Sometimes even broken swords had a use.  This broken broadsword blade has been recycled with the addition of a wood and brass grip and turned into a dirk.  The dirk was a Highland weapon and general purpose implement.  In warfare it was commonly used in conjunction with a broadsword.  The dirk would be held in the left hand and protruded from underneath the wielders targe (a small leather covered wooden shield).  The dirk could then be used to rake an opponent as the targe was used to sweep aside a bayoneted musket leaving the enemy soldier open to a blow from the sword.   Dirks are descended from the medieval ballock knife and ranged from this functional type to elaborate ones worn by gentlemen such as the one owned by Arthur Elphinstone, the Jacobite Lord Balmerino.  Later into the 18th century they became more ornamental, being worn as accessories with Highland dress or for ceremonial purposes by the army.
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Scotland, although the blade was probably originally German.
Dimensions :
blade 483mm
Materials :
steel, wood, brass
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Copyright :
East Ayrshire Council
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