The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Parrying dagger
  • Parrying dagger
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Spain or Italy
  • probably 3rd quarter of 17th century
  • Steel, pierced and chiselled
  • Length: 39.7 cm
    Width: 1 cm
    Weight: 0.64 kg
  • Maker's mark: Crowned 'B'
  • A831
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Parrying dagger, of ‘main gauche’ type, the hilt made up of a flattened spherical pommel, spirally fluted, with button; fluted, wire-bound grip; straight cross-guard, grooved and ending in terminals in the form of foliage; triangular knuckle-guard, the edges strongly recurved, pierced and chiselled in relief with a composition of putti, two of whom support a basket of flowers, and birds among conventional flowers and fruit; the knuckle-guard is of unusual thickness, so that the decoration is moulded in higher relief than usual.

    The narrow blade is of oblong section; the ricasso widens to two-and-a-half inches at the hilt, boldly chiselled in low relief with the double-headed eagle on one side, and rather crude foliage on the other; hollow for placement of the thumb, the edges notched and pierced with two circular holes for sword-catching; it is stamped on both sides with a maker's mark: the letter B crowned.

    Spanish or Neapolitan, probably third quarter of the 17th century.

    Exhibited: ? Musée Rétrospectif, 1865, no. 1920 (F. Spitzer). L' Art Ancien, IV, no. 567.

    Provenance: Frédéric Spitzer.

    Compare the eagle on the ricasso of A830.

    Peterson, Daggers and fighting knives, 1968, pl. 55.