SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • ON TOUR
  • WATCH ONLINE
  • WEB EXCLUSIVES
  • RESOURCES
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Scottish Dirk, Sporran Top & Pistol

    Appraised Value:

    $8,000 - $11,000 (2012)

    Appraised on: July 21, 2012

    Appraised in: Cincinnati, Ohio

    Appraised by: Gary Piattoni

    Category: Arms & Militaria

    Episode Info: Cincinnati (#1710)

    Originally Aired: April 1, 2013

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 6 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Dirk, Pistol
    Material: Metal, Gilded, Bronze, Citrine
    Period / Style: 19th Century, 18th Century
    Value Range: $8,000 - $11,000 (2012)

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (3:03)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    Gary Piattoni
    Arms & Militaria, Science & Technology
    President
    Gary Piattoni, Inc.

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: I brought two things that actually is from my deceased aunt, and it was her husband's. And they had traveled around the world in 1956. And these are two of the items they brought actually for him.

    APPRAISER: Was there a Scottish connection to the family?

    GUEST: I know they visited Scotland.

    APPRAISER: These are Scottish items. We'll take a look at the pistol. It's all metal, it's a flintlock. It's made by a gunsmith Thomas Caddell. And here, it's signed on the breech. He's actually from a family of gunsmiths, all named Thomas, about five of them, so they get a little hard to date. But based on this form, it's certainly from the first half of the 18th century. It's a classic Scottish pistol in that you have this clip on the back so that you'd be able to tuck it into your belt.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: And then it's well-engraved throughout. And this little bit is actually a desirable little trait and one associated with Caddell. This curling is associated with Scottish pistols in general. So this would be from the first half of the 18th century. Move a little bit forward, and we have what's called a Scottish dirk. The dirk would date from the 19th century, probably even the second half. So there's really about a 100-year difference between the two. Now, dirk is basically a fancy name for a type of a dagger or a knife that evolved really from a utilitarian item to something that became very important to ceremonial purpose for the Scottish military. It would have been worn for dress. All Scottish Highland regiments would have worn a dirk. This particular one is from the 79th Highlanders. You have gilt bronze mounts. This is often carved in a basket weave kind of design, embellished many times with thistles, as this is. The names represent different battles that the Highland regiment was in. And these all actually are basically Napoleonic period, from Waterloo through Egypt. And then the top is inset with a stone, probably citrine. It could be glass, but many times they're citrine. Now, the bit at the bottom, you know what that is?

    GUEST: No, I really don't.

    APPRAISER: So this is also from the 79th Highlanders. This is a top portion of a sporran-- the little purse that goes in front of the kilt. And this would be the top part of it. The dirk with the part of the sporran at auction would be $2,000 to $3,000. The pistol, today at auction, by Caddell, with this bit attached, that would be in the $6,000 to $8,000.

    GUEST: Really?

    APPRAISER: So total, you have here really something like $8,000 to $11,000 at auction. A great Scottish group of items. I'm glad you brought them in.

    GUEST: Yeah, I'm glad I did too. Amazed.




    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube