Swords, 17th and 18th Centuries
C.W. Jefferys' notes about this picture from The Picture Gallery of Canadian History Volume 1
Note the gradual change from the long rapier of the early seventeenth century, which was worn almost upright and suspended from a baldric over the right shoulder, to the shorter sword of the late eighteenth century, worn almost horizontally, and later hung from a belt around the waist.
Kirby, in the first page of his romance, The Golden Dog, makes a minor error in describing officers in 1748 as leaning on their swords. This would scarcely have been possible: it was contrary to the custom of the time, and it is doubtful whether the short sling from the cross-belt to the scabbard would admit of it. Only in the early nineteenth century could this be done, when cavalry and artillery swords were hung by longer slings from the waist belt.
- Jefferys, Charles W. 1942 The Picture Gallery of Canadian History Volume 1, p.177