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Title Silver-mounted whalebone-hilted dirk
Nationality Adriatic
Period c 1780

Dirks of this quality would have been carried by merchant seamen in the Mediterranean area, also by pirates. It could well be a Croatian piece.

The shape of the hilt is derived from the Mediterranean dirk, although there is no baluster at the forte as you would expect. The mounting of the blade, where the base of the blade meets the crossguard directly, is more typically North European.

It has pewter inlay in the hilt and is mounted with a silver ferule, pommel and strapwork, which is unusual, as in Europe it was not normal practice to mix base metal (pewter) with precious metal (silver), a further indication that this could be of Balkan origin. There are no hallmarks, so it's probably a low grade coin-type silver.

The blade is 9.75 inches long and the scabbard is a modern one.

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

[Edged Weapons : Dirks : Adriatic : 18th Century]


Just to tell you that the bayo arrived today and I'm very pleased with it.

C A, Netherlands, 06.11.2006

Yes, arrived safe and sound, very nice, and very interesting. Have a couple of friends in the States slavering over the pictures, one of them loves searching old lists, etc. If I can tie it down more definitely will let you know.

N R, UK, 19.10.2005