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Richard Weist




Location: Western New York State
Joined: 16 Jan 2016

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan, 2016 9:15 am    Post subject: Scottish Dirks & Makers & Identification         Reply with quote

I own a Scottish dirk that was given to me by my uncle. The dirk may be from the Victorian period. The maker is Falyon Edinburg. I have been unable to find any information about this maker. Can you help maybe with the reference to a book?
R-Maxwell-W
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan, 2016 5:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I recommend that you send some photos of the dirk with clear pictures (as possible) of any markings on the dirk. There were several dirk makers in Edinburgh in Victorian times and sellers sometimes marked them with their names as well. Seeing it may also help determine an approximate time frame of manufacture. I am not familiar with "Faylon."
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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Richard Weist




Location: Western New York State
Joined: 16 Jan 2016

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jan, 2016 7:33 am    Post subject: Scottish Dirks & Makers & Identification + Image         Reply with quote

Hi Lin, I am new to this web site. I don't know how to send images. I will try the attachment function. I see a file name, but there is no evidence that the image has been attached.


 Attachment: 49.87 KB
[ Download ]

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Greg Ballantyne




Location: Maryland USA
Joined: 14 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jan, 2016 7:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Richard
Your pictures open when the link is used. They look fine. I'm not the one to help with your questions, but the pictures should help.
Nice looking dirk, by the way.
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan, 2016 5:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The photos are visible, as you have already been advised. If you want photos to appear in the post, there is a slightly different procedure to follow. When you get time, experiment with that and preview the post before submitting so you can be sure how the photos will appear.

The dirk is a fairly typical 19th to early 20th century regimental-style dirk. From the photos it originally was equipped with a knife and fork retained in pockets in the mounts. The knife and fork probably had cairgorms installed in their pommels like the one in the pommel of the dirk. The grip and pommel shape along with the canted pommel cap, are typical of these dirks. They were not particularly practical as weapons but could be used in a pinch.

There is not much to say about this dirk, absent more markings. Dirks like this were made by the thousands in Scotland during the time frame above and were very popular with the Scottish regiments. They were not issue items except, I believe, to bandsmen. Officers purchased their own. There are many variations in decoration, blade shape and materials.

It is a nice piece, too bad the knife and fork are missing.

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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Todd Salazar





Joined: 03 Dec 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan, 2016 6:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Richard,

I believe that what you have is a fine late Georgian or early Victorian (prehaps circa pre-1835) Scottish dirk made by F. A. Lyon - 50 Leith Street Edinburgh. F. A. Lyon was located on Leith Street in Edinburgh between 1796 and 1850. There is a similar dirk also made by F. A. Lyon at the following web address:

http://www.andrewbottomley.com/x-x-x-sold-x-x...1679-p.asp

I did find a photo of an "Uncommon Dirk" photo 32 on page 21 of The Scottish Dirk by James D. Forman that was made by T.A. Lyon (this might have been a typo or maybe a brother or father that also made dirks) in Edinburgh. This was the only reference I could find of a dirk made by a Lyon in Edinburgh.

Thanks,
Todd


Last edited by Todd Salazar on Wed 20 Jan, 2016 8:01 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan, 2016 6:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Todd Salazar wrote:
Hello Richard,

I believe that what you have is a fine late Georgian or early Victorian (prehaps circa pre-1835) Scottish dirk made F. A. Lyon - 50 Leith Street Edinburgh. F. A. Lyon was located on Leith Street in Edinburgh between 1796 and 1850. There is similar dirk also made by F. A. Lyon at the following web address:

http://www.andrewbottomley.com/x-x-x-sold-x-x...1679-p.asp

I did find a photo of an "Uncommon Dirk" photo 32 on page 21 of The Scottish Dirk by James D. Forman that was made by T.A. Lyon (this might have been a typo or maybe a brother or father that also made dirks) in Edinburgh. This was the only reference I could find of a dirk made by a Lyon in Edinburgh.

