Object Title

Dagger - Ballock dagger

Dagger - Ballock dagger


First half of the 16th century

Object Number



Found beneath Southwark Bridge.

Physical Description

Wooden grip of slightly elliptical profile, flaring out into the pommel. The pommel cap is of copper alloy and is a small dome surmounted by a button. The quillons are globular. The blade is single edged and of a kite shaped section tapering down to a point. There are finely etched patterns just above the shouler of the quillons. On the left hand side of the blade are two parrallel bands with geometric patterns and a floral desgin above, or possibly of feathers. The etching on the right hand side of the blade is faint and almost indecipherable, but appears to be floral or of feathers again. It appears that this pattern may have been repeated along the length of the blade on both sides, although the markings are very faint.




BladeLength302 mm
OverallLength424 mm
OverallWeight320 g

Inscriptions and Marks

repeating double parallel bands containing geometric designs, in between which are floral designs
Along the length of both sides of the blade

Bibliographic References

G Rimer, T Richardson and J P D Cooper, Henry VIII: arms and the man, Leeds, 2009, p.223


X-rayed 14/10/98 for comparison with enquiry Dep A0425

The wooden grip was examined by Dr Allan Hall, a consultant archaeobotanist, on 27 October 2000. His findings were as follows: 'This object presented the same difficulties as X.1704[see entry for X.1704]; it, too was a hardwood'.