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Alex Indman




Location: NYC
Joined: 13 Sep 2012

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Mon 05 Mar, 2018 11:28 am    Post subject: XVI-XVIIcc Italian Stilettos - wear / suspension questions         Reply with quote

Hi,

my current hobby project (XVI-XVIIcc Italian Stiletto) is nearing completion. Hopefully I will be done with the stiletto this week, and ready to start on scabbard.
Just to show what type we are talking about, I attached a picture of a similar reproduction. Mine is different in details, but overall similar shape / size / construction (7-8" blade, 5" handle).

All I found after a lot of research on stiletto scabbards is that they are always as narrow as the blade (no wood lining). Either all-metal, or leather with metal chape and throat (which is what I will be doing).
The problem is none of the pictures of originals I found show the back side, so no means of suspension / attachment are visible.

The only period picture I found of this type being worn (in Bashford Dean's daggers) shows it at the small of the back, almost horizontal with handle to the right. Basically like most landsknecht or parrying daggers of the period. But those naturally have belt loops soldered to the back of the scabbard throat, perpendicular (or almost perpendicular) to the blade. On a narrow stiletto scabbard, there is just not enough width to fit one! Maybe the picture isn't accurate enough and the scabbard is actually stuck under the belt. Or shows a wider dagger with a similar handle.

I also read that stilettos may have been carried concealed (I imagine like under clothes, in boot top, stuck under belt, etc.). For this kind of carry, no attachment points would be necessary at all. But then maybe this applies more to the smaller all-metal stiletto type?

As to suspension by cord/thong, I don't think it would work at all as with their light blades stilettos would end up dangling handle down...

So, any thoughts on this matter?
Have you seen any stiletto scabbards from the back? Or can point me to any period artwork showing them worn?

Thanks.
Alex.



 Attachment: 48.13 KB
0000482_venetian-stiletto_550.jpeg

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Mark Tan





Joined: 30 Nov 2016

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon 05 Mar, 2018 9:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Heres a pic of one with a scabbard. It seems to have a slot for attachment...


 Attachment: 44.55 KB
c1670ca3c258c9fdcf8e5c95859f9a7d.jpg

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Alex Indman




Location: NYC
Joined: 13 Sep 2012

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar, 2018 7:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Mark, this is exactly what I was looking for!
Not at all what I was expecting to find, though. This scabbard is set up for a vertical carry on a narrow belt. I did consider this mode of carry and dismissed it as hopelessly inconvenient (the pommel would dig into your ribs, and the blade will get in the way when sitting down). But here we see it actually was done. Maybe if the belt was worn loose around your hips and stiletto positioned at the side, it would be enough to keep things comfortable?
Now if we could find some period artwork showing what it looked like...

Alex.
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Mark Tan





Joined: 30 Nov 2016

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Tue 06 Mar, 2018 10:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not necessarily worn on a belt... that slot could accommodate a strap that goes just about anywhere.. thigh... arm... calf... etc. You'll need sone text or artwork to figure that part out i guess
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Alex Indman




Location: NYC
Joined: 13 Sep 2012

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Wed 07 Mar, 2018 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Renaissance clothes do not seem to allow for hiding a stiletto strapped to your leg anywhere, other than as I said in a boot top.
Arm also wouldn't work for a stiletto of this type, which is at least 12" long overall. By my measurement, you can strap only a very short knife to your forearm. Something like 8" overall, maybe 10" tops if you have very long arms.
The only way I can think of is to have a strap diagonally across your chest and over the right shoulder, with stiletto hanging from it under your left armpit vertically. Under the top layer of clothes, I mean.

Unfortunately, fun as it is, this will probably have to stay pure speculation. Anything carried concealed would by definition not show up in period artwork. Maybe this is why I can't find any stilettos pictured. Or, just because they were considered a "disreputable" weapon and avoided by painters for this reason?

BTW, I finished my stiletto yesterday. Will post separately but here is one picture attached.

Starting on the sheath tomorrow, will make it along the lines of the one in the picture you posted here.

Alex.



 Attachment: 129.12 KB
[ Download ]
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 305

PostPosted: Thu 08 Mar, 2018 7:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a sort of different impression on stiletto's..especially the one's surviving from the period. To me..surviving ones look a bit too ?fancy? to be concealed ? They look like they were MEANT to be displayed openly ? I'd expect a stiletto that was meant to be a concealed weapon to be a lot plainer - minimal hilt furniture so it wouldn't easily get hung up on clothing ? Just my humble two cent's worth ?
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Alex Indman




Location: NYC
Joined: 13 Sep 2012

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Fri 09 Mar, 2018 5:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ralph,

I had the same thoughts about this type being too long and fancy for concealed carry. The other type of stiletto (smaller overall, all metal handle) seems optimized for it. But for some reason there are no stilettos found openly carried in period artwork (unlike say parrying daggers or landsknecht daggers, of which we see plenty).

Alex.
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Alex Indman




Location: NYC
Joined: 13 Sep 2012

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Mon 19 Mar, 2018 7:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Finished my reproduction stiletto and scabbard (posted at http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=328657#328657 ).
Experimented with carry options and pretty much confirmed what we discussed here. See the attached pictures (sorry for bad quality and non-period clothing):
- carry on a separate narrow belt worn relatively loose at the hip works, scabbard can swivel a little out of the way when sitting. And this was probably the most common carry, as these stilettos are a little too long and too nicely made/decorated to be dedicated concealed carry weapons.
- the one really comfortable concealed carry option that I found was suspended vertically under the armpit. If covered with some kind of jacket like garment, would be practically invisible.

Alex.



 Attachment: 222.95 KB
stiletto on belt [ Download ]

 Attachment: 251.29 KB
stiletto under an armpit [ Download ]
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