Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > European Armoury

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 15th January 2014, 12:46 PM   #1
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,551
Default Left hand dagger for comments

Arriving next week ...
Seller says European; judging by the few i have seen out there, it could be Italian. Am i correct ?
Date attributed end XVI - beg. XVII century, therefore circa 1600. Would this be correct ... or maybe a bit later ?
Blade lenght 28,5 cms. Total length 39 cms. Third picture is real size.
What do you Gents think about this example ?

.
Attached Images
      
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th January 2014, 07:36 PM   #2
cornelistromp
Member
 
cornelistromp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 976
Default

hi Fernando,

Beautiful dagger,
The pommel is of Norman type 60 and attributed to the first half of the 17th century, mainly known on paintings made in west european countries.

The blade with a flat long ricasso and diamond cross section was frequently found on rapiers at the end of the 16th century.

yes I can agree on 1580-1620, but German or Italian? difficult to tell.

best,
Jasper
cornelistromp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th January 2014, 08:00 PM   #3
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,551
Default

Thank you for the comforting comments, Jasper .
I will file its age and possible origin accordingly.
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th January 2014, 05:28 PM   #4
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,551
Default

Dagger arrived two days ago.
There is something that intrigues me; the interior design of the ring guard. I notice that these features are usually seen in (left hand) parrying daggers of this style, very so often with the same configuration.
My question: is this only a matter of (traditional) decoration or does it have any effectiveness in the handling of these daggers ?

.
Attached Images
 
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2014, 02:36 AM   #5
M ELEY
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,882
Default

That is a spectacular piece, Fernando! You have an amazing ability to find the most desirable pieces! Do my weak eyes play tricks, or does the blade have traces of silver overlay? I'd love one of these for my collection!
M ELEY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2014, 01:36 PM   #6
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,551
Default

Thank you for your flattering comments, Mark. I wish i had a collection based on such reality .
And no, no overlay. The visual efffects that are tricking you are due to the light reflex of excelent pictures taken by the seller.
But an effect that is tricking me is what i suspect to have been the maker's mark, faded by time and wear... which is a pity .
(Both pictures from same front side)

.
Attached Images
  
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2014, 08:07 PM   #7
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,552
Default

Nando, this is I agree a wonderful piece, and I would as always, agree with Jasper's assessment in period. The German and Italian arms producers, as well as Spain, were so closely connected in diffused styles and most factors in arms and armor it would be hard to say which provenance.
This seems to have been heavily cleaned and regrettably the makers poincon is badly indiscernible, especially with the flashback in photos.
Perhaps once in hand in varying lighting it might be more viewable.

Excellent question on the curious parallel ridges and bulge in the ring loop guard, and whether simply motif or associated with production is hard to say. They of course would probably not have any specific purpose, but the ring itself would be a guard to prevent a blade from sliding toward the hand.

All the best
Jim
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2014, 04:00 AM   #8
M ELEY
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,882
Default

I always wondered if the rings on these were used to try and catch the blade's point, much as the long quillons were used? Being that its used in conjunction with the rapier, such a design for deflecting and possibly pinning the blade tip.

Thinking through that some more, I guess it wouldn't make sense to allow the point of an opponent's blade to pass through the ring along the defender's hand!! Interesting why they left the ring open on these early pieces, which later became closed guards...
M ELEY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2014, 05:52 AM   #9
Robert
EAAF Staff
 
Robert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Centerville, Kansas
Posts: 2,196
Default

Hello Fernando, I must agree with the others that this is a most wonderful dagger and that I am quite impressed with the condition it is in for its age. Have you tried doing a rubbing of the makers mark yet? Sometimes they will reveal things not readily seen by the naked eye. My congratulations to you on being able to acquire this very nice piece.

