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Old 18th August 2017, 03:48 PM   #1
shayde78
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Default 19th C. stiletto?

Another item seeking the insights of you fine folks

I've searched the forums for threads on stilettos, and the few examples were much more ornate than this plain example. Of course the seller of this item had limited information other than it was his grandfather's, and that it was older than the seller himself (40 years old). The blade seems too plain and modern to be period correct, but the hilt components might have some age to them.

The blade has a hexagon cross-section, the pommel is peened, the guard is not cast, but seems to have been turned.

So, is this someone's Renaissance Fair prop, or something more?
As always, thank you for your insights. (Please let me know at what point I have to start paying tuition!)
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Old 19th August 2017, 11:26 AM   #2
fernando
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Hello shayde,

I wonder why knowledged members haven't yet posted a word on this.
If i knew a little about theses things, i would say it is 'too new' to be true, but ... .
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Old 19th August 2017, 11:39 AM   #3
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Hi Shayde,

I am no expert but if the handle was of some age I would expect it to have discoloured somewhat where it is butted up against the metal of the cross guard and the pommel, not sure what happens here but I generally notice discolouration where some of the components of the metal leach into the handle, be it horn or timber
Also as the peening of the tang does not seem more recent than the rest of the knife I would think all component parts are of the same age, i.e. Relatively modern

I like your comment on "when will I pay for tuition" though
I try and give constructive comments as often as I can without trying to build up my post count. I find the forum v helpful without being dismissive of newbies questions or comments. So I guess pay for tuition by sharing opinions or observations
Keep well
Ken
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Old 19th August 2017, 11:47 AM   #4
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I post some fotos of my stiletto collection, so you might be able to decide wehther your piece is an original one or not. I think it is not.
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Old 19th August 2017, 12:54 PM   #5
fernando
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Excelent pieces, corrado .
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Old 20th August 2017, 06:50 AM   #6
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If it does have some age, it would appear to have experienced little if any actual use or handling. Still, not an unattractive weapon, though possibly somewhat uncomfortable to use; the deep spiral would not seem to be particularly ergonomic, nor easy to keep in hand once it became slick with bodily fluids.

I may be wrong about my comments regarding the ergonomics. Shayde would be the one to speak to that issue.
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Old 21st August 2017, 11:02 AM   #7
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what concerns me most about the wooden handle is that there is no trace either of the spiral grooves having ever been wrapped in wire or the wood covered in thin leather as I would have expected with this type of grip, To me it looks most likely to be a hobbyists project from the last 50 years or at best a Gothic revival piece . Nice nevertheless .
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Old 23rd August 2017, 01:36 AM   #8
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Thank you, everyone, for your insights.

To respond to a couple posts:

-Corrado, your collection is magnificent! Do you see any similarities between the guard and pommel on my piece, and the second example you posted?

-Bob, the hilt is not dissimilar to the examples corrado provided. The ergonomics are quite nice, actually. When it comes to a dagger like these, I'm not sure if they would be expected to be wielded covered in gore. These were not melee weapons (as far as I know). But to your point, the sweaty palms one would likely experience in a potentially lethal situation would make a sure grip desirable. A hilt shaped like this fits that bill.

-thinreadline, would authentic daggers in this style have had wrapped hilts? Corrado's examples seem not to.

-Ken, I think my tuition is being paid as I buy questionable items of dubious quality. too bad you all don't get a cut as my professors!

Finally, is the profile of the blade a clear giveaway? No fullers, no maker's mark, no ricasso, etc.

Oh, and the fact that there is no country of origin listed, does that suggest a 19th century date?

Once again, thanks for humoring my novice musings.
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Old 23rd August 2017, 10:42 AM   #9
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The main characteristic of these early stilettos is their very thin and nevertheless very stiff and strong, three angled blade what made a stiletto to a very helpful tool in emergency situations. This is demonstrated by the Fotos. The dagger in question has a totally different blade and IMHO the only maybe original parts might be the crossguard and the pommel. By the way, there have never or at least very rarely been hilts with leather etc.
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Old 23rd August 2017, 11:42 AM   #10
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Hello,

first I would say, this is no stiletto, it's a dagger. The blade is too broad for a stiletto in my opinion.