Thanks,
Todd


Todd...I think you have answered Richard's question very well. The "T" in Forman's book could very well be an error. I looked at my copy as soon as I read your post. Richard has a very nice piece there, although incomplete which is too bad.

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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Todd Salazar





Joined: 03 Dec 2003
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Posts: 79

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan, 2016 7:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Lin! I always attempt to put my best foot forward when I do my research on any Scottish dirk! This dirk does appear to have been heavily used although the handle appears to be in decent condition. In addition, it appears that the tip of the blade was broken off at some point-in-time. It also would have been worth more if the small accompanying fork and knife were still with the dirk. Of course, this came from Richard's uncle so it really doesn't matter what it is worth on the antique market. Overall, a nice family heirloom indeed! Happy
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Richard Weist




Location: Western New York State
Joined: 16 Jan 2016

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri 29 Jan, 2016 12:43 pm    Post subject: Scottish Dirks & Markers & Identification         Reply with quote

Dear Todd Salazar & Lin Robinson,
Well, you have "made my day", as I have been looking for information pertaining to this dirk for some time. My uncle was James Duff Grant, and he was in the 1st Battalion, Cameron Highlanders 1914 - 1918. The dirk was given to him by a James Forsythe who told my uncle that the dirk had come down through his family for 200 years dating back to the Battle of Culloden, 1746. While my uncle had been in the army, he was not a scholar when it came to Scottish weapons, as he carried a rifle.
As you-all have nicely explained, there was an obvious error in the Forsythe story of how the dirk fit into the Forsythe family history. I now know that the dirk is 100 years younger, and this fits with some pictures and descriptions of dirks that I have seen / read. Furthermore, when I take a closer look at the makers name on the blade, F. A. LYON works out. Period marks after the F and after the A are difficult to see.

R-Maxwell-W
PS: Just for fun, I will attach a picture of my uncle taken during his time with the Cameron Highlanders.



 Attachment: 22.33 KB
James Duff Grant - Cameron-H.jpg


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Todd Salazar





Joined: 03 Dec 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Tue 16 Feb, 2016 3:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Richard, I was glad to help you connect with your ancestor through some research of his and your dirk. Unfortunately, with time family stories donít always hold true. Nevertheless, your dirk is a fine family heirloom that you should hold close to you and then pass on to future generations. He obviously was a great soldier and person. Letís put it this way, I wish I couldíve received a dirk like that from my Uncle! Iíve done a lot of research of Victorian era Scottish dirks as I also have a dirk like yours in my collection. Therefore, when I saw your post, I was excited to help in any way that I could! Happy
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Todd Salazar





Joined: 03 Dec 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Tue 16 Feb, 2016 4:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to quickly add to this post, the exact year of manufacture is hard to pin-point without the silver hallmarks that would've been stamped on the dirk somewhere. I do firmly believe that your dirk does have some silver in it. The only thing we can give you as far as a date is between 1796 and 1850 as F. A. Lyon was located on Leith Street in Edinburgh during that time span. For your information, I would also advise you to leave the patina on the silver parts of this dirk by leaving it unpolished. The original silver patina is really very beautiful.
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Richard Weist




Location: Western New York State
Joined: 16 Jan 2016

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed 17 Feb, 2016 10:20 am    Post subject: Scottish Dirks & Makers & Identification         Reply with quote

Todd, Thank you once again for all your help and kind words. My F. A. Lyon Dirk does not have hallmarks, but my mother (Elizabeth Maxwell) gave me a skean-dhu with hallmarks tracing it to Glasgow (her birth place) and the year 1939. Since I started this "myArmoury" inquiry, I bought the James Forman book. Had I read that book earlier, it would have been evident that the my dirk could not have come from 1746 as the Forsythe family history claimed. However, I still would not have detected that the maker was indeed F. A. LYON and not FALYON. Thanks to you, I was put on the correct trajectory.
R-Maxwell-W

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