Exhibition Quality 19th C. Argentinian or Uruguayan Gaucho Knife with chiseled steel (ID: ed1086)
Exhibition Quality 19th C. Argentinian or Uruguayan Gaucho Knife with chiseled steel
|( ID: ed1086 )|
This example dates to the 2nd-3rd quarter of the 19th C. and is in the form of the classic Argentinian gaucho knife. The symmetrical scabbard with decorative element at the tip is a distinguishing characteristic of Argentinean gaucho knives. The forte of the blade is carved and pieced with a gryphon. The grip proper is of faceted silver and the scabbard is carved iron with a velvet core. The scabbard is embossed and chased and further pierced on the obverse with an angel in flight as well as a belt hook engraved with opposing faces. The hilt is mounted with a thickly gilded and embellished pommel and ferrule, the pommel is further set with a series of six mine-cut garnets. The retaining nut unscrews to reveal a small secret compartment within the pommel.
The condition is exceptional with the blade retaining the original mirror finish. The superbly forged blade of this knife is in the Bowie style, the pierced forte is of classic Mediterranean form usually found from the 16th – 18th century. The mythological creature depicted suggests some sort of dragon but the distinctly lion-like features such as hairy paws and wings remind us of a gryphon, a creature half eagle, half lion.
A wonderful dagger likely made by an Italian immigrant smith to Argentia working in the form and stylistic design of Mediterranean forms.
Overall length is 13", blade is 7 1/2".