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Title Blackshirt Militia officer's dirk
Nationality Italian
Period c 1930

This is the classic officer's dirk of Mussolini's private army. Many of these pieces, and the other ranks version, were captured in North Africa by the British as Fascist militia units served in the field with the armed forces. Not quite as obviously stylish as the German variety, but certainly with a great element of Italian panache!

90% original black paintwork remains, with some spider rusting evident throughout, but, carefully waxed, this should not present a problem from a conservation point of view. Nearly mint nickel silver blade, no maker's marks (as is standard with these weapons) and some traces of gilding remaining to the scabbard mounts and hanging chains. Note: SPQR motif on hanging strap clip, short for 'Senatus Populusque Romanus' for the Senate and People of Rome, Mussolini's idea of evoking imperial Roman might! The grip is polished aluminium with black plastic and gilt inset fasces to one side.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Edged Weapons : Dirks : Italian : 20th Century]


The bayonet just arrived, it's great, I'm very pleased with it. Thanks again for a superb service.

G D, UK, 29.01.2012

It came on Wednesday, in perfect condition, excellent piece. I will be ordering from you soon I'm sure, many thanks.

P A, UK, 04.05.2008