Cretan Dagger

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EA13 Cretan Dagger-sm

Code EA13

This dagger is from Crete, made in the classical "winged hilt" style. It is probably of mid to late 20th C. manufacture.

The overall length is 5 ¾ inches long

The steel blade is 3 ¼ inches long and quite thin, ½ inch wide with straight spine. The edge sweeps up to a pointed tip. The blade is sharpened on one side only.  The blade is soldered to a brass tang in a poorly done prior repair. The brass tang is visible on top and bottom of the hilt.  The hilt is composed of two carved bone pieces in traditional "winged" form, attached through the tang by brass rivets. Although the blade is extremely sharp (as my fingers will attest), this knife should be regarded as a folk-art remembrance for the visitor and not a working knife of substance.

The traditional Cretan knife in this form originated in the late 18th century and has a shape reminiscent of a shuttlecock. Handmade Cretan knife artisanship flourished on the island throughout the 19th century and early 20th century. Until recently, knives of this form In Crete were offered as a wedding or christening gift. This style knife is part of the traditional male Cretan costume and symbolizes Cretan bravery.