Much rarer are the close combat weapons from the Tudor and Stuart periods that were far more than mere dress accessories.
The earliest dateable dirk is the dagger clutched by a knight in stone effigy dated to 1502 at Ardchattan Priory in Argyll. It is noticeably different from earlier medieval knives (the so-called ballock and dudgeon daggers) as the blade is longer, single-edged and tapers to a point.
Most dirks had hafts carved from horn or a single piece of rootwood - the style of carving and the form changing over several centuries.
The ‘antique Scottish dirk’ offered by Huntly Auctions (16% buyer’s premium) in Keith, Moray, as part of a timed online sale that closed on November 19 was of a type typically dated to the late 16th and early 17th century.
It measured a total of 21in (52cm) long with its haft carved with a grip and pommel of interwoven bands of knotwork. A rare survivor in worn but honest condition, it was guided at £800-1200 but made £6800, selling via thesaleroom.com.