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Dagger handle and sheath, with arches and bands of rosettes (manche et fourreau de poignard; décor de roses) (Side 1)

Dagger handle and sheath, with arches and bands of rosettes (manche et fourreau de poignard; décor de roses) (Side 1)
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Side 2

Side 1

Side 2

Secular. Courtly love.

Repository Institution

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Munich, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum

Inv. 73/208

Silver, formerly gilded (ring and point of the sheath);steel (blade);ivory

Height: 240 mm (sheath)
Width: 72 mm (handle)
Depth: 23 mm (sheath)

Two heads: a youth and a lady; youth wearing a chaplet pierced with small holes.
Lozenge enclosing the face of a youth on one side; youth wearing a chaplet pierced with small holes; face of a lady on the other side.
Pierced trefoils.
Sheath: crouching hybrids; foliated decoration. Courting couples (meeting of lovers); couple making a wreath; offering of a chaplet; flowers; holding a bird; fire-breathing dragons.
Inscription: 'LIEB'.

Munich 1974: Rhineland (?), c. 1330-1350.
Müller 1975: probably French, 1320s.
Paris 1998: South Tyrol, 14th century.


Polychromy - Gilding
Remains of polychromy.

Carved in the round.

Object Condition
Probably missing two heads in the upper corners of the handle, though this area is now polished and shows no trace of them.

Most figures wear chaplets pierced with small holes, where gems must have been originally inserted. The eyes also seem to be filled with a dark substance. The metal fittings and blade may be later.

Collection of Johann von Vintler (Koechlin mistakenly referred to this collector as von Findler), Griesbach near Bruneck in the mid 19th century (a gesso copy of the object donated by him in 1857 to the Ferdinandeum in Innsbruck is lost, but a photograph of it was published by Trapp). Private collection, Meran (South Tyrol); acquired by the Museum in 1973.

J. von Hefner-Alteneck, Trachten (Frankfurt, 1879), III (1882), p. 25.
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), II, pp. 409-410, in relation to no. 1142bis.
O. Graf Trapp, 'Ein verschollener Prunkdolch des 14. Jahrhunderts', in Der Schlern 41 (1967), pp. 130-131.
'Amtliche Berichte der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen', in Münchner Jahrbuch 25 (1974), pp. 230-232.
T. Müller, 'Ein früher gotischer Prunkdolch', in Pantheon 33 (1975), pp. 203-207, figs. 1-2.
L'art au temps des rois maudits: Philippe le Bel et ses fils (1285-1328), exhibition catalogue, Paris, Grand Palais, 1998, p. 167.
P. Williamson and G. Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings 1200-1550 (London, 2014), p. 643, fig. 1, in relation to no. 224 and in relation to no. 225.


© Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich. Photography: Bastian Krack.

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