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Leanne Griffin





Joined: 05 Apr 2009

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr, 2009 8:44 am    Post subject: Need Information on this Dirk?         Reply with quote

Hello,

Can anyone help me with the details about this dirk.

Information I do know:

Made by:
R & HB Kirkwood
Thistle St.
Edinburgh

It did have Lioness Sphinx plate attached on the handle that is now missing. The fork a number 4 ingraved on it.

Please reply with any information on this or who I should contact to find out more about it.

Photos attached.

Thank you,

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Last edited by Leanne Griffin on Sun 05 Apr, 2009 9:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr, 2009 11:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You have a probably 19th c. Scottish regimental dirk. From the emblem on the throat, it belonged to a member of the Scots Guard. Kirkwood was a major producer of regimental dirks for many years. In good condition, and it is hard to tell the condition because your photos are dark, it may be worth around $1000 to $1500. These dirks are not extremely scarce and without jewels set in the pommels of the dirk, knife and fork, it has a bit less value. However, any original Scottish regimental dirk is interesting and a good thing to own.
Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr, 2009 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin,
I did not know the Scots Guards carried dirks. Who would have carried them? Pipers?

Thank you,
Jonathan
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Thom R.




Location: Tucson
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
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Posts: 630

PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr, 2009 1:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Need Information on this Dirk???         Reply with quote

Rand Kirkwood cutlered some very nice dirks........but according to the books was in business only from 1880-1890. I say cutlered because most (but not all) regimental dirk blades at the time were made in Sheffield and purchased and mounted by various shops. Kirkwood also silver plated basket hilts, and silver plating over brass and steel seems to have been a specialty for that shop. Would love to see a better shot of the blade - what etching is on the blade? TR
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr, 2009 1:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Hopkins wrote:
Lin,
I did not know the Scots Guards carried dirks. Who would have carried them? Pipers?

Thank you,
Jonathan


Probably this was a piper's dirk. I cannot see the badge very well, but there were, I think, four variations of badge for members of the Scots Guard, depending upon rank and speciality.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr, 2009 2:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin,
Thank you. Wasn't the Order of the Thistle badge used by other regiments as well? Paging through Wilkinson Sword Patterns & Blade Rubbings by Robert Wilkinson-Latham, there are several Wilkinson design sketches which depict the badge on a 91st (Argyllshire) Highlanders dirk, and a variant badge featuring a bugle on a dirk for the Highland Light Infantry. Is it possible that this dirk is not for the Scots Guards? Is Saint Andrew a typical icon used by the Guards?

Jonathan
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr, 2009 4:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Hopkins wrote:
Lin,
Thank you. Wasn't the Order of the Thistle badge used by other regiments as well? Paging through Wilkinson Sword Patterns & Blade Rubbings by Robert Wilkinson-Latham, there are several Wilkinson design sketches which depict the badge on a 91st (Argyllshire) Highlanders dirk, and a variant badge featuring a bugle on a dirk for the Highland Light Infantry. Is it possible that this dirk is not for the Scots Guards? Is Saint Andrew a typical icon used by the Guards?

Jonathan


Jonathan...

There were three Victorian regiments which used the Order of the Thistle badge. The Scots Guards, the 74th Highlanders and the 91st Highlanders - the Argylls. The Highland Light Infantry used the badge with the bugle during WWI - there is one of those hanging in a shadow box next to me as I write this. In addition there were a few other units which used variations of the Order of the Thistle badge, including the Black Watch and, within some regiments, for example the Scots Guards, there are other badges (four for the Guards) which are variants of the Order of the Thistle badge, one of them being for musicians. That is the badge that appears to be on the throat of the sheath of this dirk. However, again, I cannot see it well enough to be sure, but I think that is what it is. A better photo will help.

St. Andrew appears on badges for a number of battalions or regiments throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. He is also found on a lot of dirks. The British army raised regiments and dissolved regiments as the requirements of the nation dictated. There are so many different regimental badges out there that it is a fertile field for collectors, of which I am one, albeit in a very small way. I still think this is a musician's dirk for a member of the Scots Guard. However, if there is someone out there who has a different view I would love to know about it. After all, I could be completely wrong.

