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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug, 2011 7:27 am    Post subject: Thames Dagger ca. 1580         Reply with quote

I was browsing this site http://www.thamesandfield2.piczo.com/?cr=2 the other day and noticed this amazing find. It's identified (by Museum of London, I think) as a dagger of ca. 1580. Wonderful details of construction are visible, especially for the hollow pommel. I would expect a wire-bound grip but there's no trace of such. Beautiful! Paging Tod!


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug, 2011 7:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A couple of other finds of interest to this community:


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug, 2011 7:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks to me like there was a bar--now broken off--over the back of the hand. Other suggestions? I'd love to see Tod or somebody of his caliber recreate this.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug, 2011 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great find, and yes, this would make a great Tod-knife!

Triangular cross section with a cut down at the back, looks really cool.

The broken off part could be anything, blade catcher, halfway hand cover of some sort, late 16 the century it could even be a loop or full side guard. Perhaps the blade type could be matched to other surviving examples or art depictions.

It would be interesting to know what really happened to the side guard or whatever it was. Did the owner remove it because it was restricting his fighting style? Did an attacker break it off in combat? Did it simply go out of style and got hacked off to make it look presentable once more?
We'll never know the whole story of course, but it just adds to the mystery of the piece.

BTW, the pommel is obviously hollow, so I was thinking it was mainly cosmetic and made to look a matched pair with a far larger sword with a similar style pommel.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug, 2011 10:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's another view that shows the profile a bit better. I think you're right--wedge-section, lightly hollow-ground blade cut down a few inches below the guard to create a strong forte. Looks like a great left-hand weapon, and I think you have a good idea about this originally being made en-suite with a sword. I can see it paired with a fine English basket-hilt sword.

I could get lost for ages in speculation about how something like this ends up in the Thames.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug, 2011 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, I like the looks of that dagger. How long is that blade anyways...couldn't find it in the link.
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug, 2011 4:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote
Quote:
I'd love to see Tod or somebody of his caliber recreate this.
Thank you and thanks for bringing it our attention because it really is an interesting piece and I can't recall anything similar.

I love the blade; long thick and with great lines, very similar to some 14thC eating knives, but bigger. The pommel I find interesting, though not to my tastes, the guard though looks like he lost the original and went down to the hardware shop and bought a length of 3/4" x 1/4" and filed a hole in it!

The missing bit I guess was a nagel, - but as was said before; who knows.

It would be an interesting project and as I said I love the blade, but my current list of must do's (that I still can't find time to do) is long and involved so it will have to wait. I have recently got excited about Tudor gun shields, a black and a black and white chequerboard hunting bow, an axe/wheel lock combination, a baeurnwehr..........a.....................

Tod

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Eric W. Norenberg





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PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug, 2011 6:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's hard to tell if the tang is slim enough that the guard could have spun 180, but if that stub is a nagel or knucklebow, it would be "outboard" if wielded in the right hand. Am I seeing that right?

Any speculation on the reason for the step in the profile? Looks like a Nazgul sidearm...
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Daniel Wallace




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Aug, 2011 3:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I recently picked up a book at a bargain book store, I was thumbing through it yesterday and came across this description. Granted that the picture does not give reference to the spine's thickness nor the exact location of the pice photographed, but I took one look at the pummel and noticed the likeness and remembered this post.


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William P




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Aug, 2011 6:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric W. Norenberg wrote:
It's hard to tell if the tang is slim enough that the guard could have spun 180, but if that stub is a nagel or knucklebow, it would be "outboard" if wielded in the right hand. Am I seeing that right?

Any speculation on the reason for the step in the profile? Looks like a Nazgul sidearm...


well considering ALL the nazgul weapons seem to be of the type of hand and a helf longswords. one even having a finger ring
that doesnt seem very far fetched to me.

when i first saw that cross section though i instantly was reminded of those armour piercing rondel daggers and ballok dagger blades.

http://www.swordsdirect.com/lordoftherings.html#wdagger bw heres an image of the witch kings morgul blade (the one used to 'infect' frodo in the fellowship on weathertop
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Aug, 2011 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric W Norenberg wrote
Quote:
It's hard to tell if the tang is slim enough that the guard could have spun 180, but if that stub is a nagel or knucklebow, it would be "outboard" if wielded in the right hand. Am I seeing that right?

Any speculation on the reason for the step in the profile? Looks like a Nazgul sidearm...


Well to me, if held in the right hand it looks like the nagel is on the correct side.............

Many blades were made with rather oddball shapes and sections to modern eyes and quite why will remain a mystery, but the this blade shape is very similar to many other blades of the (approximate) period albeit mainly eating blades, so not particularly unusual, just maybe not mainstream.

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Tod

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Eric W. Norenberg





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PostPosted: Tue 23 Aug, 2011 9:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:


Well to me, if held in the right hand it looks like the nagel is on the correct side.............





Hmmm, yeah, sorry about that, I jumped in with a half-completed thought; I was trying to use orientation for sorting out usage. Meaning, if the stub were on the other side, the piece was more likely a "main gauche" and then maybe more likely to have had a knucklebow, versus intended right- hand use in which case it might be equally likely to have been a bow or a nagel.

Everytime I look at it, I imagine it on someone's hip with a buckler hanging off it, some swaggering toughguy quaffing an ale quayside. Maybe more than just the dagger wound up in the Thames...?

Speaking of which - if y'all haven't checked out the website Sean found this thing on, it is definitely worth a look (link in the first post, this topic). Amazing stuff they find in the muddy banks of that river!
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Aug, 2011 10:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric W. Norenberg wrote:
Amazing stuff they find in the muddy banks of that river!


Ever since reading I.N. Hume's "Martin's Hundred" I've wanted to mudlark on the Thames foreshore. I found that site because I'll be in LDN in October with nobody around to embarrass and thought I might apply my surface collecting skill. You have to be officially licensed to do that, though, so I'll not be running off with a fragment of Richard III's chamber pot after all. Oddly, I have a knack for spotting gun flints in odd places--A public park in Madrid, a gutter in Rome, garden gravel in a former monastery....

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Aug, 2011 2:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote
Quote:
You have to be officially licensed to do that, though, so I'll not be running off with a fragment of Richard III's chamber pot after all


As long as you don't turn up with a detector or spend 3 days in a row I doubt very much anyone would ask and if they do, you are a dumb tourist. I have spent a few hours down there and nobody asked. If for no other reason than just to say you have done it - get down there.

Tod

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