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Gilt Neo-Gothic Figural Dagger, ca. 1850, Probably French
The gilded one-piece hilt features a grip in the form of a winged demon with a dagger in his left hand. Quillons are striking viper's heads with mouths wide open and fangs showing. Hilt is probably cast iron or steel, as a magnet sticks to it. Diamond-section 4 1/2" blade with gilt ricasso and rounded point, etched with acanthus pattern (age staining and minor wear). Brown iron scabbard with gothic design in high relief. Gilded chain and belt clip. Overall length of dagger 8", not including scabbard. Some wear to gilding at the high spots. Daggers of this type were popular during the Gothic Revival of the 19th C and were often used by cults in ritual ceremonies.
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