From the style it is a venetian dagger.

The whole piece seems to be a well made 19.ct. historism reproduction of a venetian dagger.


Roland

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Old 5th October 2020, 02:36 PM   #11
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Hello everyone,

I was waiting for a week to post this as I stumbled upon a very similar dagger to the one I posted here 3 years ago. I needed to wait for the auction to end before I could ask questions about it. Here is the link to the now ended auction (moderators, please let me know if this is consistent with the rules).

You will see the hilt furniture and dimensions are virtual twins of the item originally posted on this thread. The only significant difference that I can see is that the blade of the recently sold dagger has a maker's mark. I'm wondering if that indicates any clues about the age/origin of my piece shown in the first post.

I am including pictures from the auction below so they may remain after the auction link is no longer active.

I look forward to reading your perspectives.
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Old 5th October 2020, 03:15 PM   #12
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When you look at the fotos of my example you immediately will see the differences: At my stiletto there are two metal rings at both ends of the wooden grip. These are missing at your oiece what makes me think that this is not original.
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Old 5th October 2020, 03:20 PM   #13
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Thanks corrado for posting another beautiful example. The conversation from 2017 settled on the fact that this is not a stilleto, but rather a dagger, and was uncertain if it were correct to a pre-Victorian period, or something later. I'm curious what are the implications of another item looking so similar, but with a blade of different cross-section and with a maker's mark. Seems like this isn't something mass produced, but also something that wasn't a one-off hobbyist's project.
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Old 6th October 2020, 06:00 PM   #14
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This is vintage replica, with the blade shaped like WW2 German Army dagger blade. Most likely the blade is from post WW2 German dagger, like this one. This blade is exactly the same length as yours.
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Old 15th October 2020, 03:37 PM   #15
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Thanks Alex - that blade geometry is close to the blade in my original example. I have found that many single handed thrusting weapons from many cultures have blades that are approximately the same length, so I'm not sure that is the defining indicator, but the similar bevels and overall dimensions are very similar.

About the maker's mark shown on the more recent example (that isn't mine, but was recently up for auction), does that indicate an older blade form a different source that just happened to find its way into identical mounts?
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Old 18th October 2020, 05:31 PM   #16
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The pommel and the crossguard of your more recent example look casted, not chiseled. So, most likely it is mid-19th century dagger. I've never seen this maker's mark before, but blade's geometry look mid-19th as well. Just my opinion. Sometimes, this seller sells artificially aged modern replicas. This dagger well could be one of those. It's hard to tell without visual examination.
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Old 18th October 2020, 11:33 PM   #17
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The crossguard to me appears as a hexagon nut with two finials added.
I would be tempted to disassemble the dagger to confirm this and see if the tang matches German WW2 daggers.
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Old 30th October 2020, 09:37 PM   #18
shayde78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will M
The crossguard to me appears as a hexagon nut with two finials added.
I would be tempted to disassemble the dagger to confirm this and see if the tang matches German WW2 daggers.


Hi Will,

I don't think I'll be trying to disassemble the knife (how would one even do so while keeping the components intact?).

I did, however, want to share this picture that I came across in a reference (Frederick Wilkinson's 'Antique Arms and Armor', 1972). The example (ED4) has a very similar hexagonal quillion block. Wilkinson attributes this piece to the 17th century. I can't tell from the picture if the ends of the grip terminate in ferrules or turks heads, but there are other similarities to the dagger presented in this thread.
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Old 31st October 2020, 08:52 AM   #19
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First, in my opinion the piece in the original posting is not a stiletto but a dagger.

A stiletto is characterised by the long, sleek triangular blade.

Of course, some may call every knife with a sleek, pointy blade a stiletto, but that doesn't make it a stiletto.

Second, your piece can be from anywhere late 19th century to well into late 20th century.

The geographical location?! I cannot say as it looks rather generic to me.

My two cents...
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Old 28th November 2020, 02:04 PM   #20
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I am having a hard time getting past the fit and finish of the handle. I would expect the wooden handle to have proper bolsters to keep the ends from splitting or chipping.

n2s
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