UPDATE...It dawned on me that I could download Leanne's photos and move them to my photo file, where I can enlarge them. I did that, and, in my opinion, that badge is exactly what I thought it was. I have not found another regimental badge which looks like this one in my references. I can also see small cairgorms on the pommels of the knife and fork, and I assume there is or was one on the pommel of the dirk. One other thing - the sphinx, which is missing from the handle. There were a number of regiments which fought in Egypt in 1800 & 1801 but two of the Scottish regiments were the Black Watch and the Royal Scots. That might be another clue.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982


Last edited by Lin Robinson on Sun 05 Apr, 2009 7:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr, 2009 5:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great information, Lin. Thank you for your reply!

Jonathan
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Leanne Griffin





Joined: 05 Apr 2009

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr, 2009 6:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for all of the information. I will try and get some more close up detailed pics and load those the end of this week. I was told that this was used in battle and there is eveidence of blood stains on the handle above the blade..

Is St. Andrew the name of the man on the badge?
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr, 2009 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leanne,
It appears that there used to be a Sphinx on the grip just above the scabbard locket. The Scots Guards did have battle honours for Egypt (early 19th century), so this might be further indication that it is for the Scots Guards. Or it could be evidence of something else as other Highland Regiments also used the Sphinx. Would it be possible for you to post close ups of each emblem on the scabbard?

The Scots Guards have battle honours for the following for the 1880s (going with Thom's time frame for the dirk): Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt 1882, Suakin 1885.

Jonathan
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr, 2009 7:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leanne Griffin wrote:
Thank you for all of the information. I will try and get some more close up detailed pics and load those the end of this week. I was told that this was used in battle and there is eveidence of blood stains on the handle above the blade..

Is St. Andrew the name of the man on the badge?


That would be St. Andrew on the sheath. While the dirk may have been used in battle, by the time it was made most dirks were purely ornamental. The blade, however, looks quite capable of being used in combat.

Thank you for sharing the photos of your dirk. It is a nice piece and you should be proud to own it.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr, 2009 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I contacted Robert Wilkinson-Latham about this dirk, and he felt that based on the iconography it is likely a dirk for the Royal Scots.
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Todd Salazar





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Posts: 79

PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2009 8:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Leanne,

The link below references another topic that discusses an R & H B Kirkwood scottish dirk.

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...t=kirkwood

I know from my research on this dirk maker that they did very fine work for both the civilian and military population. As of right now, I also know that an ancestor to R & H B Kirkwood is still in business in Edinburgh as a Medallist and Engraver. Unfortunately, he knows nothing about the work of his predecessor, however. His internet address is

http://www.alexkirkwood.co.uk/index.html

There is also an interesting book about the Kirkwood family and their work out at

http://www.pjsymes.com.au/kirkwood.htm

Good luck in finding anymore information about R & H B Kirkwood.

-Todd


Last edited by Todd Salazar on Wed 08 Apr, 2009 8:52 am; edited 2 times in total
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Todd Salazar





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Posts: 79

PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2009 8:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello again,

I've also found some other interesting information. My dirk was made by R & H B Kirkwood for Lord Arthur Hay, the 9th Marquis of Tweeddale. Lord Arthur Hay's father George Hay, the 8th Marquis of Tweeddale, was appointed Colonel of The Black Watch (formerly known as the Royal Highlanders) in March of 1862. I believe from this, everyone can certainly speculate of the close relationship between R & H B Kirkwood and all of the highland regiments of that time.

Thanks,
Todd
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J Gibbs




Location: California
Joined: 17 Apr 2014

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu 17 Apr, 2014 7:06 pm    Post subject: same dirk         Reply with quote

I Will send a picture later but I have almost the exact same dirk as Leanne Griffin. It has the order of the thistle badge with the latin writing around the thistle...nemo me impune lacessit.. The only difference is it has more thistles instead of St. Andrew on the sheath. Any info? I saw a similar one called a Jacobite dirk.
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