Given the rather esoteric nature of classical fencing, it is not very common to find a close examination of a weapon from another age. However, historic Fort Ticonderoga has provided a detailed look at the craftsmanship and components of an American smallsword dating from about the time of the French and Indian War.
In 2012, the staff at the historic site was preparing for an exhibit Bullets & Blades: The Weapons of America’s Colonial War and Revolution. Exhibit preparations provide the opportunity to carefully clean, examine the condition of artifacts, update records, and photograph selected accessions. This process enabled collections staff to disassemble and examine a circa 1750 smallsword made by the Bostonian silversmith William Cowell, Junior.
In addition to a total disassembly of the weapon, the staff at the Fort captured nicely detailed photographs of the sword’s components and its construction details. They then published a short article about the smallsword on their blog for all the world to see, including links to high resolution photographs — something rarely provided by most museums and historic sites.
If you are the least bit interested in historic weapons, take a few moments to examine Fort Ticonderoga’s post, and this rather sturdy American weapon from another age.