An Antique Italian Left Hand Dagger C.1600
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An Antique Italian Left Hand Dagger C.1600:
This dagger was made as a mate for a rapier with a slender needle like blade which came into fashion in the late 16th century, as a result of the then latest fencing techniques developed by the Italian masters. The blade is of stilleto proportions which evoked the fear of that dreaded weapon. The guard with small ring guard, incorporates forms found on stilletos, each executed in hexagonal section, requiring the hand of an artisan to laboriously shape and finish each. The grip is of brown horn as was popular for stilletos and later, plug bayonets. The small pommel button served to anchor the tang, but played no role in balancing the weapon, as its slender proportions allowed it to be quickly and easily maneuvered without the concern for inertia which came with a heavier weapon. As with early daggers in general, few examples survive as they were readily adapted for utility service when their primary function was outdated. This example is distinguished by its charming design, executed with masterful artistry. 13-104
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