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Object Type

Lord Clapham comes complete with sword and scabbard, indispensable items in a man's wardrobe. These miniature versions must have been deliberately remodelled to accompany the doll.

Materials & Making

The steel blade of the sword has been cut down from an old sword point. The handle has a gilt-copper wire binding and a gilt-brass stirrup guard. The scabbard is made of wood covered with black leather stamped with geometric designs and stitched up the centre back. The chape (the metal tip at the closed end of the scabbard) is gilt brass. There is a hole at the top of the scabbard where a hook (lost before acquisition) would have been attached.

Ownership & Use

A gentleman's sword of this period usually had a silver or cut steel hilt. Gilt-brass handles are normally found on military swords. In the period 1690-1700 swords were widely carried in Britain, even by servants. The cutting down and reusing of metal was common in the 17th century and swords were usually recycled as dirks (a kind of dagger) and knives. They were also shortened for use by young boys when they adopted miniature versions of adult dress after breeching (first wearing breeches). These, however, were attached securely to the scabbard so that they could not actually be drawn.

Details

  • Title: Doll's sword and scabbard
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1690/1700
  • Location: London
  • Provenance: Purchased by public subscription
  • Medium: Steel, gilt brass, wood, stamped leather, gilt copper wire

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