Show Navigation

Dean Castle Arms and Armour

Small swords

German small sword 2

18th Century

While the small sword is an example of an elegant and deadly handweapon, it was very rarely used in close-combat confrontations. In the 17th century, a distinction between swords for town and swords for the battlfield emerged, with the small sword materialising as the choice of masculine jewellery for non-military genetlemen going about their daily life.


This small sword has an instricately detailed hilt, with ornate plates, quillon with one side curving upwards to reach the pommel to form a knuckleguard. Scenes of violence, repose, ascension and triumph appear veritcally on the hilt, with a humanoid creature attacking a cow on its plate, a sitting man below the grip, a cherubic being ascending along the handguard and an exultant man on the pommel.  The blade has a triangular cross-section, with a raised central rib one of its sides, coming to a sharp point.

Place of Production:
Dean Castle
Digital Number:
East Ayrshire Council
Wilkinson-Latham, R. (1981) Antique Weapons and Armour. Oxford: Phaidon

Alternative Views:

alternative small picturealternative small picturealternative small picture