Treasure Chasers

October 9, 2009

Left-hand Dagger

Filed under: Treasure chasing — admin @ 3:28 pm

Captain Andy Matroci and the crew of the JB Magruder reported finding a dagger on the debris trail of the Atocha, south of the Emerald City site. This encrusted knife is about 18 inches long and has an ornate hand guard.

In 1535 a knife was designed for holding in the left hand during combat, while a rapier was carried in the right. This combination of blades determined the dagger would be handy for parry. The blades were usually double-edged and the points reinforced; the length, 14 to18 inches. These daggers were called poignards or left-hand daggers. The French called them main-gauche, which means “left hand” in French.

Some left-hand daggers were double-edged knives with spring-loaded sub-blades that jutted out on each side of the blade. This dagger could parry and catch a rapier and with a twisting movement, gained an advantage in combat.

The left hand dagger was a weapon used almost exclusively in conjunction with the rapier and was distinguished by its long quillons (cross guards), which often curved forward toward the blade. While it was mostly used in defense, it also had the added advantage of being an offensive weapon when the combatants closed in to a point where the longer reach of the sword was no longer effective.

This knife was used for fighting, and little else.

After conservation in our laboratory, we will know much more about this unique artifact. Stay tuned.

Investor Relations Team
Joe – 305-295-7925 or email
Shawn – 305-294-5441 or email
Bill – 305-294-5266 or email

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