Tod's Stuff Landsknecht Dagger
Original: Circa 1510-20
Like the garishly dressed Landsknecht
soldiers of the 16th century, the form of daggers associated with them is also lavishly ornate. Often present are distinctive embellishments intended to recreate the so-called puff and slash
style found on the clothes of the time or other decorative motifs inspired by organic shapes including roping and writhen details.
Many scholars state that the Landsknecht
dagger type may have derived from the rondel dagger
, though Ewart Oakeshott
noted that it is more likely a distinct form of its own with an equally deliberate design. Regardless, the upper part of the grip of many forms of these daggers is also often a flat disc shape like that of the rondel dagger. Such examples almost always feature a grip that flares upwards towards the pommel and is frequently ribbed horizontally or is spiraled. A variety of guards can be found on the type, more often than not being comprised of flattened lobes flaring out as two leaf-shaped quillons and a larger third acting as a central guard.
An antique dagger, circa 1510-20, found at the Hermann Historica
auction house has many features described above. It has a complex double-edged blade with four fullers and a guard comprised of short brass quillons with a side ring. The grip is turned fruitwood covered in leather and brass bands.
Using that particular antique as inspiration, the piece featured here has a simplified blade form that is a hand-forged hollow-ground flattened diamond cross-section. It's a very substantial blade, having a spine that is 8mm thick nearest the hilt.
The grip is made of hand-turned pear tree wood that has been soaked in linseed oil. The horizontal ribbing gives the appearance of thick stacked rings. It has been left uncovered and is extremely comfortable in the hand and very attractive.
The guard has been cut and filed from a solid piece of brass. It has a single side ring with deep roped detail and two smaller quillons branching back from it. The pommel cap has scalloped edges rolled over the grip's end and is etched with fine lines emanating from the tang button.
The scabbard is made from two layers of leather and is dyed a dark muted red color. Its fittings are designed to complement the dagger's features and have roped edge details and a decorative roped ball as a finial. A single ring is attached to the back as a mounting point for wearing.
Overall length: 13.625"
Weight: 7 ounces
Blade: 8.625" long; 1.125" wide tapering to .5"
Hilt length: 5"
Maker: Tod's Stuff
of Oxford, United Kingdom.
This piece is inspired by an example from the early 16th century located in a private collection.