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Old 11th November 2009, 06:31 PM   #1
cornelistromp
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Default two Dutch medieval daggers

Both daggers have been found in Amsterdam in the 70ths.

enjoy

best regards
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Old 11th November 2009, 06:33 PM   #2
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Old 11th November 2009, 06:36 PM   #3
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Old 11th November 2009, 07:36 PM   #4
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Nice daggers!
Does the bollock-style handle serve any special purpose?
It's blade is also very interesting since it is asymmetrical.
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Old 11th November 2009, 08:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KuKulzA28
Nice daggers!
Does the bollock-style handle serve any special purpose?
It's blade is also very interesting since it is asymmetrical.


HI,

the nuts of the Ballock handle (it is the original wooden handle on this dagger)
stop the hand from slanting off similar as a pair of guillons.

the blade is an Armour piercing blade with a reinforced diamant shaped point.
the blade is asymmetrical so it makes it possible to use 2 hands for the killing stab.

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Old 12th November 2009, 04:26 PM   #6
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The ballock dagger looks fantastic, indeed. The blade is peculiar but not unheard of in this type of weapons.

Now the other dagger... well, it's just my opinion, but it suspiciously looks like a put-together with what could be a genuine medieval pommel, a crossguard about which I couldn't pass a reliable judgement without examining it more closely, and a blade that looks like a cut-down blade from a 18th c. smallsword, down to the style of inlaid decoration... maybe it's just me...
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Old 12th November 2009, 07:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
The ballock dagger looks fantastic, indeed. The blade is peculiar but not unheard of in this type of weapons.

Now the other dagger... well, it's just my opinion, but it suspiciously looks like a put-together with what could be a genuine medieval pommel, a cross-guard about which I couldn't pass a reliable judgement without examining it more closely, and a blade that looks like a cut-down blade from a 18th c. smallsword, down to the style of inlaid decoration... maybe it's just me...

Hi Marc,

thank you for the compliment for the ballock.

RE: the quillon dagger I think it is just you
Don't let the condition fool you, it is also 100% genuine. the authenticity has been confirmed by the curator of the Dutch army museum.
This is how it is found in the the river Rijn. (only the robe grip is added)

it is not a genuine pommel but a medieval dagger wheel-pommel 3cmx2,5cm
I also found the same type of small dagger wheel-pommel offered at an arms dealer and more convincing a similar dagger is published in Francis laking part 3.
This type of blade of hollow triangular section can be found on the majority of the same period rondel daggers.(around 1400)

I will post some pictures in order to explain.

see picture Francis Laking part 3 page 3 guillon dagger fig 728 , this dagger from the guildhall museum has the same pommel and same guillons however a longer grip and a diamond shaped blade.

The construction of the guillon; the way the blade fits into the guillon is a feature of medieval swords. On later 15thC examples the shoulder of the blade rests on the guillons.


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Old 12th November 2009, 09:47 PM   #8
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Hi Cornelis,

I have gone quite crazy over those fascinating pictures - man, I wish these beauties were mine! Personally, I like the ballock dagger (Nierendolch) best for its wonderfully staged blade and great condition of preservation.

Thank you so much for the overwhelming close ups and the documentation, buddy! Very good job for all uf us.

Best wishes from Bavaria,
Michael
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Old 13th November 2009, 05:45 AM   #9
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Outstanding pieces Cornelis!
On the quillon dagger I think I would have joined with Marc in his very reasonable observation based on the photos alone, and without the data posted afterwards. The material you provided after his observation is most impressive in illustrating the information on the actual disposition of the weapon. The detail on the provenance and authentication from the Dutch Museum are also impressive additions. A remarkable dagger.

The 'ballock' dagger is also most impressive, as these are I believe reasonably rare even without this unusual blade form. I had not heard of a dagger used with two hands in stabbing aming these types. What I do recall of these 'ballock' daggers is that they were once known as 'dudgeon' daggers for the type of boxwood typically used for thier hilts, if I remember correctly.
Also, the collectors of the mid 19th century with prudish correctness (the Victorian version of political correctness) saw fit to avoid the suggestive 'ballock' term by using the less colorful anatomic term, 'kidney' daggers

Best regards,
Jim
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Old 13th November 2009, 09:54 AM   #10
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Hello Jim Hello Michael,

thank you for the kind comments , the great knowledge of arms and armour of you two, always gives me a positive drive
but be careful the more you learn and know the more you get isolated.

I would like to point out an aspect of the weapon forum!
I don't think that a forum is a place to judge or condemn a weapon! for the simple reason that there always will be a lack in information. Without
scientific tests doubters will continue to doubt as we all have seen in the case of the sword of Edward III .

