When this dagger was excavated and conserved, archaeologists discovered it was still sheathed, stored to protect the blade. The grip is made from wood, which has been reinforced with thin iron sheet metal. The metal contains elements which helped to preserve the wood, as typically wood does not survive on archaeological sites.
This dagger would have been a common part of a gentlemen’s everyday wear. It would have been held in the left hand to parry during swordplay, leaving the right hand available to thrust with the longer blade of the rapier. The individual carrying the dagger would have also worn a specialized style of gauntlet on their left hand, which would protect them when parrying. Rapiers and daggers were occasionally made to be purchased as a pair so they would match. This dagger has a circular side ring, a feature which was introduced in about 1560 and was standard by 1600. By about 1640, daggers fell out of fashion, and only a singular sword or rapier was carried.