Early Victorian Indian Navy Midshipman's
Dirk, Mole, Sold
Scarce 1st Opium War era Her Majesty's Indian Navy Midshipman's
Dirk by Mole.
An issued Her Majesty's Indian Navy Midshipman's Dirk with East
India Company cursive inspection mark (we think "D" over
"8" for 1840 - it may look more like 2 over g, but the
letter should be largest and above the number), with later India
decommissioning stamps to langet, and maker's name "Mole"
to spine of blade. The 17 5/8 inch blade is in good order, but with
some rust to near the tip, and a patina throughout. The dirk is
quite loose and backpiece has moved out / come astray some. The
hilt aged, but sound. The wooden grip aged but sound. The leather
and gilt metal scabbard aged, with stitching coming apart and a
hole / break, but the scabbard remains whole. The dirk sheathes
and draws well enough.
This dirk was almost certainly aboard one the Her Majesty's Indian
Navy ships that fought the 1st Opium War against (Qing) China, which
the British won, the Chinese surrender marked by the Treaty of Nanking
in which Hong Kong Island was ceded to Britain.
Sure, as an issued weapon it has had a long and harsh service life,
but these things are rare and really evocative. A dream and investment
for only £? (too late, now sold). Please quote item reference
AB12 (0103). Further / full sized images upon request.