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Thread: Scottish dirk - damascus

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    7

    Scottish dirk - damascus

    I am traveling to Scotland in the spring and plan to buy a dirk. I am considering Rob Miller on the Isle of Skye.

    I believe he offers damascus as a blade option but I would like to know if damascus was ever used historically for a dirk. I have always wanted a damascus blade but dont want to stray too far from an authentic piece. I'm thinking its unlikely that damascus made its way to the UK at that time.

    My other question is regarding any connection between the dirk and a solingen blade. Wikipedia claims the tradition of swearing an oath on the dirk has a connection with the reverance of germanic solingen steel. I ask this because I own an early 19th century solingen sword and it would be nice if it had some connection with the scottish dirk.
    Last edited by EricRS; 01-14-2019 at 06:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Northern England
    Posts
    371
    I've never seen an early dirk with what I would think of as a damascus blade, I would agree with your comment, its unlikely that damascus made its way to the UK at that time. The first thing that people here think of when they hear the term, is the pattern welded shotgun barrels that were perfected in London and Birmingham in the 19th.C. rather than sword blades.
    Having said that, some may well exist, nothing surprises me, there was a huge amount of international trade taking place in Europe two hundred years since.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West Yorkshire, England.
    Posts
    255
    I will stick my neck out and state... Many early Dirks were made from cut down/broken sword blades, and the most desired sword blades were Italian made, Andrea Ferrara (various spellings) blades. Solingen of course happily stamped their products with the desired manufacturers name when flogging them to the Scots. Scotland in the 17th and 18th century was notoriously poor, the most expensive things in the household would be the weapons. The elaborate "dress" Dirks are for the most part "Revival" pieces from the early 19th century onward.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    7
    Thanks for input. David R...were you suggesting solingen manufacturer's were putting fake italian maker marks on blades to sell in scotland? If so that would make tracking a blades history quite confusing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West Yorkshire, England.
    Posts
    255
    Solingen would stamp any manufacturers name on a blade that they thought would improve sales..... Including Solingen!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Madrid, Spain
    Posts
    1,446
    I will stick my neck out too , and state... that another pretty common maker's name that Solingen abused of was Tomás (originally, Thomás) de Ayala, a most famous maker from Toledo. It came on Solingen blades with many misspellings: Tomasso d'Ayala, Tomas Aiala, etc. Most of them were made many years after he had already passed away, so go figure...

    Even in mid-19th century, Solingen makers were still faking Toledo blades for South American market, then using the brand "Fabrica de Toledo", no matter being it an official Spanish arsenal... nothing could deter them!
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

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