This example dates to the 2nd-3rd quarter of the 19th C. and is in the form of the classic Argentinian gaucho knife. T<span style=line-height: 1.6em;he symmetricalscabbard 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. T<span style=line-height: 1.6em;he 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.