November 17, 2020 Early Arms & Militaria: Age of Exploration, Empire & Revolution
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/17/2020
A fine silver-gilt smallsword by Kinman, 39-3/4" overall length, with a triangular colichemarde blade of 32-1/2" length with partly-obscured, etched panels and decorative motifs on all sides. The hilt was at one time "silver-gilt" and generous traces of the gilding are still visible in the protected areas of the silver mounts. Its double-shell guard has relief chased borders with panels of gadrooning; the grip is spiral-wrapped with alternating twisted strands of silver wire and ribbon; and its globular pommel finely gadrooned and with an integral turned capstan. The D-shaped knucklebow features a panel of gadrooning in the center and on the reverse of left side, bears London touchmarks for 1758/59 and the hallmark 'WK' for William Kinman (noted silversmith and cutler of that city) near the pommel and is engraved "JOHN WADDELL" in front towards the guard. Captain John Waddell (1714-1762) was born in Dover, England, the son of Lieutenant William Waddell of the Royal Navy and grandson of John Waddell, and migrated to New York City sometime prior to 1736, marrying Anne Kirsten of that city at the Fort George chapel on November 30th of that year. During 1737-1738, he was enrolled in Capt. Van Horne's foot company of militia. The captain-owner of various vessels during the 1730s-1750s, he was heavily engaged in the trans-Atlantic trade and possibly in privateering during King George's and the French and Indian Wars. He was a founding member of the New York Society Library and a leading merchant in the city, his business house fronting on Duke and Dock (now Pearl) Streets between Old Slip and Coenties Market. At the time of his death, he was one of the wealthiest men in the city, with his small fleet of vessels still busily plying Atlantic and West Indies waters. His portrait and that of his wife, both by John Wollaston, are now in the collections of the New York Historical Society and they are buried in the Trinity Church graveyard. His eldest son William was an alderman of New York during the Revolutionary War and a leading Loyalist, commanding a regiment of the city militia, while his second son and namesake later moved to Trenton, New Jersey and served as a lieutenant in the US Marine Corps during the Quasi-War, during which he may have carried this sword. For a nearly identical sword, see plate 211.S on page 132 of "Swords & Blades of the American Revolution" by George C. Neumann. CONDITION: Blade has been cleaned and shows some scattered light pitting, as well as wear to etching; the silver mounts to the hilt are unpolished with a pewter-like patina and show generous traces of the original gilding in protected areas of the mounts; there is some looseness or "play" to the hilt components; the guard shows some denting, while quillon is slightly bent to the left. The engraved ownership inscription absolutely original and well-defined, as are the touchmarks. A fine, identified smallsword of significant interest relating to the colonial history of New York. JLK

Item Dimensions: 40"
Blade Length
Overall Length
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $3,000.00
Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000
Number Bids: 14
Auction closed on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
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