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Thread: Three new Medieval daggers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Seattle, WA, USA

    Three new Medieval daggers

    Thwittle in a style sometimes called a 'Peasant dagger'

    Overall Length:* 8-3/4* inches
    Blade Length: 4-13/16 inches
    Hilt Overall Length: 3-15/16 inches
    Blade width @ Base: 5/8 inch
    Blade Thickness: 1/4 inch
    Center of Gravity: 3/8 inch from base of handle
    Period: 12th - 15th C.AD
    A narrow tang on a knife was, in the Medieval period, called a 'Whittle' tang and a knife featuring such a tang was referred to as a'Thwittle.'* The vast majority of Thwittles were mounted with thin working blades of a variety of sizes and useful shapes but some were mounted with thick narrow blades more like a single-edged dagger.* In the sheath these would be indistinguishable from a 'normal' working knife.* In recent years we have come to refer to these as 'Peasant Daggers' as they seem to be a way of concealing a useful weapon in plain sight.* Based on an excavated blade from London this knife features a 5160 spring steel blade 1/4 inch thick at the base with a shallow convex distal taper from the base to the point.* The flats of the blade are 'rolled' into an edge. There is a slightly raised section at the base of the spine and the base of the blade sports an incised groove on either face near the spine.* There is a brass shoulder-plate and the handle is Cocobolo wood.*

    The sheath is 6 oz. top grain vegetable tanned leather.* It is dyed a light tan color and it's surfaces are decorated with period-style incised work.* When hung from the belt by the attatched leather cord the knife sits deeply and securely in the sheath.* The scabbards form and decoration are in the style of excavated examples contemporary to the knife.

    While this knife seems to be primarily intended as a weapong it does retain a reasonable amount of utility as an eating knife or for light camp chores.

    Dagger of the Baselard style

    Overall Length:* 13-3/8* inches
    Blade Length: 8-3/8 inches
    Hilt Overall Length: 5 inches
    Handle Length: 4 inches
    Blade width @ Base: 7/8 inch
    Blade Thickness: 1/4 inch
    Center of Gravity: 1-1/8 inches from base of hilt
    Period: Late 13th - 15th C.AD
    The medieval Dagger came in a variety of hilt and blade forms but the one thing thay had in common was that they were purpose- built to circumvent armor.* One of the more popular forms of dagegr, particularly in the 14th C. AD was the baselard.* They might have a narrow tang, a full tang or something in between but their defining characteristic is a hilt in the form of a capital 'I.'** This practical form prevents the hand from slipping onto the blade when thrusting but also gives purchase when removing it from the target.* This example with a full-profile hilt features a double-edged 5160 spring steel blade and Cocobolo wood scales secured by brass rivets.* The top-grain vegetable-tanned period-style single-seam scabbard has been dyed a light tan color.

    Ballock Dagger

    Overall Length:* 16-3/8* inches
    Blade Length: 11-3/16 inches
    Hilt Overall Length: 5 3/16 inches
    Handle Length: 4 1/4 inches
    Blade width @ Base: 13/16 inch
    Blade Thickness: 1/4 inch
    Center of Gravity: Base of Blade
    Period: Late 14th - 16th C.AD
    The Ballock Dagger (or later called a 'Kidney Dagger' by squeamish Victorians) is characterized by it's hilt form.* In this style of dagger the normal cross-guard is replaced by two (or rarely three) ball-shaped lobes.* These are usually carved of the same piece of material as the handle (as this daggers is) but are occasionally a separate piece or can even be of metal.* The handle itself can be flared as this examples is of be phalliform in shape.* This dagger features a single-edged blade fo 5160 spring steel and an exotic hardwood handle with a brass shoulder-plate and butt-plate.* The hidden tang runs the full length of the handle but is not attatched to the butt-plate which is secured by four small nails.* The period-style single-seam scabbard is dyed a medium brown color and is reinforced at the throat and tip.

    It is often said that such daggers were worn centered on the front of the body in a suggestive fashion but in reality this was only widely practiced in England for a short time in the mid-14th century.

    More photos of these and other swords and daggers can be found here: Fine knives, swords and daggers in the style of the European Middle Ages and Viking Era

    "Then, one night as my car was going backwards through a cornfield an ninety miles per hour, I had an epiphany..."

    Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

  2. #2
    Beautiful work, especially the thwittle and its sheath... it seems to bridge the gap between later British seaxes and the sgian archles, at least in style....
    141. Not allowed to use a broadsword to disprove ‘The Pen is Mightier than the sword’.
    Some of my blades


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