The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Parrying dagger
  • Parrying dagger
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Spain
  • probably c. 1675
  • Steel, chiselled and chased
  • Length: 41.8 cm
    Width: 2.4 cm
    Weight: 0.665 kg
  • Maker's mark Stamped
  • A827
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Further Reading
  • Parrying dagger, of ‘main gauge’ type, comprised of a hollow, pear-shaped pommel with button, pierced and chased with foliage; hollow, steel grip of circular section, similar decorated; straight guard chased with leaves and pierced near the ends, which are finished with knobs; triangular knuckle-guard (riveted to the guard), the edges turned over, with two small shells (guardapolvo) on the inner side; the knuckle-guard is elaborately pierced and chiselled on both sides with scrolled foliage, the pommel includes a serpent, the grip a nude figure, deer and a monkey; the blade of triangular section at the hilt, the back-edge notched diagonally, changing to diamond section at the point; the flat ricasso has two holes for sword-catching and the usual oval depression on the inner side for the thumb; it is decorated with punched dots to form a cross on a mound, and stamped on each side with a maker's mark.

    Spanish, probably about 1675.

    A parrying dagger bearing the same mark is in the Musée de l’Armée at Brussels (former Porte de Hal collection), no. VI, 54.

    This piece is of the finest quality. Compare the cross on a mound punched on the ricasso with a similar detail on A825 and 829. The guards appear to match those of the rapier A652. The pommel and grip are associated, coming originally from a walking stick. A comparable example is in the Bargello, Florence.