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David Cooper




Location: UK
Joined: 27 Apr 2008
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Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 4:10 am    Post subject: 5 blades - No 1 Blue and Gilt Naval Dirk         Reply with quote

I recently obtained 5 new blades as a job lot.These were originally purchased in 2000 for a pirate themed bar in the USA. I got them at a substantial discount. They are a bit outside my normal comfort zone ( British 19th c. military) so comments and opinions welcome. I will post the 5 over the next few days as separate threads so:


No 1.
Original sales description : “Georgian naval dirk having a 7 inch blade (10 ins overall). The blade of diamond section is decorated with blue and gilt decoration. The guard is a disk of gilded brass and the pommel is of similar form with en suite decoration. Contained in its gilded scabbard.”
Stats:
Weight: 5oz (0.13kg) incl scabbard, 3oz(0.08kg) bare blade
Length overall: 10'' (25.5cm) Blade:7''(18cm)
POB: at guard
Profile taper: 0.53'' (13.9mm) at base, 0.37'' (9.5mm) at mid blade, 0.28''(7.1mm) 2 inches from tip.
Distal taper 0.20'' (5.2mm) at base, 0.13'' (3.3mm)at mid blade,. 0.1'' (2.6mm)2 inches from tip.
Ivory handle, blue andgilt blade decoration, foliage and flags. 60 - 70% blue and gilt remaining.


A few questions:
This is a very small dirk and I wonder if it would have been a practical item or a commemorative/ piece/ decoration? The pommel unscrews, is this usual?
Original documents say 1720s, about right?.English?

Also posting on Sword Forum International



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The journey not the destination
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 4:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe that might be a letter opener....darn nice one....but a letter opener. mcm
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,831

PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 5:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The SFI thread link, as the pictures attach there a bit larger.
http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.p...Naval-Dirk


Surely the big guns at SFI may have better information/insight but my own feelings and knowledge would put this one more likely mid 19th century and Victorian. It is certainly later than Napoleonic and there are a couple of traits that point to the later timeframe. First, and most importantly, we are looking at a short straight blade vs a curved blade. Secondly the banded metal scabbard. Then there is a matter of size and while bigger may seem better, even in the later age of sail, this comes across much more as a dress or senior officer piece rather than a junior officer such as a midshipmen.

I will not state that all short straight dirks are positively post Napoleonic but the the other factors really kind of do and that is opening just one of a few books here for confirmation (Tuite ISBN-10: 1931464162). While there is no exact match listed in that book and Tuite is regarding American arms, a good amount of the supply train started in England. The threaded nature of the ivory itself also speaks as to later than earlier. As well we must also consider it might be a composition of parts.

Cheers

GC
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Hadrian Coffin
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 383

PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Its a Georgian Naval Dirk, as the original description says, and is English.

Its a fairly typical form and size, they were originally for fighting... but became an item of distinction for midshipmen and officers, more a ceremonial badge than anything. They were made by a variety of companies, and there wasn't an exact standardised form.

You can see more for sale here: http://robertfinan.co.uk/April2005_f.htm

The "Georgian" description is just a reference to the period. The piece being from the period of the first Hanoverian kings (1714 to 1837). The Georgian period was followed by the Victorian period.

The pommel unscrewing is just an easier method of manufacture, it is neither common nor uncommon. Some are peened, pinned, screwed, it doesn't mean anything or have any significance.

It is not a letter opener.

Historia magistra vitae est
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 2:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I stand corrected. Laughing Out Loud .......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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David Cooper




Location: UK
Joined: 27 Apr 2008
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Tue 04 Feb, 2014 6:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Hadrian, very informative
The journey not the destination
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William M




Location: Buckinghamshire , England
Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 257

PostPosted: Tue 04 Feb, 2014 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like it, very much reminds me of a rondel dagger.
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