Object Title

Dagger - Ballock Dagger

Dagger - Ballock Dagger



Object Number



Found on the Thames foreshore at Bankside, near the Anchor Tavern, 21 January 1986. Previously deposit no. 262.

Physical Description

Of a type in use during the fourteenth, fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. The wooden grip is of rounded-lozenge section and tapers away from the blade before swelling to form a cap in one with the grip, surmounted by a copper alloy quatrefoil washer for the tang button. Nearest the blade is a pair of swollen lobes faced with a metal plate.
The straight, single-edged blade has a back-edge with a raised central ridge. On one face of the blade just below the hilt is an inlaid, oblong copper mark, now illegible.
The dagger is in excavated condition. The cutting edge of the blade has rusted away along most of its length.




BladeLength228 mm
BladeWidth19 mm
OverallLength335 mm
OverallWeight150 g

Inscriptions and Marks

maker's mark
oblong copper-alloy inlay mark, now illegible
on blade, below hilt



For a broadly similar, though somewhat larger dagger, which is also from the Thames, see X.720. Another, from the River Ouse near Ely, was seen by A.V.B. Norman in the Kings Lynn Museum, 1983 (A.V.B.N's notes). The mark on the latter is clearer but is also basically of oblong shape.