British Royal Navy Georgian Fighting Dirk
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» British Royal Navy Georgian Fighting Dirk
This fighting dirk has been professionally crafted from a cut-down Georgian sword. The sword itself started life as a 1796 pattern infantry officer’s sword.
Although it is hard to establish exactly when this conversion took place, it is likely to have been not long after the sword’s initial manufacture. The spadroon blade of the P1796 was unpopular with fighting officers, being rather flimsy and neither a thrusting nor a cutting blade. As such, many officers re-bladed their swords. It is possible that an officer of marines, formerly armed in the infantry style, chose to have his broken sword adapted for fighting on deck.
The re-working of the sword is of high quality, indicating that it was carried out by a qualified blade-smith. The original guard inlet in the pommel has been carefully filled, the crosspiece cut and re-formed the blade re-pointed and the spine scalloped.
The 225mm blade is in good condition with a mild salt and pepper patina. The blade retains its fighting edge and has a few minor edge nicks, testifying to its use. The scalloped spine is signed with the original maker’s name, “J.J.Runkel, Solingen” and the ricasso bears the name “D. Neef,” which could be either the blade-smith who re-worked it or the cutler who sold it.
The blade is engraved with trophies of arms and flowers above and below the Georgian crown and Royal cypher of George III. The obverse of the blade is engraved with trophies of arms and the Royal coat of arms and motto.
The dirk is in overall good condition with most of the gilding on the hilt remaining and the twisted brass wire is intact and tight. The blade is firm in the hilt.