This is a recent find from an old Connecticut estate. When cautiously cleaned, the brilliant-cut steel carbochons will glare like crystal, but I will leave this to the auction winner. Half of the fun is to carefully bring a found object to an attractive and age-appropriate appearance. This partial hilt will make one beautiful paper-weight, once it is properly mounted. As you can note by looking at the photos, the steel beads are not soldered to the underlaying metal, as it is seen on many later examples, but are indeed strands of carefully cut individual pieces, placed in spirals over the solid steel grip. Same goes for the guard. Without the blade it is impossible to say whether the sword was a military or a civilian gentleman's weapon, as these swords were worn by the officers and gentlemen alike. Note a small sword with a similar hilt, which belonged to Admiral Lord Howe of the American Revolutionary War fame, and later a hero of early Napoleonic naval battles. Anyway, the object is rather heavy for what it is, as opposed to later hilts of similar style, and I would date it ca.1775-1790, give or take a couple of years.