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US Navy Dirk, War of 1812

PRICE: $2,250

Description:

Superb survivor from the Age of Fighting Sail and the big American frigates of 1797. In the early US Navy of the Federal Period through the War of 1812, all midshipmen carried dirks like this one instead of swords. Cross guard consists of a pair of spread eagles, relief cast in brass. Turned ivory grip. See Peter Tuite’s book on US Navy Arms, available from Man at Arms, for a similar example.  4 ¾” double edged blade, bright and gilt floral devices with panoply of arms (flag, halberd, kettle drum, musket) on brilliant fire-blued blade.  Brass scabbard with about 20% original gilt is scratched “T,” doubtless the initial of its original owner.  Diminutive frog stud for suspension on wearer.  Blade retains about 90% finish, the eagle cross guards, about 70% gilt.  On dirks, grip construction differs fundamentally from that of swords.  The blade tang of a sword continues through the entire grip and is peened to secure grip to sword.  On a dirk, a separate pommel cap is applied to conceal the top of the blade tang.  These were often lost, as seems to have happened on this example.  Pommel cap seems to have been replaced, so price is not $3,500 but $2,250.


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