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Parrying dagger
  • Date: c. 1675
    probably c. 1675 (hilt)
    probably later than c.1675 (blade)
  • Medium: Steel and copper, chiselled, chased, etched and engraved
  • Length: 48.1 cm
  • Width: 1.7 cm
  • Weight: 0.62 kg
  • Inv: A826
  • Location: European Armoury II
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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)

    HOMNI AVINCID AMOR (an erasure following)

    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.