Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
You're most welcome Bejeweled, I enjoyed the research and it really is an attractive dagger. It sounds as if this Italian family has some very impressive lineage, and now that the crusades connection is revealed, the use of the antiquated term Saracen is explained. It is not unusual to see items of unusually elevated provenance appearing in auctions and sale catalogs.
I do not believe this blade, though earlier than most examples commonly found, could date much further back than the 18th century, possibly into the early 19th. As I noted, the zigzag motif seems to be somewhat a Saharan motif, and was likely added at the time the blade was mounted in the present horn mounts etc. It is not unusual to see most unusual items in the eclectic holdings of wealthy and noble collectors, and these items were purposely gathered to impressively decorate parlors and smoking rooms in Victorian times. I believe this item may have quite interesting provenance into this apparantly esteemed collection, but personally doubt the crusades part of it.
What are the cites to New York Times and Time magazine referencing?
All very best regards,