Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1776 Anglo-Am.gentleman 
Subject: gentleman officer
Culture: Colonial-Revolutionary Anglo-American
Setting: 13 Colonies, American Revolution, North America 18thc
Object: smallsword

* Cold Steel
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* Hanwei
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* Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum > Revolution in Taste
"Men and Their Toys  Men chose objects, in part, to demonstrate their place in society.  An elegant dress sword, an expensive gold watch, or a handsome tobacco box were obvious signs of taste and elevated status and were chosen as a complement to one's dress and manners. ..."

* Metropolitan Museum of Art > Stone Gallery of Arms and Armor
"American Silver-Hilted Smallswords ..., 1725-1775  Throughout the colonial period in American history, silver tableware and ornaments for wearing apparel were esteemed not only for their monetary value but also as symbols of financial success and social status.  The gentry, as well as the wealthier merchants and craftsmen, frequently wore smallswords as side arms in imitation of their European counterparts.  American silversmiths looked to Dutch and English hilts as their models and preferred a plain form with almost no surface ornament.  Silver sword hilts were not fabricated by armsmakers but rather by the same silversmiths who produced tea services, flatware, and smaller objects like buckles and spurs.  The hilts of most of the smallswords exhibited here are struck with the craftsman's personal mark, usually consisting of his initials."

* Yorktown Victory Center
"Officer's small sword, (reproduction), Wilkinson Sword Limited, London, England, c. 1976.  Small swords were popular with officers and civilian gentlemen.  This weapon is a reproduction of Washington's dress sword.  Washington wore the original at formal ceremonies such as the surrender of Cornwallis and the presidential inauguration."

* Colonial Williamsburg > Magazine
Colonial Williamsburg > Governor's Palace *​

* Colonial Williamsburg > Governor's Palace

* Virginia War Museum > America and War
"American Small Sword and Scabbard, c. 1758-76. ...
This sword, made by an undetermined American manufacturer, was carried by Colonel William MackIntosh during both the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War.  Colonel MackIntosh was born in Needham, Massachusetts in 1722, and died in 1813.  He was commissioned an ensign in September 1755 and served in the Crown Point area of New York during the French and Indian War.  He was commissioned a lieutenant in 1758.  In February 1776 he was commissioned colonel in the First Militia Regiment and entered the Continental Army.  Note the Inscription on the scabbard."

* Metropolitan Museum of Art > Stone Gallery of Arms and Armor
"Smallsword of Col. Marinus Willett  (1740-1830)  Steel; silver, partly gilt  
C. Liger (recorded 1770-1793)  French (Paris), 1785-86
This sword is one of ten 'elegant swords' awarded by the Continental Congress to various officers for meritorious action against the British during the American Revolution.  Owing to lack of funds, the swords were not executed until 1785/86.  They were made not by an American craftsman but by one of the finest fourbisseurs (sword retailers) in Paris.  The decoration, in part prescribed by Congress, includes the coat of arms of the United States on one side of the grip and an appropriate presentation inscription on the other.  This example is inscribed 'Congress to Col. Willett, Oct. 11, 1777.'  These congressional swords are the first in a long tradition of specially designed presentation swords that would be awarded to America's military leaders throughout the next century."

* Museum of Fine Arts > Art of the Americas
"Small-sword, with scabbard and waist belt, 1735  Silver, steel, leather
Made for Colonel Richard Hazel of Concord, New Hampshire, Hurd's sword retains its original red-leather fittings (not shown here).  Hurd fashioned the silver hilt and mounts; the forged-steel blade was imported or possibly made locally. Soldiers often wore such swords as an accessory in civilian life or as a dress sword while in uniform." ...
​Angel Sword *
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