Roundel Dagger

  • Dated: circa 1400
  • Culture: European
  • Artist/maker unknown
  • Medium: bteel, bone or horn
  • Measurements: Weight: 13.3 ounces (0.38 kg) Length (Overall): 15 3/8 inches (39 cm) Length (Blade from grip to tip): 11 inches (28 cm) Diameter (Full Roundel): 3 1/8 inches (7.9 cm)
  • More on the Roundel Dagger

14th and early 15th century knights carried daggers of this type as side arms; they were designed to pierce mail and take advantage of the gaps in plate armor. The blade is triangular in cross section to ensure maximum rigidity, and sharpened only along one edge. The guard is cut out to fit more comfortably over the knight’s right hip. The sword was normally carried on the opposite side.

Source: © 2013 Philadelphia Museum of Art

come now a roundel by Arthur Rackham

If you see a fairy ring

In a field of grass,

Very lightly step around,

Tiptoe as you pass;

Last night fairies frolicked there,

And they’re sleeping somewhere near.


If you see a tiny fay

Lying fast asleep,

Shut your eyes and run away,

Do not stay or peep;

And be sure you never tell,

Or you’ll break a fairy spell.

William Shakespeare