealers: The Growth of the Arms and Armor Collection, 1929 to the Present

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Presentation Smallsword

James Morisset (English, London, active 1768–1800)

Date:
hallmarked for 1797–98
Culture:
British
Medium:
Gold, enamel, steel
Dimensions:
Length overall 38 3/16 in. ( 96.98 cm) Length of blade 31 1/2 in. ( 80.01 cm) Gr. width of blade 0 13/16 in. ( 2.06 cm) Gr. thickness of blade 0 5/16 in. ( 0.79 cm) Weight with scabbard1lb.0oz. (454gm) Hardness of blade 35-45
Classification:
Swords
Credit Line:
Gift of Stephen V. Grancsay, 1942
Accession Number:
42.50.35a, b
  • Description

    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.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    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.

  • Provenance

    Ex coll.: Sir Guy Francis Laking, London; Clarence H. Mackay, Roslyn, L.I.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
24703

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