Rare Georgian Scottish Officers Dirk. 21” overall, 15” double fullered straight spear pointed blade. Shell carved bog oak grip set with cairngorms. Black leather gilt mounted scabbard with by-knife and fork, regimental foliate lower mount. Middle gilt band engraved G.M.S
In very good condition with almost all the original gilt present and intact, as well as the original black japanned finish of the scabbard in remarkably good condition. The huge blade is also excellent, with only a few minor stains. The pommel stone is chipped.
The Army Lists reveals only one candidate who matches the initials GMS in any Highland regiment during the entire period: George Milne Stevenson - commissioned Lieutenant in the 42nd Highlanders 10 September 1818 (from half pay, 37th Foot). Stevenson purchased his captaincy and went on half pay on the same day, 24 October 1821, and exchanged to the Rifle Brigade in 1823, dating the dirk to c.1818 - 1821. This date range is consistent with the features and form of the dirk.
A contemporary portrait of Sir Robert Henry Dick of the 42nd, c.1817, appears to show a similar dirk, with a foliate lower mount.
See: The Scottish Dirk by James D. Forman, plate 28 for similar early dirk of the 42nd c.1800 - 1815 . The evidence of these and other surviving dirks, as well as portraits, etc. indicate that the specific regimental patterns had not settled down in their details until the 1830’s, when regimental uniforms were becoming broadly more regularized across the board.