Made by C. Liger (recorded ca. 1770-1793) / Smallsword of Colonel Marinus Willet / 1785-86Made by C. Liger (recorded ca. 1770-1793)
Smallsword of Colonel Marinus Willet

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Creator Name: Liger, C.
Creator Nationality: European; French
Creator Role: Maker
Creator Name-CRT: Made by C. Liger (recorded ca. 1770-1793)
Title: Smallsword of Colonel Marinus Willet
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1785
Creation End Date: 1786
Creation Date: 1785-86
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Arms
Materials and Techniques: Steel, silver, gold
Dimensions: L. 39 5/8 in. (100.7 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 17.87.3
Credit Line: Bequest of George Willett van Nest, 1916

This sword is one of ten "elegant swords" awarded by the Continental Congress to various officers for meritorious action against the British during the American Revolution. Owing to lack of funds, the swords were not executed until 1785-86. They were made not by an American craftsman but by one of the finest "fourbisseurs" (sword retailers) in Paris. The decoration, in part prescribed by Congress, includes the coat of arms of the United States on one side of the grip and an appropriate presentation inscription on the other. This example is inscribed: "Congress to Col. Willett, Oct. 11, 1777." These congressional swords are the first in a long tradition of specially designed presentation swords that would be awarded to America's military leaders throughout the next century.

AMICA ID: MMA_.17.87.3
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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