Recovered from the Queen Anne's Revenge wreck site in 2008, the quillon could have been made in England or France, according to Wendy Welsh, conservator of the Queen Anne's Revenge artifacts for the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.
Beyond the hilt, only a stump of the blade remains, but Welsh said Jan Piet Puype, a Dutch arms historian, thinks the weapon was probably relatively short and was carried by a gentleman with some status—at least before a pirate got hold of it.
Although it could have been used for self-defense, the sword was mainly a decorative accessory and was manufactured sometime between the mid-17th century and the early 18th century, according to Puype.
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(Image credit: Wendy M. Welsh, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources)