The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Dagger
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany or Switzerland
  • c. 1530 - c. 1540
  • Steel, horn, pewter and copper alloy, inlaid and carved
  • Length: 32.6 cm, blade
    Length: 10.4 cm, hilt
    Width: 2.5 cm
    Weight: 0.24 kg
  • Maker's mark: 'R' inlaid in copper alloy
  • A812
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Dagger, the steel hilt made up of a flat, disk-shaped pommel decorated with petals in relief; very short guard, the rosette-shaped ends of which are bent parallel to the blade; horn grip rusticated in squared facets, the centres of which are spotted with pewter nails.

    The blade is of diamond section, stiff and with the point strongly reinforced; short, doubly grooved ricasso, on which a maker's mark, the letter R, is inlaid in copper alloy.

    Swiss or German, about 1530-40.

    De Beaumont Catalogue, no. 85; Viollet-le-Duc, V, p. 319.

    Provenance: E. Juste (Dague de XVe siècle à manche en corne sculptée à noeuds comme celui de la dague du Musée de Dijon, 300 fr.; receipted bill, 16 June, 1868); Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    The mark of the letter R also occurs on the Landsknecht daggers A752 and A777, and two Swiss daggers of 'Holbein' type in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (Dean, cat. of daggers, nos. 12 and 15), the former, ex-Reubell Collection, being dated 1567; and on a dagger formerly in the Cozens-Smith Collection.

    A like dagger is in the Musée de Dijon (Dijon, no. 1491, p. 423); another in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (no. W1758 reproduced by Hefner-Alteneck, Waffen, Taf. 59), the find site is unfortunately unknown. A series of five daggers in the Musée de l' Armée (Robert, II, J783-7, pp. 172-3 and pl. 10, S 134) also bear, with one exception, the letter R as a maker's mark. One is dated 1561, another 1563.

    What is probably a pommel of this type is represented in the portrait of Friedrich Rorbach, painted by Conrad Faber in 1532 (Art Institute of Chicago, no. 1935-296).