This magnificent weapon was originally paired with a cup-hilt rapier. As a set (or en suite), they would have been decorated identically and used, with the rapier in the right hand and the dagger in the left. The rapier provided the attack, while the dagger provided defense. The ribs along the back of the blade could trap and deflect an opponent’s blade. The pierced guard could capture the point of a rapier. If deflected, the point would slide to the channel created by the guard’s rolled over edge. Of course, if the opportunity was presented, the blade could deliver the fatal thrust. The beautiful pierced metal work reflects a style which was popular for a few decades in Northern Italy, as well as Spain, where much of the output of the Italian shops were marketed. Example of that work in this quality were reserved for the wealthy and most surviving examples are in museums. 15" length blade.