The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Parrying dagger
  • Parrying dagger
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy
  • probably 1650- 1675
  • Steel, chiselled and engraved
  • Length: 38.5 cm
    Width: 2.4 cm
    Weight: 0.56 kg
  • Maker's mark
  • A828
  • European Armoury II
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Parrying dagger, of ‘main guache’ type, the hilt made up of a flattened, spherical pommel, with large button, engraved; spirally fluted wire-bound grip; straight cross-guard, spirally fluted, ending in rosette-shaped knobs; triangular knuckle-guard, the edge strongly recurved, pierced and chiselled with scrolls of conventional flowers, leaves and birds.

    The undecorated blade is of triangular section towards the hilt, changing to diamond section half-way to the point, the back-edge notched; the strong ricasso has a hollow depression on the inner side for the thumb, the edges notched, and pierced with two holes for sword-breaking; it bears a maker's mark on one side resembling that upon the parrying dagger A829. The dagger A 825 is of similar workmanship.

    Probably third quarter 17th century; hilt possibly Italian (Neapolitan?).

    De Beaumont Catalogue, no. 53 and pl. 4. L' art ancien, I, 26; Peterson,
    Daggers and fighting knives, 1968, pl. 57.

    Exhibited: Musée Rétrospectif, 1865, no. 1840.

    This dagger and the rapier A647, are reproduced together on plate 4 and are presumably described by De Beaumont under the same number in his catalogue (53).

    Provenance: Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    A rather similar hilt formerly in the Spitzer collection (1892 cat., vol. VI, no. 220, pl. XXXV), and now in the Detroit Institute of Arts (no. 53.216), is inscribed on the hilt LAVRENTIVS PALVMBO DE NEAPOLI FECIT 1551. The date was probably originally either 1651 or 1661.