Circa 1800 British naval dirk (sold)
A rare British naval fighting dirk from around 1800, in good order.
This dirk started life as one or more naval officer's swords from
around 1780, and was cut down and converted into a fighting dirk
around 1800, when it was probably issued to a gunnery master or
similar. Naval captains were responsible for their own budgets and
budgetary constraints, so this passing down of weapons from officers
to senior hands (gunnery sargeants, etc.) was very common. The dirk
is possibly made from two swords, as the grip and pommel are the
traditional form for so-called "slotted" hilt swords,
which the crossguard clearly is not. Very few of these dirks survived,
as they were not officer's private possessions and therefore were
generally used and abused until they were no longer usable, perhaps
even in a galley. So this is a rare example indeed to have survived.
This is the type of dirk that would have been worn by senior hands
on the gun decks of the British Royal Navy at the time of Trafalgar.
The 8 1/2 inch blade is in good order and fairly firm in the hilt.
The wooden twisted turn grip has a few missing areas but is generally
good. The leather and gilted steel fitting sheath is I believe period,
A superb investment; miss this one and see how long you have to
wait until another comes along! Further / full sized images upon
request. Please quote reference number B26 (479)