Victorian midshipman’s naval dirk and scabbard


This example of the standard naval dirk introduced in 1856 has a 15¼ inch blade etched with the standard royal crown above a fouled anchor and the maker’s mark MACKAY, DEVENPORT.  Although the dirk is in sound condition it retains only very little trace of the original  gilt finish. A thorough description of this type of dirk, its occasional variations in detail and its inadequacy as a fighting weapon, will be found in May & Annis: Swords for the Sea Service [H.M.S.O. 1970].   sep11/1

Provenance: The dirk came to us from a descendent of Maj, Gen, Sir George Sherer, K.C.S.I. but although his brother, Rear Admiral Sir Joseph Sherer. K.H., served with the distinction in the Royal Navy we cannot establish him as the original owner of the dirk as the admiral entered the navy far too early in 1811.

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