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What is the Definition of Ettrick??

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by waynorth, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. waynorth

    waynorth Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 19, 2005
    An "ettrick" appears to be a type of traditionally styled Pruning knife. It is also a place name (many places), and the name of a river in Scotland.
    Can anyone refine the definition? :confused:
     
  2. waynorth

    waynorth Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 19, 2005
    Does the name refer to a pruning or garden knife, which has a short blade?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Pipeman

    Pipeman

    Dec 2, 2004
    Jack will be along momentarity:D

    Best regards

    Robin

    Maybe this?
    [​IMG][/url][/IMG]
     
  4. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    The Ettrick is a very traditional Sheffield pattern, which some claim goes back to the 1700’s. It’s name comes from the Scottish Ettrick Valley, where it was used by sheep farmers. It is a sort of Swayback Wharncliffe, but classic Ettricks have the blade set so that the whole knife (when open) forms a sort of lazy ‘S’. They may also appear to have a blade which is shorter than the length of the handle might suggest. Should be an interesting thread Charlie :)
     
  5. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    A couple of examples pulled from the internet (I don't actually own one! :D )

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. waynorth

    waynorth Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 19, 2005
    Thanks Jack!
    The blades seem to vary, from a straight edged Wharncliffe blade, to a (that word again) "lazy" curved pruning blade. Do both variations fall into the Ettrick category?
    Also does the term "Ettrick" appear in catalogues or other print media from previous centuries?
     
  7. kamagong

    kamagong

    Jan 13, 2001
    Would Duncan's new knife be considered an "Ettrick?"

     
  8. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Hi Charlie, in my opinion the edge should be straight, and the knife have that serpentine shape, which the Arthur Wright knife above shows well. Taylor's claim that the name appeared in one of their old catologues, pre-dating Rodgers 19th century popularisation of the Wharncliffe blade shape, but I've not seen it.
     
  9. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    A lovely example I think Christian :)
     
  10. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    I won this one in a giveaway from scruffuk last April. It's from A. Wright & Son, Ltd.

    [​IMG]
     
    Will Power, Don W and pipedreams308 like this.
  11. navin74

    navin74

    357
    Mar 27, 2012
    Hello. Great question. I really like this pattern. Very nice and graceful lines.
    Nathan
     
  12. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    That's a nice one Jeff :thumbup: The pattern is still very popular here, though more likely to be used by gardeners than farmers :)

    Here's an old Slater's which belongs to a friend of mine. The edge doesn't look straight, but that may be due to sharpening.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    Due to the shape and size of the handle along with the pointy blade it should make an excellent whittler as well.
     
  14. Woodrow F Call

    Woodrow F Call

    Jan 3, 2013
    It looks like a handy little fella. :)
     
  15. waynorth

    waynorth Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 19, 2005
    Thanks for all the contributions, Jack, Christian, Robin and Jeff!
    It is becoming clear to me now!

    It seems that that smaller, straight edge would be a snap to sharpen, and very handy for many things.

    What a great design - it gives an old dog a new way of thinking about a pocket knife! Woof!:p
     
  16. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    LOL! It's a very ergonomic pattern Charlie, the serpentine shape works well, and it allows you to make full use of the straight blade. When I was at the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet in Sheffield a few months back, I came across a display of Trevor Ablett's knives. The place had been shut for about 10 years and they hadn't put the prices up! I snapped up the only Sheepsfoot at a bargain price. All the other knives were Ettricks and I wish I'd got one now! I was due to go back with Duncan the following week, but we ran out of time, and the place is now closed until next April! Let me know if you want one though :)
     
  17. waynorth

    waynorth Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 19, 2005
    Email sent!:)
     
  18. PocketKnifeJimmy

    PocketKnifeJimmy

    Aug 4, 2013
    Interesting topic... and strange for me because a few hours ago I placed an order for the following knife.... Does it fit into the catagory you folks are discussing?
    [​IMG]

    P.S.... It seems the one I ordered has a curved edge... so it likely does not fall into the discussed knife pattern. Just 'pruner' is probably the pattern :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  19. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    It's certainly an odd and appealing looking knife, you can see where the Swayback got its influences perhaps?

    The Internet throws up a wall of information and disinformation...and the origins of the Ettrick seems obscure. I've heard some claim that the then James Stuart-Wortley, later Baron Wharncliffe and his gamekeeper came up with this knife as a general work-knife and even gutter of small animals. It had of course a 'Wharncliffe' blade, allegedly his own commission from his association with John Rodgers in the 1820s. On the other hand, some argue the Ettrick was well established before all this anyway, this is too is plausible. Ettrick the area has literary associations, James Hogg the Scottish poet and 'Etrrick Shepherd' as he was called. Whatever, it's undeniably a handy knife being useful as whittler,pruner/general knife. It seems to be an idiosyncratic native to the British Isles, not much seen elsewhere.

    Jack if you go back to that place, buy up all those Ablett Etrricks will you/ye?

    Regards, Will
     
  20. scrteened porch

    scrteened porch Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    I'll be interested to hear about Pocketknife Jimmy's example. It might be an Ettrick with a less straight edge, or it might be a small pruner, which is shorter and less curved than a hawksbill. (I've been prowling the Sheffield web-sites.)
     

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