Original Circa 1800 European Naval Dirk Knife with Silver Mounted Scabbard
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is truly unusual. The shape of the grip is greatly influenced by the style of the Ottoman Empire. After the Battle of the Nile in 1798 many weapons were produced by both French and British makers showing the "eastern" influence. However, this is the very first we've seen quite like this. Although it dates perhaps 30 years before Jim Bowie was killed at the Alamo the large blade with a very slight Bowie style point would make this a forerunner of things to come.
The blade is substantial being 14 inches long by almost 1.5 inches wide at the cross guard. The blade is nicely engraved with foliage and bird scenes and was once gold washed near the cross guard. The grip appears to be polished bone or marine ivory and is inlaid with silver plaques of the Urns and Sea Monsters of Naval tradition.
The dirk is still contained in its original hard leather scabbard with silver upper and lower mounts. The leather shows wear and age meaning great care must be used when withdrawing the dirk from the scabbard to avoid damage or injury, as the leather has split along the cutting edge of the blade.
This knife could be of English origin but the lack of any Royal cypher to the blade may indicate it is in fact French from the Napoleonic era. In any event, it is a fearsome weapon measuring 20 inches overall.
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