Attributed to James Morisset (English, London, active 1768–1800)
Signed AT, probably for Simon Augustin Toussaint (British, London, active 1768–85)
ca. 1780–85
British, London
Gold, enamel, steel, textile, leather, wood, cotton, velvet
Sword (a); L. 39 in. (99.1 cm); box (c); L. 41 in. (104.1 cm); W. 6 3/16 in. (15.7 cm); D. 5 1/4 in. (13.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John C. Weber, 1981
Accession Number:
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
Blair, Claude. Three Presentation Swords in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and a Group of English Enamels. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1972.

Antiques (1979).

Nickel, Helmut, and Stuart W. Pyhrr. "Arms and Armor." Notable Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1981/1982), pp. 26–27, ill.

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 (Sept. 1997), pp. 313–350.