In general my point is:
there is not enough information in any forum to make a definate conclusion on a weapon's provenance by pictures alone.To do so will in any way cause damage or influence further study.

Ewart Oakeshott in records of the medieval sword;
The student of arms should never be put off on the grounds that a sword appears to be "too good to be true " . This is a trap
into which the compimlers of sales catalogs have resoundingly fallen in the past . Any object of antiquity has to be assessed on its own merits if it has no well-authenticated provenance . If you meet a fine , beautifully preserved medieval sword in the sale room , or offered by a dealer , don't jib at it if it looks smooth and black without rust pits-or even if it has been cleaned and the and the patina of ferrite or goethite cleaned off. Because it is smart and in good condition doesn't mean that it is a modern fake . On the other hand , there are superb modern fakes ... One has to use ones'nose' and ones common -sense. But to reject a sword as a dud either because it looks too good , or because somebody tell you he/she has "never seen one like it " is absurd . If one considers the hundreds of thousands of swords which must have been made between c.400BC and AD1525-probably millions- unless one can honestly say one has seen all of them , it is not honest to damn something because "I have never seen one like this ". There were infinite variations of detail in the style of pommels,crosses , blades and inscriptions, most of them according to some medieval person's own particular fancy . One has to remember what a tiny percentage of these thousands of swords are available for study now , The number grows all the time, but it is still an incredibly small percentage .



kind regards from Holland
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Old 13th November 2009, 12:11 PM   #11
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Well, after all this time I should have learnt to keep my mouth shut. But I still believe, fool of me, that submitting a piece to such an open scrutiny implies a desire by the poster to gather opinions about them.

And an opinion is what I have. Itís a pity it doesnít coincide with yours or the curator of the Dutch Army Museumís, but I still stand by it.

Thereís indeed a typology of medieval (14th-15th c.) dagger blade of triangular (or peaked diamond) section with a strong mid-rib. Itís there in swords, also. What Iím saying is that the blade of this particular piece is not one of them. Itís from a cut-down small-sword, probably an early one, given the inlaid decoration, maybe late 17th or early 18th.

I wouldnít dare to pass a definitive judgement by pictures alone, of course. And, for sure, my reasoning never took into account the actual condition of the piece, nor I think I said so. I know very well how dependent to particular conditions corrosion is, not to mention the wonders of restoration.

I, of course, agree with Oakeshott, who wouldnít. After all, what he says is the very basics of Antiques evaluation. Itís from there up that one builds a criterion for appraisal.

Also (and here we disagree again, Iím afraid ), although I too believe that judging by pictures is far from ideal, after all I wouldnít stamp my signature in a report that would be used to certificate anything basing my evaluation in pictures alone, of course, I think that pictures, in this particular environment of ours, are good enough to pass by a first impression. We donít have anything better, after all.

Well, in any event, let me repeat, itís just my opinion. Probably itís indeed only me

P.S. The ballock dagger is still, again in my opinion , nothing short of terrific.
P.P.S. The pictures are here only to illustrate my point about the typology.
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Old 13th November 2009, 12:15 PM   #12
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Hi Cornelis,
Very well put points! and thank you as well for the kind words.
I completely agree, and as we know, often even the venerable and scholarly works prove that even they many times are not the final answer as new findings can completely revise knowledge.
What more respected scholar than the late Mr. Oakeshott could more perfectly describe this?
What you say is of course so true, we cannot draw conclusions or make final judgements on weapons we are only observing and making assessments on with the lack of the necessary dimensions of actual handling and close examination as well as all known information.
This is why I always look forward to participation here, to have more input presenting whatever information is at hand, the inclusion of other known examples, and extracts of material from published material from many countries or often rare and hard to find articles and books.

We are fortunate to have scholars and serious students of arms and armour dedicated to learning and sharing information here, and though it is obvious that we cannot make cinclusive judgements, we can continue to learn together, and that is truly a joy beyond description. Thank you for all you do in sharing the wonderful weapons and knowledge here!
With all very best regards,
Jim
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Old 13th November 2009, 03:04 PM   #13
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Boccia/coelho nr 300 rondel dagger.
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Old 13th November 2009, 05:12 PM   #14
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wheelpommeldagger Mueller Eur. hieb und stichwaffen.
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Old 15th November 2009, 05:38 PM   #15
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Hi
like Marc, I have reservations regarding the same dagger. I too freely admit I am no expert on medieval daggers....but several features do seem 'alien' to the daggers of the period.

