Smallsword Hilt Details : Pommels
This page focusses on smallsword pommels and grips. The variety of styles in pommels is impressive, but the grips themselves, though we will limit ourselves to mother of pearl grips, show some interesting variations.
If you should wish to do so, each of these pictures will allow you to go directly to a detailed description of the corresponding sword.
Comparing the three pommels showing the face of Athena shows the great variety in quality between these three swords. The first, from the restauration period is very detailed, the second one, from the Presidency period a little less so, while the Dutch example, which is certainly a lot more recent, is very crude in comparison. So, in this case, at least, quality is proportional to the age of the item.
If you look closely at that last example, you will see that the tang button is, in fact, a screw. As I see it, this is the sign of expediency being applied to excess and I would expect to find this only on swords of the 20th century.
Smallsword Hilt Details : Mother of Pearl Grips
Mother of pearl grips are my favorites, so this extensive display might bore you. Yet, it has the advantage of showing not only the different types of grips that can be made from this material, but also the fact that grips that are the same in both form and surface treatment still show minutes differences in hues if one takes but the time to look carefully.
This last grip scale, found on a low quality recent sword, is actually a none-too-convincing plastic would-be substitute.