The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Dagger
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Pommel- possibly France; guard- North Europe
  • c. 1600 and c. 1650
    c. 1650 (guard)
    c. 1650 (pommel)
    c. 1600 (blade)
  • Steel, chiselled and blackened
  • Length: 40.6 cm
    Length: 26.6 cm, blade
    Width: 2.4 cm
    Weight: 0.41 kg
  • A820
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Dagger, a modern composition, the hilt, from a light dress sword, is made up of a flattened, spherical pommel of steel, chiselled with intricate combats and grotesques in high relief, the button is quatrefoil in section; interlaced, wire-bound grip of oval section; short, spatulate guard, with an oval shell-guard at the side. The whole hilt is blackened and decorated in low relief with recumbent classical figures and musicians; a castle and a village are portrayed on the inner side of the guard.

    Blade of diamond section, from a parrying dagger, deeply grooved and pierced in the centre, the ricasso flattened on the inner side for placement of the thumb.

    The guard is from a light dress sword of about 1650. The transversally elongated shell-guard fitted on the guard-block outside the hand is turned towards the blade. The buildings in the decoration are of distinctively North European type. The associated pommel probably comes from a small-sword similar to A685, but of a lower quality.

    Pommel, possibly French; guard North European, both about 1650; blade probably about 1600.

    A comparable hilt, but with human terminal figures forming the guard, is on a sword in the Danish Royal Collection (Rosenborg, no. 27). The 1696 Royal Inventory describes it as the rapier of Frederik III (1609-70).