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T. Diamante




Location: United States
Joined: 09 Aug 2016

Posts: 69

PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug, 2016 6:47 pm    Post subject: 14th Century Dagger Build         Reply with quote

Hey all, I just finished one of my first builds, I based it off of 14th century designs, specifically what I envisioned an Irish 14th century "Galloglas" dagger would look like, though I have not seen many historical examples of these. I would appreciate any critiques/commentary on the dagger, and would love to know if any of you have come across historical examples of daggers from this period and place. Thanks!


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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 10 Aug, 2016 2:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The dagger is interesting as an example of an imaginative design of what could be. What I am wondering is whether you are looking to make something historically accurate, or just an imaginative creation not closely based on actual daggers? If your desire is just to produce an imaginative design, then there's not too much to be said. If, however, you want something historically accurate, more comments could be made.

To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a "gallowglass" dagger. Rather, the gallowglass warriors would have used the same sorts of daggers used by other fighting men at this time. These include ballock daggers, quillon daggers, basilards, rondel daggers, and antenna daggers. For much of the 14th century, ballocks and basilards would have been especially common. Quillon daggers seem to have been more common at the beginning and the end of the century, and to my knowledge, rondels only start to appear in the later parts of the 14th century.

So, if you are interested in creating historical daggers, you should research 14th century examples of each of the various dagger types. All of these daggers continued to be used in the 15th century, but the style of their hilts evolved, which is why it's important to find 14th century examples. Likewise, 14th century daggers often, although not always, only had a single sharp edge, so learning more about blade shapes and styles will be of value.

You can find more information about ballock daggers here: http://myArmoury.com/feature_spot_bd.html and more about rondel daggers here: http://myArmoury.com/feature_spot_rondel.html.

Also, if you search 14th century images from Manuscript Miniatures http://manuscriptminiatures.com/search/ , you should be able to find examples of basilards, not to mention rondels, quillon daggers, and ballock daggers.
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T. Diamante




Location: United States
Joined: 09 Aug 2016

Posts: 69

PostPosted: Wed 10 Aug, 2016 7:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips Craig. I've looked into Rondel and Basilard daggers quite a bit before, not so much bollock daggers, but I'm definitely going to try making some. What I really wanted to know I guess was whether or not anyone had come across a dagger that shared the ring pommel design characteristic of the swords we most associate with "Gallowglass"(link below). Though according to you, and the research I've done, there really aren't any surviving examples. In that case then, do you know how common, if at all, for people to have quillon daggers made with a similar design to their sword? Such as matching guard shapes and pommel design?

But regarding the original dagger, what do you think about it in terms of functionality and design? It measures 13 inches overall and weighs about 5.9 ounces, with a balance point just in front of the guard. Since we've come to the conclusion that this exact style didn't really exist, I'm wondering, does the overall piece lean more towards historical or just fantasy?

Thanks!



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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 10 Aug, 2016 5:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To my knowledge, medieval people did not bother with matching sword and dagger hilt furnishings. It's more the later 16th century and into the 17th century that you find matching swords and daggers, particularly matching rapiers and daggers.

I would say this piece is closer to the fantasy spectrum of things. Besides the pommel, the blade shape does not closely correspond to 14th century daggers that I am aware of. Also, the grip looks a bit bulgy to me; keeping it thinner, particularly near the cross, will improve the piece.
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 31 pages

Posts: 650

PostPosted: Wed 10 Aug, 2016 6:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks like a nice solid dagger, good job!

I have never seen a historical example of the ring hilt on a dagger. I agree with Craig that the grip seems too bulky at the hilt. Also, the perspective of the photo makes the ring hilt look very small. Try another photo with a different perspective.
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