The Wallace Collection

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Parrying dagger with scabbard
  • Parrying dagger with scabbard
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1585 - c. 1610
  • Steel, copper, wood, gold and velvet, blued, chased, etched and gilt
  • Length: 40 cm
    Width: 2.4 cm, blade at guard
    Weight: 0.34 kg, dagger
    Weight: 0.085 kg, scabbard
    Length: 27 cm, blade
    Width: 14.8 cm, guard
  • A808
  • European Armoury II
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Parrying dagger, of exceptional quality, the hilt made up of a hexagonal-cylinder pommel, with button; diagonally fluted grip, tapering to the pommel, and bound with copper wire; large, curved guard of oblong section, bent forward and terminating in disks; single side-ring. The hilt is of blued steel with oval panels of fruit and masks chased in low relief.

    The blade is of flattened diamond section, deeply grooved down the centre, with a triple groove at the ricasso, the grooving pierced and decorated with delicate patterns, engrailed borders, etched and gilt.

    Scabbard of wood covered with black velvet (worn) and mounted with a locket and ferrule of blued steel, decorated like the hilt; at the back a loop (diagonally placed) for suspension; there is a pocket for a small knife or pricker (now missing).

    German, about 1585-1610.

    Norman and Barne, 1980, p. 373.

    Provenance: E. Juste (Dague noire avec garniture de fourreau, lame striée et repercée à jour, 300 fr.; receipted bill, 1 October 1869, but purchase dated 29 April); Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    Compare the chasing of the hilt A593.

    The decoration of A785 is very similar. Another very similar dagger and scabbard is in the Musée du Louvre (inv. no. P325-348). One or other may be the dagger complete with knife, formerly in the Meyrick Collection (Skelton, II, pl. CX, no. 12). This type of decoration occurs on a sword hilt in the Electoral Armoury at Dresden, known to have been given to the Elector Christian I in 1580, as well as on the hilt of the sword, also at Dresden, of Joachim Friedrich of Brandenburg, which according to the 1671 Inventory had been his while he was Administrator of Halle, that is between 1566 and 1598 (Historisches Museum, 1899 cat., nos. E251 and E288 respectively). The second of these has been attributed to Othmar Wetter (Haenel, 1923, pl. 56 f). For a note on this type of decoration see also A589. It occurs also on A608, 618, 619, 620, 622, 785 and 798.