EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Since this is what appears to be a masterfully crafted dagger from Italy and probably 16th century, is it not possible that this might be a votive relic commemorating St Peter of Verona, who was a Dominican I believe, but was assassinated in around 1252, thus 13th century.
He was an inquisitor during the Albigensian crusades in France and was murdered by Cathars, and iconographic images of him show an axe imbedded in his head and a dagger to the chest, hence the dagger is sometimes symbolically referenced to him.
The Italian (North Italy) dagger in the central blade motif carries as noted what I perceive as Ottoman motif and resembles similar style seen on many edged weapons in India (Mughals) and other Central Asian regions. The rosette in the center resembles varying floral forms in this manner popular as motif in Italian edged weapons in the 16th c and later.
The hilt again resembles certain Ottoman and Central Asian form which seems to have diffused widely as well into areas farther east.
The very interesting discussion on St Peter (the Apostle) some 12 centuries earlier, refers to his sword, which was termed the Malchus sword, and votive examples of this exist in several cases in religious holdings, one I believe in Poland. Naturally while they are regarded as genuinely the actual weapon, there are notable disputes regarding the exact true nature of the weapon used in this event.