In 1780, Major Marriot Arbuthnot was presented with a sword because residents of the Channel Islands were pleased that he'd defended them from an invading army.
Several craftsmen might have jointed together to create an item such as this. For some commemorative gifts, a hilt and scabbard could have been purchased from a goldsmith and then later assembled to the blade by someone else.
As each item was individual, the men who made swords could change the item to fit a recipient. One historical blade, which probably wasn't a gift, is a knife with a calendar etched onto the blade. The dates on the calendar are from 1678 to 1700.
Expressions of creativity and the wish to thank people who go above and beyond have probably been a part of our culture throughout history.