Best,
Robert
Robert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2014, 03:11 PM   #10
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,551
Default

Thank you guys for all your comments.
Yes Jim, your assessmentts on either provenance and ring are more than correct. I have read an article in that a modern study was made on the effectiveness of the use on these daggers parrying ring, before and after its inplementation; te result was largely explicit.
Good points on the parrying issue, Mark; still my question goes for the 'grooves' on the lower part of the ring... as if these were an aiming back sight (sorry the fantasy). However it would be a further long shot to consider those as a 'rail' for the opponents sword to slide in for the breaking move. May i assume, by the way, that i am not a keen follower of the blade breaker system/s, as an actual effective procedure .
Thank you for your compliments and the heads up on the mark clearing, Robert. I must say however that, what has to be rubbed, was already done by the seller's (zealous) cleaning of this piece; no brighter image may longer show up. I will stand glad to, at least, ensure that there is a mark on this blade ... whatever it is
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2014, 05:52 PM   #11
Robert
EAAF Staff
 
Robert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Centerville, Kansas
Posts: 2,196
Default

Hello Fernando, What I meant by a "rubbing" is not a cleaning method. It is when you take a piece of paper, place it over the section of blade that has the makers mark and then using a pencil held so the graphite is at about a 45 deg angle rub it back and forth on the paper gently to reveal the makers mark on the blade underneath. As I am not very good at explaining how this is done, I would recommend a quick Google search on how to make a rubbing.

Best,
Robert
Robert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2014, 06:16 PM   #12
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,551
Default

My bad Robert; should have well understood it.
I have never used such method, though. The enthusiasm is not great in this case either, as the mark is most faded ... and i don't know what to look for ... you know, something expectable.
But i will soon give it a try .
Thanks
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2014, 08:48 PM   #13
Norman McCormick
Member
 
Norman McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,466
Default

Hi Fernando,
Really nice piece , check out BBC Musketeers on Youtube for some left-hand dagger action.
My Regards,
Norman.

Last edited by Norman McCormick; 26th January 2014 at 10:33 PM.
Norman McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 01:54 AM   #14
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,552
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Thank you guys for all your comments.
Yes Jim, your assessmentts on either provenance and ring are more than correct. I have read an article in that a modern study was made on the effectiveness of the use on these daggers parrying ring, before and after its inplementation; te result was largely explicit.
Good points on the parrying issue, Mark; still my question goes for the 'grooves' on the lower part of the ring... as if these were an aiming back sight (sorry the fantasy). However it would be a further long shot to consider those as a 'rail' for the opponents sword to slide in for the breaking move. May i assume, by the way, that i am not a keen follower of the blade breaker system/s, as an actual effective procedure .
Thank you for your compliments and the heads up on the mark clearing, Robert. I must say however that, what has to be rubbed, was already done by the seller's (zealous) cleaning of this piece; no brighter image may longer show up. I will stand glad to, at least, ensure that there is a mark on this blade ... whatever it is

Thank you Nando,
The curious parallel ridges at the bottom of this ring become more of a conundrum, as they seem quite deliberately placed, and outside the normal placement for aesthetic motif. There would seem to be some more pragmatic answer for their presence, but the oft suggested ideas of these or any of the left hand daggers as sword breakers has been regarded by most of the venerable writers as mostly edged weapons lore. The reference most readily at hand being Egerton.
It does seem like the ridges might have some sort of purpose though, and I begin to think of the somewhat mysterious gunner's (bombardiers) stilettos of these periods. Egerton notes that by the 17th century as these daggers in fencing began the end of their use, they had become of a 'reduced' type with blades approximating the stiletto and with a ring guard (p.246).

It would seem to me that the earlier versions of these must have had turks heads on the gripwork, while this has ferrules, more consistant with 17th c (and I would defer to Jasper for verification of that assumption).

It would be interesting to see if rings with these curious parallel 'slots' exist on other ring guards of these periods. Perhaps more context might lead toward plausible purposes for them .

All the best,
Jim
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 09:02 AM   #15
cornelistromp
Member
 
cornelistromp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 976
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Thank you Nando,


It would seem to me that the earlier versions of these must have had turks heads on the gripwork, while this has ferrules, more consistant with 17th c (and I would defer to Jasper for verification of that assumption).

It would be interesting to see if rings with these curious parallel 'slots' exist on other ring guards of these periods. Perhaps more context might lead toward plausible purposes for them .

All the best,
Jim
Hi Jim and Fernando,

in the middle of the 16th century were, next to Turkish knots, copper soldered rings used to fix the binding of the grip. I believe that this development has started in Italy, you can also find it on late 15thC italian swords of type XVIII.

