Late 18th-early 19th century, the period of Barbary piracy and the Tripolitan War. Styling based on the Italian model with turned wood grip with a small button pommel. Brass base ferrule (damaged) and rudimentary brass guard. The blade is thin, but inflexible with chiseled iron reinforced ricasso. The Italian influence is clear. Aside from demanding ransom from foreign ships for passage into the Mediterranean, Barbary Pirates or Corsairs raided coastal towns in Italy and ships at sea taking Christian slaves and hostages. This dagger is not designed for fighting, but rather, the clandestine attack as was the stiletto, from which it draws its inspiration. But unlike the stiletto, it is specifically made for both thrusting and slashing, both critical moves to dispatch a ship’s officer or a families head. For context, the distance from Tunisia to Sicily is about 100 miles by water and at 5 knots, made in about 17 hours. Sailing at midnight put you on land at dusk, the perfect time for a raid, done at dawn and home with your human cargo. It happened tens of thousands of times (if not more) resulting in millions of Christians enslaved in Africa and the Arab World. This knife is of such specific function, its owner surely carried a fighting knife as well, along with his sword.

Stock Number: FNS6011

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