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ANTIQUE EAGLE HEADED HISTORIC U.S. NAVAL DIRK - DAGGER

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ANTIQUE U.S. NAVY DIRK GUARANTEED AUTHENTIC

Likely 1805 - 1812

 
 
Presented is a high quality, and very rare, curved sea service dagger called a "dirk". The pommel is of brass in the shape of the head of an American eagle. The cross hatched wood handle is scored by hand to make a firm grip. The channel or "fuller" runs right along the upper curve. Dirks have a long history in the Navy and date as far back as the Barbary War (1805) and were used as part of the midshipman's uniform as late as 1867.

America's armed forces were increased in numbers around 1799 with the approach of the War of 1812 with England. It was in those years at the turn of the 19th century that the eagle's head in a style that was typically American in character first began to be used as the pommel of sword hilts intended for the military. At the same time, the bird in its entirety, with or without the motto, "E. Pluribus Unum," was incorporated in the decoration of blades. After great deliberation and much discussion, the eagle was finally adopted in 1782 as an appropriate national emblem. Shortly thereafter, it made its official début in the use of the Great Seal of the United States, and on the coinage. Soon afterward this insignia made its appearance generally on military paraphernalia. In the United States National Museum at Washington is an unusually interesting officer's saber, undoubtedly of French manufacture, having an eagle head pommel and blade decorated with spread eagle, motto, and the date 1783. This is without question one of the first swords to be so designed and inscribed. Once the vogue for the eagle head pommel was established, it remained in popularity in the Army for half a century. In the naval service it was much shorter lived, probably from about 1832 into the 1840's.

An exception is made of the dirk, the short weapon with either a straight blade or one exaggeratedly curved, which was worn by officers of the Navy when in undress uniform or on boat duty. The eagle head pommel is thought to have appeared on these as early as the War with Tripoli and was regulation upon the midshipman's uniform as late as 1867.

 
 
DIMENSIONS: 19 3/4" long overall. 14 7/8" blade length. Max width of blade 1 1/8"  Weight 12 ounces
 
 
                       Classic American eagle head
                      Hand scored cross hatching
CONDITION:  Unmarked and undated in its present from, the brass work is in exceptionally good condition. What marks there were have been worn away or are hidden by pitting. The brass guard is slightly loose and must have had some wood wedges to tighten it. The blade is in excellent condition with very little pitting and discoloration. It still has an edge and is smooth to the touch. The wood grip's cross hatching is by hand, and is in excellent condition. There is no scabbard.
Without exception for its age an and years of use this is a first rate U.S. Naval dirk from a historic period in our nation's history.
OUR UNCONDITIONAL GUARANTEE: If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in its original condition and packaging. Returns must be insured for their full value. All that is required is a prior email authorization by us for the return. Unfortunately, no refund can be made for the cost of shipping, packaging and handling unless we are at fault.

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This represents an outstanding example of an antique sea service dirk that might date back to the Tripolitan War. Buy this magnificent collector's cannon Now!

 
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