Finished Sgian Dubh

Adriaan Gerber emailed today to announce the completion of my long-awaited sgian dubh. Here are two photos of the new knife and its leather sheath.

The newly-created sgian dubh.
The newly-created sgian dubh. The hamon is clearly visible.
Note the notched blade, a characteristic of many Scottish knives.
Note the notched blade, a characteristic of many Scottish knives.
A basic leather sheath (which no one is meant to see as the knife's blade is traditionally tucked into the top of the wearer's hose).
A basic leather sheath (which no one is meant to see as the knife’s blade is traditionally tucked into the top of the wearer’s hose).

The Birth of a Blade

I have commissioned Adriaan Gerber to forge a new sgian dubh (Scots-Gaelic “black knife”; a small Scottish knife most often worn as part of Highland Dress, tucked into the hose on the outside of the right leg.) Today he sent me a picture of the blade in its early stages. The forged blade survived the heat treatment and Adriaan sanded it with 220 grit. Attached is a picture right after it came out of the oven; you can still see the marks left by the clay.

P1050212
Full tang blade of an Adriaan Gerber sgian dubh in progress.

Kilt Apron

Black Watch Officers c. 1914/15; The Black Watch Museum; Bob Marrion Collection.
Black Watch officers c. 1914/15; The Black Watch Museum; Bob Marrion Collection. Notice the protective kilt aprons, with pockets to replace the sporran.

Come Now!

Recruitment poster for the 173rd Overseas Battalion, Canadian Highlanders; First World War.
Recruitment poster for the 173rd Overseas Battalion, Canadian Highlanders; First World War.

Join the 73rd Now

Recruitment poster for the Royal Highlanders of Canada; First World War.
Recruitment poster for the Royal Highlanders of Canada; First World War.

48th Highlanders

Recruitment poster for 48th Highlanders (Canada): 1200 men wanted at once for the 134th Highlanders Overseas Battalion; First World War.
Camp flag of the 48th Highlanders of Canada.
Regimental Colours of the 48th Highlanders of Canada.

Your King & Country Need You

Recruitment poster for the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) in France (1914) from the Great War.

Donald Stewart and Charles Duncan

Donald Stewart and Charles Duncan.

Donald Stewart and Charles Duncan as portrayed in watercolour by Kenneth MacLeay RSA and published in The Highlanders of Scotland.

R. R. McIan’s Buchanan

A Highlander in Buchanan tartan in a XIX century engraving by McIan, from James Logan’s “The Clans of the Scottish Highlands”, 1845.

Robert Ronald McIan (1803 – 13 Dec 1856), also Robert Ranald McIan, was an actor and painter of Scottish descent. He is best known for romanticised depictions of Scottish clansmen, their battles, and domestic life.

John Lamont and William McHardie

John Lamont and William McHardie as portrayed in watercolour by Kenneth MacLeay RSA in the monumental XIX Century work on Highland Dress, The Highlanders of Scotland.

Highland Dress in the Thirty Years’ War

The Stettin Print of 1631 depicting four Scottish mercenaries in the service of the Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus during the Thirty Years’ War.

Kenneth MacKenzie & Thomas Mackenzie

Kenneth MacKenzie and Thomas MacKenzie.

Kenneth MacKenzie and Thomas MacKenzie as portrayed in watercolour by Kenneth MacLeay RSA and published in The Highlanders of Scotland.