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Dean Castle Arms and Armour


Left hand dagger with curved crossguard

17th Century

From the late Middle Ages going into the Early Modern period, the practice of wearing swords or rapiers as an accessory to civilian dress became more common, with these blades serving as both personal adornment and personal defence. As a result, parrying daggers such as this object, and short swords, were used to block the strike of opponents in non-military situations.


This left hand dagger, is an example of such a weapon. The dagger has a wire wrapped tang to form its grip. Its S-shaped crossguard and fingerloop are decorated with floral designs, and Classical and cherubic figures. The object has three pierced fullers that emerge from the base of the doubl-edged blade at its ricasso, with the central fuller continuing along the bottom two thirds of its length.


The S-shaped crossguard serves as a stylisation. However it also functions to help control the opponent's blade, as by twisting the dagger, it is possible to catch the opponent's blade on the crossguard. 

Place of Production:
L: 160mm
Dean Castle
Digital Number:
East Ayrshire Council

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