Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   dagger series nr5 BASILARD FORERUNNER OF RONDEL DAGGER (

cornelistromp 11th October 2014 01:26 PM

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The baselard (also basilard, baslard, in Middle French also badelare, bazelaire and variants, In latin baselardus, basolardus, in Middle High German beseler, baseler, basler, pasler; baslermesser) is a historical type of 14th century dagger with a distinctive hilt usually shaped like a a I or H.
Actually it is not a dagger but a knive! Because it has a riveted flat tang and it lacks a separate guard and pommel.
the flat tang is formed in one piece with the guard and pommel , the whole is sandwiched between plates of wood, bone or ivory.
Baselard blades could be of different forms and shapes but the most common is a flat rigid diamond-shaped blade with two fullers, strongly tapering to a acute point. Purely for the thrust.

because it is an early weapon 13th and 14 century, almost most basilards in museums and private collections lost the handle.

This is very unfortunate. for there are actually two basilard hilt forms:
1.the flat hilt
2.the hilt with a round pommel and round guard.

For example, see drawing no A, here are two basilard hilt forms shown.
Due to this round hilt form, the basilard can thus be identified as forerunner of the later rondel dagger.


fernando 11th October 2014 06:13 PM

Most interesting and rare example.
Is it in your collection, Jasper ?

cornelistromp 12th October 2014 09:33 AM

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Originally Posted by fernando
Most interesting and rare example.
Is it in your collection, Jasper ?

Hi Fernando,

the basilard with ivory grip plates has been auctioned at Christies Amsterdam in 2010. it was a very nice piece with the original small copper rivets. Actually the only basilards from the 14th century that are still complete, have grip plates of ivory or bone.

The others are from the Historisch museum Dresden and the Dutch Army museum.

I have an example of the rarest round hilted variant as discussed in #1 in my collection.
The hilt is carved in the shape of the guard and pommel, and the sandwich plates are formed from one piece, the pommel and guard are thus an integral part of the grip.
the circular parryplate is protected by a wrought iron ring.
The basilard blade is rigid, flat diamond-shaped and sharply tapering, as you might expect at a weapon for the thrust.
This basilard is a "frugally" but very effective weapon probably for military use, from the second half of the 14th century.


fernando 13th October 2014 03:59 PM

Thanks for the clarification, the excelent illustrations and your top rare example.

Iain 13th October 2014 05:18 PM

Beautiful example. I particularly like the fuller arrangement. Thanks for sharing. :)

cornelistromp 13th October 2014 06:29 PM

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thanks + welcome Fernando and Iain :)

fernando 13th October 2014 06:44 PM

Moy :cool:

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