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Smallsword and Scabbard

A work made of steel, two gold alloys, gilding, brass, parchment, and wood.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of steel, two gold alloys, gilding, brass, parchment, and wood.

Date:

c. 1785

Artist:

Cutler: Thomas Prosser (English, 1774-1795)

About this artwork

In the late 18th century brilliant-cut steel beads became highly fashionable. The style, which may have originated in England, quickly spread to the French and Russian courts. These beads were set into walking sticks, buckles, buttons, and hilts like this fine example made by Thomas Prosser, an eminent cutler in Bloomsbury, London.

The decorations added a bedazzling effect as flickering candlelight reflected off the hilt in dimly lit rooms. Caricatures from the period lampoon this flashy style by showing a lady overcome by the bright light emitting from a gentleman’s cut-steel accessories.

Status

On View, Gallery 239

Department

Applied Arts of Europe

Artist

Thomas Prosser (Craftsperson)

Title

Smallsword and Scabbard

Place

England (Object made in)

Date

Made 1775–1795

Medium

Steel, two gold alloys, gilding, brass, parchment, and wood

Dimensions

101 × 10.2 cm (39 3/4 × 4 in.)

Credit Line

Pauline Seipp Armstrong Fund, through prior acquisition of the George F. Harding Collection

Reference Number

2014.649a-b

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/222941/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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