Modified from a civilian hanger of about 1750 by removal of the guard, knuckle bow, and quillon and shortening the blade to 13 3/8‰۝ length. Riflemen famously fired on the British from blinds or other covers, picking them off as they marched in formation. In response, British scouts would circle behind for a surprise attack. The long rifle was cumbersome in dense brush (as would be a long sword) so riflemen carried a large dagger or shortsword for protection from such attacks. This is a classic example of that weapon, modified under the pressure of war and a shortage of weapons. It even has its original purpose-made scabbard with the leather body (shrunk short as expected) tooled in transverse and saltire motif typical for the period and as specifically favored for Scottish dirks that approximate this size. That the hilt is tight and seated against the blade despite the removal of the guard indicates that it was disassembled for modification and not simply broken as found. Expected signs of its great age and use include localized pitting at the point.

Item ID: B2918

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