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Exquisite Gothic Ear Dagger, North Italian, Late 15th C
Tapering 9 1/4" double-edged blade with central ridge and offset ricasso. Multi-piece grip with steel core chiseled with diagonal reed pattern and integral circular "ears" angled away from the grip; chiseled shell pattern on the reverse with ivory plates on the obverse and layered projection comprised of brass, horn, ivory, and steel. The steel grip components fire gilded (worn). Riveted polished black horn grip slabs (small chip and crack on one side) and contoured finger rest with riveted ivory plate on each side. Overall length 15 1/4". Exceptional quality, obviously made for someone of great wealth and importance, and very good condition for its great age. Steel parts lightly pitted. For similar examples see "Europaische Hieb-und Stichwaffen" (Muller/Kolling), page 177 and "Blankwaffen I" (Seitz), page 116.
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