Rothenburg Bollock Dagger with Leather Sheath, late 15th century
The so-called bollock dagger, also known as ballock dagger or kidney dagger, owes its quite peculiar name to the two distinctive spherical / egg-shaped protrusions or bulges that form the guard and lend the hilt an explicitly phallic appearance. This particular type of medieval dagger was in use all over Europe and appeared in a myriad of variations over the course of its unusually long lifespan, which lasted from the late Middle Ages (14th c.) throughout the Renaissance. On the British Isles, it even subsisted until as late as the 17th / 18th c. in modified forms (dudgeon dagger in England and dirk in Scotland).
Usually carried as a companion sidearm to a sword or rapier, this thrusting weapon enjoyed great popularity with knights, as its sharply tapered blade with pointed tip was ideal for piercing padded armour and chain mail or stabbing the opponent through the joints of his plate armour in close-quarters combat. But beside of being a lethal implement, it was also used as a fashionable display of wealth, and knights and well-to-do townsmen often ostentatiously carried their artfully crafted and richly ornamented daggers as a status symbol.
The beautiful, stylish medieval dagger we offer here is based on an original late 15th c. example (approx. 1450-1480) of Northern Italian origin that belongs to the weapons collection of the Baumann Foundation displayed at the Rothenburg Museum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany.
The blade is made of EN45 spring steel, has a diamond cross-section and tapers evenly to an acute point. The cutting edges are not sharpened and the tang is threaded to the pommel. The handle with characteristic lobed guard is carved from one single piece of wood and reinforced with antiqued brass fittings. It flares upwards to a flat, intricately adorned butt cap. The equally ornate guard plate features downturned, right-angled quillons with upward curved finials which were devised to catch and trap enemy blades in hand-to-hand combat.
This knightly dagger comes complete with a vegetable-tanned, neatly stitched leather sheath equipped with a leather cord for attachment to a belt. The motifs and cut-outs adorning the butt cap are repeated on the handsome antiqued brass chape with button finial.
Please note that this late medieval dagger is not a battle ready weapon. It is designed as a collector’s or decoration/display piece and is not suited for combat reenactment. Besides its quality as a collectible, it is also perfectly suited as a prop, e.g. to complete your costume.
– Material: EN45 spring steel blade (high carbon steel, not stainless), antiqued brass pommel and guard plate, wooden handle
– Overall length: approx. 39.5 cm
– Blade length: approx. 25 cm
– Blade thickness: approx. 4 mm / 3 mm (cutting edges approx. 0.8 mm)
– Hilt length: approx. 14.5 cm / 16 cm with finials (grip approx. 8 cm)
– Max. blade width: approx. 2 cm
– Point of balance: approx. -4 cm (on the grip, right behind the lobed guard)
– Incl. genuine leather sheath with antiqued brass chape and leather cord
– Weight without sheath: approx. 370 g
– Weight with sheath: approx. 445 g