Original 16th Century Scottish Main Gauche Parrying Left Hand Dagger
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is a fascinating Elizabethan era dagger dating from 1580-1595 that was carried by both Gentlemen and Officers of the period. Know as a Main Gauche dagger meaning left hand, it was used in conjunction with a rapier or similar sword in the right hand. The hooked cross guard designed to protect your hand from your opponent's sword blade. There is also a circular cross guard attachment which provided the user an opportunity to trap his foe's blade allowing a fatal lunge with the sword in his right hand.
The parrying dagger is a category of small hand-held weapons from the European late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. These weapons were used as off-hand weapons in conjunction with a single-handed sword. As the name implies they were designed to parry, or defend, more effectively than a simple dagger form, typically incorporating a wider guard, and often some other defensive features to better protect the hand, as well. It may also be used for attack if an opportunity arises. The general category includes two more specific kinds of weapon: sword breakers and trident daggers.
The use of this off-hand weapon gradually fell out of favor as sword fighting evolved into the modern sport of fencing. The use of progressively lighter primary weapons such as the small sword, épée, and foil allowed for greater speed as the fencer needed less and less protection for himself as double hits became more and more allowed in the sport fencing.
This daggers appears to be original to the 16th century
This dagger sold off from a Scottish manor house after three centuries of armorial decoration the dagger has a thirteen inch double sided blade stamped with deep armorer markings and incorporating blood channels. Shows some ancient pitting particularly toward the point. The hilt, (grip), is of finely bound iron plaited wire with a traditional urn shaped iron pommel (the pommel could be a replacement). The dagger measures 19" overall.
Much replicated in the 19th century for medieval displays, this dagger has the quality of workmanship and markings of an original to the Elizabethan period.
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