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Object Title

Dagger - Ear Dagger

Dagger - Ear Dagger

Date

1490-1510

Object Number

X.258

Provenance

Presented 1947. Ex de Cosson (de Cosson sale, 1946, lot 121) and Mallett Collections.

Physical Description

Circular, outward-splayed 'ears' the inner faces of cast brass gilt, the outer of ivory with raised central bosses, consisting of three brass discs and three of ivory with a brass washer around the steel rivet securing the boss. The grips are formed of narrow ivory plaques riveted in turn to flat brass strips then to the thick tang - the edges of which are etched and gilt with floral scrolls. The stiff, hollow diamond section blade has an asymmetrical ricasso longer at the back than the front and etched with masks and foliage. The guard consists of a small rondel faced with ivory with brass plates on each face. The edges of the ricasso are etched and gilt with guilloche.

Featured in

Techniques

Gilding

Materials

Dimensions

BladeLength193 mm
OverallLength317 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

none

Associations

Places Italy/Europe

Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and A. Borg 1974 European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London, London: pl. 96

C. Paggiarino, The Royal Armouries, masterpieces of medieval and renaissance arms and armour, Milan, 2011, volume 1

Notes

A similar dagger is in a private collection (see IBE) (brought in for examination, December 1988)

Thumbnail image of Ear dagger. Italian, 16th century. X.258
Thumbnail image of Ear dagger. Italian, 16th century. X.258
Thumbnail image of Ear dagger. Italian, 16th century. X.258
Thumbnail image of Ear dagger. Italian, 16th century. X.258
Thumbnail image of Ear dagger. Italian, 16th century. X.258
Thumbnail image of Dagger - Ear Dagger richly decorated with gilt and ivory. The two flattened discs or plaques either side of the top of the grip, in place of the more conventional pommel, are what define this particular group of daggers and give them their name.
Thumbnail image of Dagger - Ear Dagger richly decorated with gilt and ivory. The two flattened discs or plaques either side of the top of the grip, in place of the more conventional pommel, are what define this particular group of daggers and give them their name.
Thumbnail image of Dagger - Ear Dagger richly decorated with gilt and ivory. The two flattened discs or plaques either side of the top of the grip, in place of the more conventional pommel, are what define this particular group of daggers and give them their name.
Thumbnail image of Dagger - Ear Dagger richly decorated with gilt and ivory. The two flattened discs or plaques either side of the top of the grip, in place of the more conventional pommel, are what define this particular group of daggers and give them their name.
Thumbnail image of Dagger - Ear Dagger richly decorated with gilt and ivory. The two flattened discs or plaques either side of the top of the grip, in place of the more conventional pommel, are what define this particular group of daggers and give them their name.
Thumbnail image of Dagger - Ear Dagger richly decorated with gilt and ivory. The two flattened discs or plaques either side of the top of the grip, in place of the more conventional pommel, are what define this particular group of daggers and give them their name.
Thumbnail image of Ear dagger. Italian, 16th century. X.258