Vince Evans Highland Dirk
Original: Scotland, mid-18th century
An Englishman named Richard James (1592-1638) traveled to Scotland around 1615 and took note that Scottish Highlanders carried a "longe kind of dagger broade in ye backe and sharpe at ye point which they call a durcke
." This is a reference to what we now call the Scottish dirk
, a uniquely recognizable weapon of the Highland Clans.
By the time dirks had developed into their full-fledged forms, they were mounted with well-fitting metal parts and intricately carved grips. The piece shown here is a representation of such a type.
The haunches on this example are not bulbous as they are on earlier forms, but are instead flattened and flared out with brass reinforcing straps on their sides that attach to a curved guard plate that joins to the blade. The grip is intricately carved with fluted bands mimicking the look of interlaced leather. The top of the grip continues upward until it flares outwards to form a circular disc where it is covered with a pommel cap. Fine incised lines and hatch marks decorate the brass parts.
The straight blade is single-edged with a thick spine and tapers to a robust and very acute point. A wide fuller extends down the spine from the hilt almost to the tip. A maker's mark can be seen on one side of the blade within the fuller and a signature on the other.
Textured black leather covers the wood-cored scabbard and brass mounts mimicking the same design elements of the hilt are present top and bottom. A loop of leather attaches to a D-ring on the back.
Overall length: 15.125"
Weight: 7 ounces
Width of guard: 1.5"
Blade: 11.125" long; 1.125" wide tapering to .5"
Grip and pommel: 3.625" long
Maker: Vince Evans
This item has been retired from the collection.