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Exceptionally Rare Late 15th Century Renaissance Period English or Scottish Ballock Dagger, with amber and gold handle

( ID: ed1183 )

An exceptionally rare example of a princely or royal ballock or dudgeon dagger dating to the late 15th - early 16th century.  

Of a well known type often river or water found, this example was reputedly a river find in Northern England in the 1960s, and is composed of materials that would have been only used on the highest quality examples of the period.  The form is typical for both size and aesthetic and displays characteristics of some of the earliest Scottish ballock dirks, with a crown formed pommel, also found on late 15th century examples, with a characteristic inverted cone pommel capped with a metal, in this case gold pommel cap with simple geometric designs.  

The handle is composed of three pieces of richly colored honeyed amber, a royal material at the time known to the English isles having washed up on the shores of the eastern coast. The inverted pommel cap displays simple radiating carving corresponding to the gold pommel cap.  The crossguard displays the characteristic ballock shape of two lobes separated by a thickened middle section.  Each section is surmounted by a gold covering with four separate gold sections.

The handle remains in fine but appropriately worn condition, with the iron peen displaying the appropriate rust and degradation to a river find.  The iron blade is worn and displays the appropriate age commensurate with a river find as well and retains it's original shape of a single edge with a triangular cross-section.

Overall the quality, form and origin indicate that this was likely a princely example worn by either an English or Scottish noble of the early Renaissance and the late Gothic period.   

Overall length is 11", blade is 7 1/2".

Photo #1 of Exceptionally Rare Late 15th Century Renaissance Period English or Scottish Ballock Dagger, with amber and gold handle
Photo #2 of Exceptionally Rare Late 15th Century Renaissance Period English or Scottish Ballock Dagger, with amber and gold handle
Photo #3 of Exceptionally Rare Late 15th Century Renaissance Period English or Scottish Ballock Dagger, with amber and gold handle
Photo #4 of Exceptionally Rare Late 15th Century Renaissance Period English or Scottish Ballock Dagger, with amber and gold handle
Photo #5 of Exceptionally Rare Late 15th Century Renaissance Period English or Scottish Ballock Dagger, with amber and gold handle
Photo #6 of Exceptionally Rare Late 15th Century Renaissance Period English or Scottish Ballock Dagger, with amber and gold handle
Photo #7 of Exceptionally Rare Late 15th Century Renaissance Period English or Scottish Ballock Dagger, with amber and gold handle
Photo #8 of Exceptionally Rare Late 15th Century Renaissance Period English or Scottish Ballock Dagger, with amber and gold handle