Fine Antique Arms & Armour

Mid 18th Century Silver Mounted Scottish Dirk Ref: 01.14


Price: £3,250

Item Description:

A good quality, elegant, Highland Scottish dirk, in good condition, dating to the middle of the 18th century. It is fashioned with a grip made from bog oak with silver mounts and is armed with a cut down broadsword blade marked with "Kings Head" marks on either side. The overall length is just over 20 inches (52 cm).

The grip has a rich, deep, dark patina. It is cut with six columns of reeded Celtic interlace. At the front on each side two columns extend side by side from the pommel to the silver ferrule mounted at the base of the grip near the blade. At the sides a shorter column extends from the pommel to the top of each silver mounted shoulder haunch. At the top and bottom spaces between the interlace are carved with studs.

The silver pommel cap protects the top and the edge of the circular pommel top. The blade tang is secured by a silver cross-shaped nut and a silver pommel button which sits on top of this. The ferrule at the base of the grip has been formed with the haunches as one piece prior to mounting and is decorated either side with a pair of parallel lines similar to those present on the pommel cap rim.

The blade is 15.75 inches (40 cm) long and just over an inch (2.75 cm) wide. It has a bold ricasso 1.5 inches (3.75 cm) long with a deep fuller cut near to each edges on either side. The blade is clearly cut with four kings head marks either side interspersed on one side with the letters A N D R E A and F A R A R A on the other. Either side of these letters on each side of the blade the remains of a double fuller can be made out which would have been ground away when the sword blade was converted into a dirk blade. The blade is sharp on both sides and tapers to the point. There is a slight amount of age staining to the blade which does not detract from the elegant lines of this dirk.

The kings heads marks are mainly associated with the bladesmiths of Solingen of which the blademakers from the Wundes family are perhaps best known. Each maker produced a head which adopted slight variations to a common theme. The blades are mainly attributed to the 17th century and often appear on early Scottish basket-hilted swords dating to the end of the 17th and early 18th centuries.


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