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B. Fulton





Joined: 28 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2008 3:15 pm    Post subject: 1100s daggers         Reply with quote

Looking for a dagger appropriate for re-enacting, English Norman of the 1120-1150s time frame. Not quite sure what falls into that time period, I think ballock daggers (which I can get) are a bit later than that.

Any ideas?
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Sean Smith





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PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2008 3:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really, we got nothing. As far as I am aware, there are exactly 0 extant daggers from this era, along with almost nothing in iconographic evidence to give us a clue. The saex was falling out of favor with the Normans by this time, and the next closest we can get is 13th century evidence. I would love to see more information come out about this, but am doubtful.
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2008 3:50 pm    Post subject: Early dagger thread         Reply with quote

There is some early dagger info in this thread.

Early Daggers

Sadly as stated above there is not a great deal of solid info and I know several people that are actively searching for any clues to help in identifying material from this period but there is not a lot to go on as yet.

Best
Craig
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just for my own clarification, is the A & A special #216 Aunlaz medieval dagger not considered close to this period?
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=12446

There was a reference to illustrations of a similar type in 11th century medieval Bible. Based upon that, I too had thought to buy or make one similar as being roughly credible to 12th century era.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Sean Smith





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PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You are correct, possibly. What I see in that thread is that it has been based in the 13th-14th century fairly solidly, as there is significant evidence to do so. The 11th century bible link is a bit more tenuous IMO. Mostly because it is a fairly simply line drawing, without much other evidence to help verify it.
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2008 6:45 pm    Post subject: Early dagger dating         Reply with quote

Hi Jared and Sean

Sean covered it pretty well. The dagger we based on is an example in the Royal Armouries and is dated to the 13th-14th C. period. I do not have the actual museum description of this and my guess is it is based on type and style as opposed to find place and context, but that maybe wrong. The dagger style is seen all over the Maciejowski Bible and in the Bible illustration that Craig Peters came across. It is my humble opinion that several of these items represent daggers, and one is obviously in a style that would be in the same family as this type of dagger. The cross guard in the Hrabanus Maurus Monte Cassino example has what appears to be a straighter guard.

The end result being I feel this is solid enough evidence to look at these dagger types as being possible for the period of the Bible, 1022-1035. The illustrations we do have from later works, like the Maciejowski Bible, fit well with these as being earlier styles and unless the Cassino Manuscript is redated in some way it gives us a solid piece of evidence to work forward from.

Best
Craig
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Sean Smith





Joined: 31 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2008 7:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry if I stole some of your thunder, Craig. I am one of about 5-6 people on the Armour Archive who have an uspoken agreement that if we find anything on other forums relating to this topic, we let each other know. So far the search has been pretty fruitless. Hoping that someone else comes on and proves me wrong about extant examples. I agree that the A&A dagger is one of the best guesses we have for this time, if the dating for the Cassino manuscript is correct. Is it too much to ask for ONE solid example from this timeperiod?

Has anyone looked into the "Book of Testaments" to see if there are any daggers in there? I see a few swords. Unfortunately, the only place I know printing it is Moleiro Books, who are extremely expensive. They also have the Cardena Beatus.

http://www.moleiro.com/base.php?p=LTestamentos/en
http://www.moleiro.com/base.php?p=BC/en
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2008 8:58 pm    Post subject: Hey Sean         Reply with quote

Hi Sean

No worries, got no thunder to steal Happy You may respectfully add me to your list if you find examples. I have been tracking this for a long while and as far as I know the Cassino info is the earliest I have been able to nail down for central Europe. The Viking sax/knife group has several examples and some looking quite modern so I think the dissemination of these south and the slightly later examples we have of being indicative of what was there can narrow it quite a bit.

But it is not like having it on the paper or on the wall. I am guessing there are examples out there like the Cassino example that will fill out the picture, its just finding them. I have been trying to find a copy of that material with the text so we can see if they have commentary on what is pictured but no luck as yet.

Best
Craig
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B. Fulton





Joined: 28 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2008 1:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys...... I'll be in Leeds in about two weeks and be taking a lot of pics, so maybe I'll throw some up on here.


I'll look in to A&A's. As a Crusading-era Norman Englishman, who quite literally "has" been on Crusade (I've been to Israel and I just got back from a deployment) maybe I could get away with carrying a jambiyah.... Hmm....
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2008 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello everyone, I also share a keen interest in this issue.

The dearth of extant examples is certainly frustrating. I have recently received a beautiful custom broken back seax of the period (950-1050) inspired by the honey lane example.

I believe that A knife like mine could have been used by an anglo-saxon warrior at Senlac, though I do believ this would be less likely for Norman solder. Also this knife would be perhaps a bit old fashioned by the 1100's.

In any case I love it and for now it fills a date aleast within one hundread years of my period of highest interest.

I tried to post a picture but could not figure it out. You can see it in the Maker and Manufacturers forum under the post: "Jeremy has a new toy).

Thanks,
Jeremy
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B. Fulton





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PostPosted: Tue 16 Sep, 2008 10:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Any updates on this?

Anyone else have ideas, clues, or general suggestions?
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 17 Sep, 2008 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Smith wrote:
The 11th century bible link is a bit more tenuous IMO. Mostly because it is a fairly simply line drawing, without much other evidence to help verify it.


Why so? The daggers are shown with weapons which clearly are swords, which establishes some sense of scale in the drawing. Moreover, the hilt furniture is consistent with designs we see on earlier, ancient daggers, as well as daggers illustrated from the Maciejowski Bible and later works. A search online of the manuscript name brought up a webpage that indicated it was produced in the 11th century, and David Nicolle's Arms and Armor of the Crusading Era, Vol. I reproduces the exact same illustration and likewise dates it to the first half of the 11th century.

There's nothing tenuous about the drawing at all. It provide very little in terms of actual blade shape and construction, but as evidence for the existance of daggers, it's about as unambiguous as we can get, short of actually having an artifact.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 17 Sep, 2008 11:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

B. Fulton wrote:
Any updates on this?

Anyone else have ideas, clues, or general suggestions?


The one other thing that I can suggest, that's been mentioned elsewhere on this forum, is that it does not seem that daggers were common side arms for knights in this era. I'm certainly not an expert on the subject, but I'm aware of no unambiguous references to daggers in this period. They're certainly not listed in anything like Henry II's Assize of Arms.

I think there's a reference from the reign of Philip Augustus about clerics fearlessly rushing into combat, during the town-and-gown fights in Paris, carrying only knives, but what the knives looked like is unclear.

We also have a reference to a "knife" from the Battle of Bouvines in 1214

"But a knight of their group called Eustache of Malenghin began to yell out loud with great arrogance 'Death, death to the French!' and the French began to surround him. One stopped him and took hold of his head between his arm and his chest, and then ripped his helmet off his head, while another struck him to his heart with a knife between the chin and the ventaille and made him feel through great pain the death with which he had threatened the French through great arrogance."

http://www.deremilitari.org/RESOURCES/SOURCES/bouvines5.htm

Presumably, the weapon used here was a type of dagger, but we just don't know. So, if you're looking to re-enact the Anglo Norman period circa Stephen's reign, it probably makes more sense to leave the dagger out.
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Doug Lester




Location: Decatur, IL
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Sep, 2008 6:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far a carring a knife as part of your kit goes, I'd just keep to a rather simple design. Some form of a basic blade shape, maybe like a seax but with out the broken back shape, no ricasso, simple full tang with scales for the handle, or you could make it with a stick tang, and no guard. You may not be able to prove that it's authentic to the period but no one can prove that it isn't either.
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