The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Parrying dagger
  • Parrying dagger
  • Diego de Cuenca
  • Cuenca or Toledo, Spain
  • c. 1675
    probably c. 1675 (hilt)
    probably later than c.1675 (blade)
  • Steel and copper, chiselled, chased, etched and engraved
  • Length: 48.1 cm
    Width: 1.7 cm
    Weight: 0.62 kg
  • Inscription: 'DIDACVS ACVENCA FACIEBAT / [DIDACVS A CVENCA FACIEBAT] / HOMNI AVINCID AMOR / [OMNIA VINCIT AMOR]'
  • A826
  • European Armoury II
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Parrying dagger, of ‘main gauche’ type, composed of a flattened spherical pommel, with button, chiselled with scrolled foliage in low relief; copper wire-bound grip; straight guard, spirally fluted and chased, ending in rosette-shaped knobs; triangular knuckle-guard (screwed to the guard), pierced and chiselled with scrolled foliage and berries or grapes; the edges recurved and fluted; narrow blade of oblong section towards the hilt, changing to flattened diamond section half-way to the point; the lower part has notched edges, and is decorated with scrolled foliage; the foible is engraved on one side, and on the other inscribed:

    DIDACVS ACVENCA FACIEBAT (an erasure following)
    [DIDACVS A CVENCA FACIEBAT]

    HOMNI AVINCID AMOR (an erasure following)
    [OMNIA VINCIT AMOR]

    The ricasso has an oval depression on the inner side for placement of the thumb and the outer etched with foliage; between the ricasso and the blade are two semi-circular sword-catching notches.

    Hilt probably about 1675; blade Spanish (Cuenca or Toledo), probably later.

    L' Art Ancien, IV, no. 567.

    Provenance: Frédéric Spitzer.

    The maker's name would translate as Diego de Cuenca. There was a Juan de Cuenca working at Valencia in 1603, and a Francisco de Cuenca at Madrid in 1613. The erasure in the first line of the inscription probably removed a date. It does not occur in the second half of the inscription.