The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Rondel dagger with scabbard
  • Rondel dagger with scabbard
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1450 and 19th century (blade)
    probably 19th century (rest of dagger)
  • Iron, steel, copper, gold, antler, wood, enamel, leather and copper alloy, enamelled and engraved.
  • Length: 30.8 cm, blade
    Width: 1.6 cm
    Weight: 0.235 kg
  • Inscription: 'MARY' In Gothic style
    Maker's mark: Hunting horn with a cross above
  • A727
  • European Armoury I
Commentary
Further Reading
  • Rondel dagger and scabbard, with circular guards of copper alloy at either end of the grip, to the top one of which is applied another of copper, with an intervening one of iron. The copper disk has been decorated with red and black enamel representing a winged monster bearing a scroll which is inscribed:

    MARY

    Quadrangular grip overlaid on opposite sides with: (1) antler, and (2) strips of copper, gilt and decorated with conventional leaves and flowers in white, black, red and blue enamel; it is pierced with three large holes on the two antler sides. Cylindrical hand guard of copper alloy, engraved with conventional leaves. The blade is triangular in section, the sides hollowed.

    Scabbard of wood bound with cuir bouilli, tooled; two small pockets for a knife and awl-spike, these are both now missing as also is the metal ferrule at the end.

    Blade about 1450; remainder probably 19th century. Laking, European Armour III , fig. 772. The enamel applied to the grip may have been added, and the cylindrical guard may also be later in date.

    The mark of a hunting horn resembles that found on many blades signed by members of the Wirsbergh family of Solingen in the first half of the 17th century, though without the cross.