The blade sits 'uneasily' within the cross guard and is not central. Rust and decay in that area could account for this, but with the good 'preservation' suggested, seems unlikely. The forte/tang area ( shoulder) would be shaped to fit the crossguard slot/hole to prevent movement, the handle and pommel once fitted 'locking' the components together.
The relatively deep fuller extends to the point, again AFAIK suggesting the blade has been shortened. Why design a blade that has a weakened point.....especially when it could strike/pierce armour and snap ?

The crossguard recess is almost 'diamond' shaped ....better designed to accommodate a blade that's cross section is square/diamond not a triangular section. This also suggests the crossguard and blade did not 'start life' together.

Also the fort of the blade where it meets the guard is flared .... I have not seen this on a cross guarded dagger of any period (but then this does not mean this is a fact) However, this 'flare' is seen where the blades butt up against a bowl or similar shaped guard.....like the short sword. See photos below.
If you look the size and shaping of these flares seem almost identical.

If this is not a medieval dagger, it is possible that this is a Victorian 'era' 'put together' ....common to the time due to the interest of Romanism and the fascination of the medieval period.

All these observations are from the pictures, which does not necessarily convey the 'whole story'. This is not an attack on the museum curator either, but people make mistakes, so his assessment should only be taken as a guide. After all doctors often seek a 'second opinion' ....even if they are certain their diagnosis is correct.

Look forward to your comments, all the best

Regards David
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Old 23rd November 2009, 02:55 PM   #16
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Hi
please has anyone any comments /opinions on my last posting ? I only wanted to put forward a few observations ..... are my conclusions wrong?

I feel that I have 'killed' the thread .... when my intention was to continue the debate and learn.

Regards David


PS the word "Romanism" in my last posting should have read "Romanticism" ....missed out "tic"

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Old 25th November 2009, 03:13 AM   #17
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David, just noticed this! Too many things going at once
Please dont feel as if you'killed' the thread here!!! It often happens that once the discussion and observations have saturated, the discussion will stall until other new material surfaces, or debate stalemates. Your observations were brilliantly presented, and compelling....outstanding forensics!!!! Very well written. Having detailed your observations so well it was pretty much a textbook case of examining weapons from photographs.

As one whose comments often appear in the last post of a thread, I have often feared the same thing. Realizing that my purposes in writing are mostly summarizing what I have researched in order to respond, and learn.....I just write. If anyone else learns from what I have found...all the better!!!

I think that you, Marc and Cornelis all have presented excellent perspectives on these daggers, and those who read this thread can well assess the case on them from the detail you have all shown.
Thank you guys! Well done

All very best regards,
Jim
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Old 1st December 2009, 02:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
Also the fort of the blade where it meets the guard is flared .... I have not seen this on a cross guarded dagger of any period (but then this does not mean this is a fact) However, this 'flare' is seen where the blades butt up against a bowl or similar shaped guard.....like the short sword. See photos below.



The flare you mention are the result of hollow grinding. While the technique tends to be associated with three sided, triangular small sword blades it can be found on medieval swords as well. In hallow grinding the grinding wheel is used to create rather than a flat face one that is slightly concave imparting stiffness to the blade. Dr. Jones has a nice 15th century fishtail pommel sword, of the type with a blade that tappers rapidly from forte to point that I had the pleasure of handeling that is hollow ground.
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Old 1st December 2009, 06:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Senefelder
The flare you mention are the result of hollow grinding. While the technique tends to be associated with three sided, triangular small sword blades it can be found on medieval swords as well. In hallow grinding the grinding wheel is used to create rather than a flat face one that is slightly concave imparting stiffness to the blade. Dr. Jones has a nice 15th century fishtail pommel sword, of the type with a blade that tappers rapidly from forte to point that I had the pleasure of handeling that is hollow ground.


Hi A Senefelder,
thank you for the explaination. Surely though, the 'flares' would be removed....unless it resulted in an added benefit. I think this 'flare' would provide a larger 'surface area' butted up against a bowl/cupped guard....making it more secure....much like a 'washer' fitted under a nut. These 'flares' do not seem to serve any purpose in the recessed cross guard of the dagger shown.

The 15th C fishtailed sword sounds interesting......could you post some pictures ? All the best

Regards David
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Old 1st December 2009, 07:56 PM   #20
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I am not aware of the flares being removed, it simply forms the little bit of forte ( very little in fact ) that exists at least on most of the later smallsword examples i've seen. I cannot find pics of Lee's sword, just one of the two swords of Lee's it was sitting next to. I think this one might be in "Records of the Medieval Sword ", I know a few of Lee's are.
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