Object photography

Click image to enlarge +

Object description

  • John Jewitt (English)
  • Dagger, early 19th century
  • Iron
  • Nootka Sound, Northwest Coast, North America
  • L: 15 in, W: 2 5/8 in, D: 1/2 in (L: 38.1 cm, W: 6.7 cm, D: 1.3 cm)
  • Gift of William Richardson, 1821
  • E3561

SPECIAL COLLECTION

East India Marine Society Collection

DESCRIPTION

This is an iron dagger with a long and broad foliage blade with three channels on one side and a smooth surface on the opposite side. The object is made from a single piece of iron. There is a horizontal cylinder at the hilt of the dagger. There is no decorative ornamentation on the object. It has no pommel, instead having a very "bolt-like" rod mounted tranversely to the blade. Originally catalogued in the 1821 East India Marine Society catalogue as "147, An Iron Dagger, used by natives on the N.W. coast of America." Further Remarks: Originally catalogued in the 1821 East India Marine Society catalogue as "147, An Iron Dagger, used by natives on the N.W. coast of America." This dagger has been attributed to having been made by John Jewitt, a ship's armourer on board the ship "Boston" held as a slave by Maquinna, the chief of Yuquot, a village on Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Jewitt was one of only two members of the crew to survive an attack by Maquinna and his followers. During his captivity from 1803-1805, he kept a journal, in which he describes making daggers of "old bolts" from the ship on a number of occasions. This dagger was donated by Captain William P. Richardson in 1807, a founding member of the East India Marine Society. The timing of Richardson's gift makes the attribution to Jewitt very likely.