Arma Bohemia Composite Rondel Dagger
Original: 15th century
One of the more ubiquitous dagger types found in medieval times was the so-called rondel dagger
, a modern term used to describe daggers possessing a disc-shaped guard. Early examples show a variety of pommel shapes but as time progressed, these pommels were replaced by a second rondel of similar form as that of the guard. More often than not, these rondels were circular but other examples can be found of faceted and geometrically-shaped styles as well.
By the early 15th century, rondel daggers developed a great deal of variety. A diverse selection of materials was being used in their construction including wood, horn, metal alloys, and bone. The middle part of the century saw composite construction of sandwiched layers of these materials and more ornate adornment.
The piece demonstrated here is a fairly typical example of the composite style. The rondels are each formed of two separate circular metal plates with a disc of black horn sandwiched between. The horn's edges exhibit a carved roped pattern. The grip is also made of horn, carved with decorated motifs and adorned with added bands of metal incised with further decorative elements.
The single-edged blade has an inset spine detail adding visual interest and creating sharpened false edge several inches long. The blade has a thin cross-section but because of its wedge-shaped design is sturdy and stout with a very acute point.
The accompanying scabbard is particularly well done. It comprises a wooden core with several decorative raised bands and is covered in fine black leather stitched up the back. The steel throat and tip compliment the design elements of the hilt and a fluted ball finial completes the ensemble.
See our hands-on review
for more information on this dagger.
Overall length: 16"
Weight: 10 ounches
Blade: 11.25" long; .75" wide tapering to .5"
Hilt length: 4.75"
Maker: Arma Bohemia
of the Czech Republic.