Would You Kindly

art-of-swords:

Brunswick Dagger 

  • Dated: 1583
  • Measurements: overall length 44.9 cm
  • Provenance: The armoury of Julius, Duke of Brunswick-WolfenbÜttel (r. 1568-89)

The dagger has a hollow triangular blade, iron hilt formed with a pair of very short slightly arched quillons with spirally fluted tips and a residual outer shell-guard. The compressed pommel is cut with a gadrooned (ornamental notching or carving of a rounded molding) pattern in relief over the top, while the horn grip is carved as a column of off-set triangles studded with nails at the points and with a brass fillet at both ends.

The weapon has a fabric-covered wooden scabbard, with large tubular iron mounts with prominent raised mouldings and each cut with pierced fleur-de-lys almost meeting in the middle of the scabbard. The upper mount has four wood-lined shaped apertures for a triangular blade and three implements. The upper mount has a belt-loop at the rear, while the outer face engraved with a strapwork frame enclosing an heraldic device.

There’s an arm issuant from a cloud extended over a fire and holding a candle, the motto “Aliis in Serviendo Consvmor” and the date 1583 above. The bottom mount is engraved with a chequered panel together with the abbreviated inscription "IHZS", and complete with a byknife inlaid with a latten mark, awl and bodkin each entirely of steel. 

Sidenotes:

  1. The dagger was included in the “Exhibition of Arms, Armour and Militaria” lent by H.R.H. The Duke of Brunswick at the Tower of London, April 10th - October 31st 1952, No.93.
  2. The motto “Aliis in Serviendo Consvmor” (“I spend myself in the service of others”) is found on several two-hand processional swords from the distinctive series made for the Brunswick Ducal armoury, one of which was included in the 1952 Tower exhibition as No. 79.
  3. The abbreviated inscription “IHZS” (“Jesus Hilf zur Seligkeit”) is also found on the pommel of a rapier included in the 1952 exhibition, No.69, on a pistol made for Duke Julius, now in the Royal Armouries, Leeds (No. XII, 1176) and on some of the small gilt-brass hunting horns also from the Ducal armouries.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Hermann Historica