Open daily, 10am–5pm, Free

419 Great King Street Dunedin, New Zealand

Otago Museum is open in the Orange Traffic Light setting. Visitors over 12 must wear a mask.

Dagger, Scabbard, Dagger, D25.1488

Physical Description

Sheath is of leather (lizard?) and fibre (plant?)and possibly a frame of plant material (wood/bamboo?). Knife is of wire (metal), iron blade, and wood handle.

Utility knife, i.e. general purpose, e.g. hunting, skinning, protection. Sheath is for holding knife.
KNIFE: Symmetrical flat iron blade with symmetrical wooden handle which is wrapped - in the middle of handle - with fine wire. At the base of the handle the knife blade enters the handle but then apparently quickly narrows to a shaft which extends up through the handle to exit the top extending through a small metal 'washer' and then hammered as a rivet over the washer preventing the whole blade from pulling out of the handle. From the base of the handle the flat briefly narrows through the main length of the blade and gradually widens to quickly taper to its point. A rib of raised metal runs the length of the blade from handle to tip. Both edges of the blade are sharpened from the handle to the tip. The handle of wood is approximately half again the length of the flat blade. Of dark wood and somewhat 'flattened' (i.e. not round) the handle is flared at both top and bottom and narrow at its waist/middle. The approximate middle half of the handle is tightly and very cleverly wrapped with a fine wire (iron?). A very interesting 'knobby' pattern of this winding extends through the middle half of the winding. The ends of the wire are discretely tucked in to both the top and bottom of the winding. The wear patina on the handle suggests it was used/handled with a degree of frequency. The overall appearance is of an appealing design, well made and intended for use. The general appearance is of being in good condition.
SHEATH: The above knife sits comfortably within this flat sheath. The main body of the sheath appears to be a single sheet of leather wrapped tightly around a frame (bamboo?) coming together in the middle of one side and sewn with fibre (plant?) the full length of the sheath. The side opposite the seam has been hammered to form a design. A double raised rib runs the length of the sheath through the middle and likewise a similar rib is to be found running the full length along each edge. The sheath roughly follows the outline of the knife blade terminating in a blunt point. This point is tightly wrapped with leather cord. The top '6th' of the sheath is wrapped with a single flat piece of leather through which extends on the hammered side a tightly braided leather loop. Through this loop runs two long braided lengths of leather which at the far end are tied together in a knot. The these braided lengths are pulled together at one point by a separate slid knot of leather. This slide knot appears to act as a fastener, e.g perhaps the long loops could be extended over the shoulder or around the waist and then pulled up tightly by sliding the knot/fastener along its length. The sheath appears to made of a dark red dyed leather. The lengths of leather cord are much worn and roughed up but too may have originally been of a dark red colour. The over all appearance of the sheath is of one well made, to be utilized, to have received some use, and in generally good condition. (Note: leather cord broken at one area near knot.)




Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (knife): 480 x 90 x 60mm
Maximum Length (Sheath): 790mm

All Rights Reserved