The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Stiletto
  • Stiletto
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy
  • c. 1640
  • Steel, chiselled
  • Length: 20.4 cm
    Width: 1.1 cm
    Weight: 0.17 kg
  • A857
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Stiletto, with a mushroom-shaped pommel made of three separate sections, the top hollow and pierced with foliage, and small button; grip of baluster form and chiselled with acanthus leaves; short turned guard with knobs like the pommel; hexagonal guard-block; the entire hilt of bright steel; blade of diamond section, each facet having four oval depressions (A852). It is moulded near the hilt. The tang-button, the pierced dome and the lower part including the neck.

    Italian, about 1640, or later.

    A very similar dagger was in the William Meyrick Collection (Illustrated catalogue, 1861, pl. 63 right; sold Christie's, 21 February 1922, lot 20), another is in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (no. 26.145.126; Dean, Daggers, 1929, no. 213, pl. LXV). The blade of the New York dagger closely resembles that of A857.

    This type of pommel and matching knobs on the ends of the guard are also found on a group of light dress swords, for instance one in the Armeria Reale, Turin, no. G130, signed GBS (Mazzini, 1982, no. 156).