Mittwoch, 6. Februar 2013

The quest for the "Bracherfelders Dechen" or "Knopmetz"

As you have read in my most recent post, I am currently on the tracks of an animal most shy: The short dagger or knife the small community of Breckerfeld was famous for in the 15th century. It is commonly known as a "Breckerfelder", "Brackerfelder", "Bracherfelder" and referred to as either a "dechen", a "deken", or a "degen", or, more precisely, a "knopmetz" or "knopmes". Please take note that in these times the orthography was not standardised, and the quotas in question derive from juristic documents, and judges have never been famed for their etymological precision, to say the least.;-)


(Quoted after:

Anyway, the term "degen" hints more towards a longer dagger with two edges or a triangular blade shape commonly used as a weapon, primarily to pierce armour. In the documents in question the weapon is attributed in two cases with having a slender tip, in one case with being old. Since it is attributed, I conclude that it might not always have been that way. Also, an informal information I have got hints towards the knife being short, and used as an allround tool rather than a weapon. I suggest at the moment that the degree of standardization might have been not very high. Since the term "Brekkenfelders knopmetz" also appears in documents explicitly as a common product of trade, I suggest it being a kind of disc pommel dagger. I have the vision, and that has nothing to do with any academic claim, of it being a shorter version of a Scottish dirk, between a dirk and a sgian dhú in length, and it might have had a flat tang, for most of the finds of the region had one, but with a disc pommel at the end. This is a most fascinating topic, and a smithing challenge at that. I would be quite fond to create a knife along the lines of the "Breckerfelder" as a modern utility, maybe even from local steel, and as close to the original as would possibly go, albeit as a legal carry. We´ll see if I´d be able to do a modern version of the knife that´ll still be recognizeable.

But first I must find one, blimey, and it seems there´s no archaeological evidence at all! But the hunt is on, and I like it.;-)

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