From rapier to small sword.

George Cameron Stones “A Glossary of The Construction, Decoration and Use of ARMS  AND ARMOR In All Countries and in All Times describes the small sword like this:

The last form of the rapier. It usually has a triangular blade which can only be used for thrusting, and the advantage of which consists in its lightness. The hilt is simple, the guards consisting of an elliptical plate, or two shells, and a light finger guard. The small sword first appeared in the end of the 17th century and continued in use as long as swords were warn as a part of the civilian dress. (Castle 239). Fig.730.

The slide show below shows the morphological progression from (transitional) Rapier to what is differentiated as the small sword and finally épée de combat. Note the true ricasso on the rapier, the false ricasso on the small sword then finally the vestigal cross bar and pas d’ane rings on the épée. Additionally “An ultra-rare set of “Pariser” — leather disk-hilted thrust rapiers used for the Stoßmensur.”

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