I do believe the notches inside the ring guard have a job other then decoration , I'm not behind the function yet.
One explanation may be that it prevents sticking your index finger like holding a rapier through the ringguard. as a warning signal in the heat of a fight.

I tried to lock a rapier blade inside a dagger ringguard in the notch however this seems not possible, because the fingers of your left hand are in the way.

maybe someone has a better explanation?


best,
jasper
Attached Images
    

Last edited by cornelistromp; 27th January 2014 at 12:03 PM.
cornelistromp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 01:18 PM   #16
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,551
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
Hi Fernando,
Really nice piece , check out BBC Musketeers on Youtube for some left-hand dagger action.
My Regards,
Norman.
A big McThank you Norman
I have meanwhile checked on some Youtube Spanish clips and they are impressive. Will check on that one as well.
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 01:25 PM   #17
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,551
Default

Thdsnks a lot for your input, Jim.
As i read your lines, i notice that Jasper has also posted his opinion on the ferrules you questioned as also on the ring guard features i am wondering about.
Let's see what he says
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 01:40 PM   #18
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,551
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornelistromp
... in the middle of the 16th century were, next to Turkish knots, copper soldered rings used to fix the binding of the grip. I believe that this development has started in Italy, you can also find it on late 15thC italian swords of type XVIII.
I do believe the notches inside the ring guard have a job other then decoration, I'm not behind the function yet.
One explanation may be that it prevents sticking your index finger like holding a rapier through the ringguard. as a warning signal in the heat of a fight.
I tried to lock a rapier blade inside a dagger ringguard in the notch however this seems not possible, because the fingers of your left hand are in the way...
Bedankt hoor, Jasper for your lines and the magnificent exemplification pictures.
That being shown and said, i now tend to believe that those notches are now no more than a symbolic condensation, reflecting some earlier and more explicit expression of an actual purpose. Let's see if someone chimes in with further enlightening .
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 11:23 PM   #19
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,552
Default

You are welcome Nando!
Good suggestions by Robert on the rubbing. The only thing is if this has been aggressively cleaned, the relief in the marking will not lend to the design being transmitted to the paper. Despite this sometimes there might be evidence of the desecrated marking that might be seen in varying lighting.. beyond this I suppose the X-ray might be next.

Interesting suggestion Jasper on the purpose of the parallel lines inside the ring, sort of a temporal reminder or paternoster effect to get your finger outa there.
Good points on the metal ferrules also used on less ornamented examples I suppose rather than turks heads.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 11:50 PM   #20
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,552
Default

Just going through "Armi Bianche Italiene" (Boccia & Coelho, 1975) and there are a number of 'crab claw' type daggers of this type, some listed as 'pugnale da duello'. Most (#575/7677/78) are from N Italy and seem to range 1570-1600.
Most interesting that one has virtually the same parallel ridges inside the ring and a peak at the top of the ridge. Another has three ridges inside; another ridges on the outside. In another the ridges have a more stylized effect.
I would be inclined to submit these are more decorative nuances and perhaps elements of 'personalized' style of certain makers? or if these are indeed 'duelling' daggers, perhaps some now forgotten 'signal' known to this particular social strata of the times. Intriguing , yes?
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2014, 12:12 PM   #21
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,551
Default

Good resource on Armi Bianche Italiene, Jim. How did i fail to consult it ? Definitely my alzheimer quota is greater than yours .
Indeed the examples are numerous; example #550 has a pommel similar to the one in mine ... do i see it right ?
I take it that calling these Pungnale da duello is just an option for a different name of the same parrying / left hand / main gauche / mano sinistra weapon. I like the portrait of the Cavaliere di Malta ( #568/569 ) bearing one of these on his waist.
Indeed the ridges have rather varied designs ... many more than i thought before. It could then be a sort of signature of the smith ... or a symbol typical of each region ?
One thing i guess we should put apart is its use for sword (tip) breaking; in a quick test i notice that the ring is not "flexible" enough to lodge the different blade widths and, above all, you would have to cut your hand to let the opponents penetrate in the ring, which id a not a plausible move .
Still i have this fixation that, despite its varied shapes, those ridges resemble an aiming sight. Oh forget it .
.
Attached Images
   

Last edited by fernando; 28th January 2014 at 12:25 PM.
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2014, 07:18 PM   #22
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,552
Default

Actually Nando that book is huge, and consumes a huge part of the living space here in the bookmobile, so its hard to forget about
Good point (no pun intended) on this ring being pretty unlikely to catch the opponents sword, and it would take the collaboration and cooperation of both parties to accomplish this.....way unlikely!

