The Wallace Collection

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Bollock dagger with scabbard, knife and pricker
  • Bollock dagger with scabbard, knife and pricker
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Flanders or North Germany
  • c. 1550
  • Steel, maple wood, silver and copper alloy, inlaid
  • Length: 26.1 cm, blade
    Width: 1.9 cm
    Weight: 0.25 kg
    Length: 12.1 cm, blade of knife
    Length: 14 cm, blade of pricker
  • Maker's mark inlaid in copper alloy
    Maker's mark
  • A732
  • European Armoury I
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Bollock dagger, scabbard, and accessories, the hilt of the dagger composed of a circular flat butt-cap fastened to the tang by a small silver button; grip, seperated from the cap by a copper alloy washer, carved out of maple wood, of round section and tapering towards the guard lobes; from these project two small guards of steel, extending over the blade; the latter is single-edged, and of strong, triangular section. A maker's mark inlaid in copper alloy on one side.

    The dagger forms a set with the scabbard, a small byknife, and a pricker or steel. The byknife has a grip of maple wood, with a projecting silver button on the outer side (doubtless to prevent it slipping too far into the sheath), the pommel is of steel in continuation of the grip; the blade carries the maker's mark. The pricker, circular and tapering, is furnished like the knife.

    Scabbard of wood bound with cuir bouilli pricked and tooled; at the back a chape for slipping over a belt; square steel ferrule.

    Flemish or North German, about 1550.

    De Beaumont Catalogue, no 88; Demnim, 426, fig. 13; Laking, European Armour III, fig. 798.

    Provenance: Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    This type of dagger, known to contemporaries as a ballock or bollock knife, from the two lobes, can be traced in England from the 16th century (e.g. Sir Robert Shurland's effigy, early 14th century, at Minster, Isle of Sheppey, worn by the groom at his feet, and the Wardieue brass, c. 1360, at Bodiam, Sussex), and was very common in England and the Low Countries over a long period; it is seldom found in Central or Southern Europe.

    In the Royal Collection at Windsor (Windsor Castle Armoury, no. 32) is an English dagger of this type belonging to the second half of the 16th century.
    Comparable daggers occur in the work of Pieter Aertzen, including A Peasant Interior, dated 1556, in the Meyer van den Bergh Museum, Antwerp (1933 Cat., no. 43, illus.).