questions 12 century dirk ,hostoricly correct ?

Jun 29, 2001
OK I did get the forge working, I have a blade for a 12th cent. scottish dirk, with integrell forged pummel, ( hollow ring that was probobly used as a reliquary, )
I understand how the handle was made, and what they were made of, in the 16th and later centurys but i don' find anything specificly on dirks of the 12th c.

the blade that I have copied is rather deteriorated. the reliquary ring is smashed. the grips are completely missing, and it is badly rusted. I have a fairly acurate copy forged and ready to be ground.

the question are;
what materials were used?
are there any special shapes that were used in that period?
what is the correct way to treat the ring pummel?
(I figure it was 2 sides fit and rivited. again, of what material)

your input would be would be wonderful

thanks EE
From what little I know of dirks. The handles were commonlly blackwood or boxwood. One was found growing around some of the Scottish bogs I think, not sure which one.

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Was thinking that if there are any still in existence, in the hands of collectors, then Bernard Levine would likely be able to help.

Edit: I checked with my favorite search engine. Either my PC is screwed or the engine is. Checked Google. Got this list of links to things Scottish. A couple of them might have the information you seek. Most of the things I looked at went no further back than 1600. Here is the link URL:
Find yourself a copy of "The Scottish Dirk" by James D. Forman.
It is # 62 in the historical arms series put out byMuseum Restoration Service Alexandria Bay N.Y. and Bloomfield Ont.
It's ISBN 0-919316-26-3 . This is a great 55 page booklet with about 100 great photo's of Dirks and sgian dubhs dating from the 1600's
to the 1970's.

If you can't locate one let me know I think I've got a second copy floating around here somewhere.
Try a Scottish supply store they usually go for about $10.00 Cdn (that's @ $4.00 US).
While your in the store have a laugh by looking at the P.O.S. Dirks they sell for astronomical prices.

Jim Ziegler
You might try looking at the Sword Forums On Line Magazine site.
They have a discussion forum and also allot of neat info on antique weaponry.There on line magazine is really helpful also.Here is a link to there main page so you can check it out if you would like.
Hope this might help you out some.The guys on there forums are really knowledgeable about this type of stuff.