Nando, you must let this 'aiming' fixation go! I say as your counselor, it is not healthy and only imaginary, just say to yourself, its not real!!

Now I admit my fixation remains that these curious elements in these rings are like many such nuanced features on remarkably similar items produced by makers as sort of marks of individuality. I recall years ago visiting the blacksmith shop in Arkansas where the first Bowie knives were made. I was told that James Black, who is generally held to be the first maker of these famed knives, always 'notched' his blades. There was naturally no actual purpose for this feature, despite many attempts to prove otherwise, but it was distinctly a touch added to declare his authorship according to these versions.
I cannot help believing that in an atmosphere of intrigues and secrecy present with the stilettoes, the Council of Ten, dueling itself and other factors in these times in Italy, that there might be nuanced meaning to such features as well. Naturally, such things by their very nature of secrecy, are lost with those who knew them, so can likely never be proven, but remain fascinating plausibilities.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2014, 09:56 PM   #23
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,551
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Actually Nando that book is huge, and consumes a huge part of the living space here in the bookmobile, so its hard to forget about ...
Ah, my copy is rather smaller, as it is a special edition made for some kind of presentation and the part with the makers marks is missing ... much to my regret . And i don't leave in a bookmobile; space would be enough for the complete copy here in the apartment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... Good point (no pun intended) on this ring being pretty unlikely to catch the opponents sword, and it would take the collaboration and cooperation of both parties to accomplish this.....way unlikely!...
Unless you were duelling in a circus .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... Nando, you must let this 'aiming' fixation go! I say as your counselor, it is not healthy and only imaginary, just say to yourself, its not real!! ...
Alright, fixation gone; no medicines needed .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... Now I admit my fixation remains that these curious elements in these rings are like many such nuanced features on remarkably similar items produced by makers as sort of marks of individuality. I recall years ago visiting the blacksmith shop in Arkansas where the first Bowie knives were made. I was told that James Black, who is generally held to be the first maker of these famed knives, always 'notched' his blades. There was naturally no actual purpose for this feature, despite many attempts to prove otherwise, but it was distinctly a touch added to declare his authorship according to these versions.
I cannot help believing that in an atmosphere of intrigues and secrecy present with the stilettoes, the Council of Ten, dueling itself and other factors in these times in Italy, that there might be nuanced meaning to such features as well. Naturally, such things by their very nature of secrecy, are lost with those who knew them, so can likely never be proven, but remain fascinating plausibilities...
A sustainable thesis, yes sir .

.
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2014, 06:53 PM   #24
katana
Member
 
katana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Kent
Posts: 2,653
Default

Hi 'Nando,
nice piece ......could the grooves in the ring guard be / or part of a primitive guide/fixing to attach to a musket. Would make a good bayonet. Musketeers of the late 17th early 18th C would be equipped with musket, rapier and main gauche. In battle it would be handy to have a bayonet (of sorts) without having to carry extra equipment

The grooves orientate the blade at the same aspect ....horizontal ...ideal for puncturing ribcages

All the best
David
katana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2014, 01:47 PM   #25
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,551
Default

Thank you David,
Imagination is something you are not short of .
Pehaps the musket coupling bayonet appeared a bit later ?
... and in a different manner
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2014, 01:06 PM   #26
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,551
Default

So it seems as some of us are not familiar with this sort of daggers; even think they are bayonets ... not referring to David.
Athough there are plenty clips in the Internet figuring fencers using sword & left hand dagger, i have chosen a couple pictures to upload here, due to their genuine romantic approach.
We can see this is rather an old style of duelling.
The first woodcut, for one, is dated 1570; belongs in the collection of Rainer Daehnhardt. The other one is rather suggestive too.
If you watch some contemporary clips you will notice that the position of the fencers is prety much the same.

.
Attached Images
  
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.