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A very fine Gordon Highlanders silver mounted late Victorian period Officer’s dirk by R & H B Kirkwood, of 65 & 66, Thistle Street, Edinburgh, with Scottish hallmarks for Edinburgh 1892. This attractive dirk is in excellent original condition and a fine example of the Edinburgh silversmith’s work.
The dirk, by-knife and by-fork, are made from black bog oak finely carved with a basket weave pattern of interlace with silver studs at the intersections. The pommels of the dirk, by-knife and by-fork are designed as cups formed from vertical bars separated by oak leaves above which broad silver rims, decorated with foliage, are mounted and topped with finely cut multi-facetted citrines with orange coloured backing secured by rounded silver bands. The pommel bases are also applied with similar rounded bands. The dirk grip has a silver base decorated with thistles to the front and the by-knife and by-fork are mounted with silver basal truncated cone-shaped ferrules.
The bright dirk blade has a scalloped back edge extending for two thirds of its length, and a double fuller either side extending for the same. The upper fuller nearest the spine being narrower and deeper than the shallow broad fuller beneath. The blade retains its original polish with only a few minor blemishes. The base to the dirk grip fits snugly over the scabbard mouth piece.
The dirk is housed in a wooden scabbard covered with black leather and with silver mounts. The throat mount to the front is decorated with a Cross of St Andrew onto which at the base is a platform of thistles. A semi-circular arch above is applied with the name of the regiment and beneath this a figure of the Sphynx with “EGYPT” beneath, and below, a Tiger with “INDIA” beneath.
The back of the throat mount has a carrying strap bar with the name of the maker in raised relief inside a rectangular shield beneath, plus hallmarks consisting of three stamps, one for the city of Edinburgh, the Scottish Thistle mark and the date mark for 1892. Further along the scabbard the pocket throat mounts for the by-knife and by-fork, plus the chape, are decorated to the front with a triple thistle motif and at the back each mount is stamped individually with further hallmarks.
The dirk is of considerably high quality and in excellent condition. The length is 17.25 inches (just under 44 cm) overall and the blade length is 12 inches (30.5 cm).