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         The small sword's ancestor was the rapier, a popular bladed weapon in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. The small sword was used primarily for thrusting, so instead of a wide, thick blade, it had a thin, sharp blade. The blade of the small sword tended to be triangular in cross section, providing it with two very sharp edges. The small sword, unlike the thick, wide-edged hanger had a very thin blade ending in a very sharp point. The hanger was best for slashing; the small sword was best for thrusting.

Small Sword, circa 1760s
Collection of Larry D. Smith

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