Right at the end of the 14th Century daggers began to evolve into several different styles including those that looked like small versions of swords of the same period. This was a change from the rondel styles of the proceeding generation of medieval combatants. While the first appearance of the wheel pommel and guard is tough to nail down, it does not appear widespread until the mid 1300's, and becomes more common in the 15th century.
English illustration ~1250 to1300
Our 14th Century Dagger represents one of these hand to hand weapons of the medieval man-at-arms. A stiff, sharply tapering blade would be powerful in the thrust and a dangerous lever in the grappling style of combat depicted in manuals such as Fiore's Flower of Battle.
This handsome dagger is based on a couple of major influences, chiefly a very nice piece in the collection at Skokloster Slott in Sweden, and depictions in the knightly figures of illuminated manuscripts of the period. It is a large dagger at just over 18" long and has a blade length of 12.5 inches. The hardwood grip is covered in leather and the hilt components are steel.
Daggers of this style continued to be popular through the entire span of the medieval period and even saw renewed interest in the gothic revivals of the renaissance. This is a great feeling dagger in the hand and makes a good side arm for show, practice or reenactment.
Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography. He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.
Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985.