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Title Hunting hanger with tortoiseshell grip
Nationality German
Period c 1710
Price £550.00
 (This item is subject to special postage, click here for more information.)

The hilt could be Dutch or French, the use of tortoiseshell having been introduced to Europe in the late 17th century, probably through Dutch colonial connections. The mid 18th-century German blade (26" long) would have replaced an earlier, shorter, straight, double-edged blade (broken?), probably to enable the weapon's use as a naval hanger.

As far as I can judge, the blade replacement was more than likely to have been done in its service life.

With regard to the hilt, there are two indicators as to its age: 1) there is a bold female caryatid in the centre of the knucklebow, identical to that in use on a French smallsword with an ormulu hilt in the V&A, dated 1700; 2) the use of a mastiff's head with its tongue hanging out as a quillon is, again, an early feature not found on later 18th-century hilts.

The tortoiseshell grip is tortoiseshell veneer on a wood base. There is a small split on the obverse side and there would appear to be silver or gold foil backing behind the tortoiseshell, as one would expect. The veneer is exceptionally thick, close to 1/10" (2 mm) depth visible at split. The brass fittings have lost virtually all their original gilt finish, but are still in quite good shape for the age of the piece.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Edged Weapons : Swords : German : 18th Century]


[From a vendor, rather than a buyer]

I'm delighted that you are happy with the badge and I hope you can sell it to someone who will value owning it.

I tried to sell it on eBay but they won't accept Nazi items. I then contacted several dealers via a Google search who mostly offered me 40-50 after some haggling. Most of the other dealers tried to conceal its true value in their replies and also lacked manners which doesn't inspire confidence.

Ultimately it's about trust. I should think that most prospective sellers have done their own research and therefore know roughly what their item is worth. You were the only dealer who had the integrity to concede that my valuation was approximately correct and I respect your comment that you can't offer this as you need to make a profit. Your honest approach is greatly appreciated and I felt comfortable taking the risk in sending it to you.

Thank you for a smooth transaction

C D, UK, 01.07.2015

Many many many thanks about [for] your dagger! Very fine quality! I love it!

A P, Russia, 07.04.2009