Figural all steel stilletos were popular in Italy in the second half of the 17th century. The most highly regarded were made in Brescia, also famous for its firearms. Most had innoxious themes and a few, whimsical. This example bears a chiseled iron hilt modeled as a man with the body of a boy in an awkward stance and speculative duel gesture. The facial features including the pointed chin are specific enough to suggest that it was intended as an insult to an individual readily identifiable at the time but now obscured in history. The guard and blade are typical for the period and also suggest a Brescian origin.