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G Ezell
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Location: North Alabama
Joined: 22 Dec 2003

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Fri 09 Oct, 2009 9:44 pm    Post subject: Scottish knives         Reply with quote

I'm trying to track down images and information on older sgian dubhs, and Scottish knives in general, basically anything over 50 years old, but the older the better... My desire is to understand the basic blade shapes that were used.
A few questions:
How often was the false edge (swedge) used on single-edged blades?
How common was it for the blade to have a riccasso?
Most of the modern blades are fullered. How common was this historically?
What would you consider to be the ideal dimensions for a sgian dubh?
How are the blades mounted, peined pommel, pinned, or just glued?

Any information is welcome. Thanks in advance.

" I have found that it is very often the case that if you state some absolute rule of history, there will be an example, however extremely unusual, to break it."
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 773

PostPosted: Sat 10 Oct, 2009 2:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Scottish knives         Reply with quote

G Ezell wrote:
I'm trying to track down images and information on older sgian dubhs, and Scottish knives in general, basically anything over 50 years old, but the older the better... My desire is to understand the basic blade shapes that were used.
A few questions:
How often was the false edge (swedge) used on single-edged blades?
How common was it for the blade to have a riccasso?
Most of the modern blades are fullered. How common was this historically?
What would you consider to be the ideal dimensions for a sgian dubh?
How are the blades mounted, peined pommel, pinned, or just glued?

Any information is welcome. Thanks in advance.


On a Sgian Dubh, there usually isn't a false edge.... the blade isn't long enough....
Usually they didn't have a ricasso, either... when they were there, they were very short....
Fifty years ago? Yeah, most sgian dubh blades were fullered....
Ideal dimensions? Blade length 3.5-4.5 inches, not much longer though....
I'd guess most sgian dubh blades were threaded, for a screw-on pommel cap. Although I've seen peened, pinned, and epoxied....

In short, sgian dubhs haven't changed much since Victorian times, except in terms of materials used (for instance, some of the cheaper ones these days have plastic grips).

Remember, the Sgian Dubh is a fairly recent invention (Victorian times) and wasn't really known prior to the 19th century....

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

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