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This adorable child's court sword emulates the French superior officers' small-swords from the Premiere Empire period. It is difficult for me to precisely date this sword, but I would place it somewhere ca mid-19th century, give or take 20 years either way. The guard is cast to represent the Aesop's fable about the Fox and the Crane. "A Fox invited a Crane to supper one night, and provided nothing for him to eat but some soup made of pulse, which was poured into broad flat stone plates. The Fox licked her portion off this plate easily, but the Crane couldn't pick off anything from his plate, and his vexation at not being able to eat afforded the Fox much amusement. The Crane, in his turn, asked the Fox to sup with him the very next night, and set before her a flagon with a long narrow mouth, so that he could easily insert his neck and enjoy its contents at his leisure. The Fox, unable even to taste it, met with a fitting requital, after the fashion of her own hospitality."
Blade is 55 cm long, and etched on either side for about a third of the blade's length. There is a rather slight movement of the hilt parts. Scabbard was period-repaired in one spot. Overall, a very pretty piece that would appeal to both the sword and the antique toy collectors.