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Responding to the British naval fashion of the time, this dirk is mounted with a large, curved 15.5" long, sturdy fullered blade. The upper half of back piece of the hilt is in the form of the lion's mane. The pommel is in the shape of lion's head, well-sculpted, with gilt remaining in the recesses. Much of the gilding is worn off, exposing the brass underneath, and shows how the cross-guard was originally cast in two pieces. The dirk has a comfortable, hefty feel to it. I would date to the first two decades of the 1800s. Commissioned officers as well as midshipmen would wear dirks like this while on watch, as opposed to the more cumbersome swords.