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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jan, 2020 5:37 pm    Post subject: Davis Reproductions 12th-13th. century dagger         Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

Background:

Surviving specimen of European medieval daggers dating 1000-1300 C.E. are pretty rare. There are a few seaxes dated from 1000-1200 C.E. but other than that, we could count extant examples on one hand. Collectors desiring a dagger reproduction from this period have had to rely largely on period illustrations which are rare in and of themselves. Based on what is known; double edged quillon daggers seem to have been present during this period. Two variants often seen in period illustrations are the "aunlaz" or antenna hilted dagger or the sword hilted dagger with downturned or straight guard and disc or hexagonal shaped pommel..

I always wanted to have a quillon dagger from the period 1000-1300 C.E. but due to limited documentation and the paucity of period examples I never went through with it.

So I was pretty excited to see this great thread started by Chad Arrow http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=37582 featuring a fairly significant collection currently held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as a very attractive dagger he had reproduced by Josh Davis of Davis Reproductions.

Here we see many extant dagger pommels and one complete dagger attributable to the 12th-13th. century.. After seeing the beautiful dagger Chad has reproduced from this collection I decided that I wanted a similar piece. I chose a similar cross fleury designed pommel and matched this to a blade similarly proportioned to that found on the complete example.

Chad chose Josh Davis from Davis Reproductions to make his piece and I liked the look of his so much I decided to commission one with Josh as well. Josh worked as the lead cutler with Arms and Armor of Minnesota and has now moved on to produce pieces on his own. He was eager to take on the project and his communication was prompt and clear throughout the process- from formulating a plan to following through on delivery.

Dimensions:

The blade on the original daggar measures 6 inches and Josh and I decided to scale up the blade on the reproduction to 7 inches. The hilt measurements were scaled up to match the slightly longer blade.

OL: 11 in.
Blade: 7 in.
Grip length: 3 in.
Guard width: 2.75 in.
Pommel thickness: approx .75 in.

Handling:

The balance point of this dagger lies just behind the guard so most of the mass lies in the hilt. With a stout but acutely tapering blade this piece seems especially oriented to the thrust. It can be comfortably held in the "ice pick" and point forward fashion. The grip is relatively short, locking the hand into place in a comfortable and authoritative way.

Fit and Finish:

This dagger is finished with a bronze pommel decorated with blue and red enamel and an iron guard. The sheath is orange leather decorated with incised lines and a floral motif, and is finished with a braided leather thong with brass tips. The grip is covered on "oxblood," dyed leather.

Overall, this dagger is characterized by a pleasing handcrafted appearance. lines and finish are not precise and exact but show a softer and organic presentation. I requested that the blade retain some character from the forging process and this can be seen in subtle undulations across the blade surface. The midline of the blade does not wander but does undulate across its surface. Josh is likely capable of producing a more exacting finish on his blades so mine may show a bit more "character" than his standard finish. Some may desire a more precise blade finish but I really like how mine turned out.

The edges of the blade came "sword sharp" and not "paper-cutting" sharp. There is no secondary bevel. The point section is stout but the terminal section dimensions provide for an acute point.

The guard follows the organic aesthetic seen in the blade. The iron used shows a pleasant muted finish, setting it apart from the steel used in most reproductions.

The real attention getter, though, is the pommel. Josh masterfully reproduced the look of the original. The red enameled sunburst in the center of the pommel as well as the blue "arms" of the pommel ends are distinct, deep, and clean. The peen end has been ground flush with the top of the pommel and is neatly executed.

The grip leather is attractive. I believe the leather seam along the grip could have been finished a bit cleaner but this is barely worth mentioning considering the piece as a whole. The sheath is very attractive and fits the blade well. The incised decorations are neatly executed but show the irregularities expected of a handcrafted product.

All components are solid and no gaps can be seen. Josh shows great attention to detail and commitment to producing a solid and well built weapon.

Conclusion:

Again, I have to thank Chad Arrow for bringing this collection of 12-13th. century pommels found at the Met to the attention of the myArmoury community.

Josh Davis did an outstanding job reproducing a really unique and striking dagger. I am so happy that I now have a piece to fill in the historical "gap" I had previously in my collection. Josh was a joy to work with and I can only recommend anyone interested in having a dagger reproduced to give Davis Reproductions a try.







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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 32 pages

Posts: 768

PostPosted: Sun 26 Jan, 2020 1:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's a fantastic dagger and I really like that well done pommel. The size of the dagger in hand looks just right. Josh has a real understanding and experience I think of originals and keeps this in mind with all his projects. I've been able to get a few things from him off-the-shelf, but would love to do a real commission with him someday if I can think of a good project. Thanks for sharing!
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Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

PostPosted: Sat 01 Feb, 2020 4:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks great! Nice choice on the pommel and colors.
Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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