The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Dusägge
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Hilt- Germany; blade- Italy, possibly
  • c. 1590 - c. 1610
  • Steel, chiselled, once blued
  • Length: 93.9 cm
    Width: 3.7 cm
    Weight: 1.065 kg
  • Incised mark: sickle mark
  • A714
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Dussack or dusägge, a short sword or cutlass with a curved blade, the hilt composed of a flattened cylindrical pommel deeply chiselled with a scallop shell on either face; wire-bound grip with vertical grooves at the side; knuckle-guard and single, curved quillon of oval section, both with shell-shaped ends; shell-guards, deeply fluted like a cockle-shell and turned over to protect the knuckles of the hand; hilt arms and counter-guards on the right side; the whole of bright steel, originally blued. Curved single edged blade of diamond section with a shallow double groove, the cutting edge has been boldly serrated, the serrations continuing partly down the back edge near the point, and roughly incised on one side with the so-called 'sickle' mark.

    About 1590-1610; hilt German; blade possibly Italian.

    Provenance: Sir S. R. Meyrick; Frédéric Spitzer (?) Exhibited: South Kensington, 1869, no. 675.

    The original German name for this type of weapon and for no. A715 was Dusägge, from the Czech tesak (Krenn and Kamniker, 'Die Dusäggen des Landeszeughauses in Graz', Waffen-und Kostümkunde, 1973, pp. 139-45). A Dusägge of this general type is illustrated in The Massacre of the Innocents by Cornelis Cornelisz van Haarlem, dated 1591, in the Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem (cat. no. 474). This and no. A715 are perhaps the sort of weapon described in the inventory of Francois de Vaudemont, in the Hôtel de Salm at Nancy, in 1614; Un autre coutelas la garde et le pommeau doré, fait à coquille. . . le foureau de cuir (F. de Chanteau, 1880, p. 22).

    For a note on the 'sickle' mark see nos. A535, and A715.