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Lot 0141A
Western Europe, ca. 16th century CE. A sharp, deadly steel left-handed dagger, personalized for its owner. Swirling incised designs flow from the upper portion of the blade down a broad central ridge that tapers with the blade to a fine point. The quillion (guard) is decorative, with a curved design; above this, the handle is made of dark horn capped with amber and then metal with an iron pin through the top of the pommel to hold all the elements of the handle in place. Comes with custom stand. Size: 10.55" L x 1.95" W (26.8 cm x 5 cm); height on stand: 10.75" (27.3 cm)

Although this dagger is decorative, do not let that fool you - it would have been a crucial part of a man's wardrobe, kept at the ready for action. Daggers during the Renaissance were multi-purpose tools, invaluable in melee fighting, and particularly useful when paired with the rapier, which came from Italy and Spain around 1500 CE. By the 1540s, we see many daggers like this one, made to be held in the left hand while the sword was held in the right. Like this one, they commonly had a ring-guard in front of the quillion and the pommel. The incised decorative elements were probably made to match their paired weapon, and reflect the beauty and attention to design of craftsmen in the Renaissance period.

Provenance: Ex-Private San Francisco, CA collection

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#120062

Condition

Blade and guard have dark patina and surface wear/pitting in its lower two-thirds. Design incised on upper portion of blade is clear. Horn on grip has dark patina; small chips and one small area of loss in the area where it meets the amber at the pommel. The amber has an area of loss that is visible only from one side.

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16th C. European Dagger - Amber, Steel & Horn

Estimate $900 - $1,400Feb 9, 2017