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Old 24th December 2008, 04:54 PM   #1
Atlantia
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Default Excavated knife/dagger for ID please.

This one is aimed at the Archeologists really. A detectorist friend of mine dug this after a deep plough in a field known for medieval and earlier items.
I havent touched it and its dry and as dug. I wanted to get some opinions on it before I chime in with my thoughts.
Thanks
Gene




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Old 24th December 2008, 10:55 PM   #2
Gavin Nugent
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Default I know not what it is?

I know not what it is but the general shape reminds me of the Viking Scramasax, just immeadiate romantic notions. I have seen several the same size and shape passed as Scramasax in auction houses over the years. I have also seen Spanish sytle bowie blades of the exact same profile. I would like to hear your views.

Gav
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Old 25th December 2008, 12:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebooter
I know not what it is but the general shape reminds me of the Viking Scramasax, just immeadiate romantic notions. I have seen several the same size and shape passed as Scramasax in auction houses over the years. I have also seen Spanish sytle bowie blades of the exact same profile. I would like to hear your views.

Gav


Hi Gav

I agree, I know not what it is either, but it also reminds me of a Scramasax and there would be Saxon type daggers in fields in England.
I just didn't want to be the first to say it.
Any ideas of how I should try and conserve it? Its far further 'gone' than anything I've ever bothered with before?
Nobody else wants to come in with an opinion?

Regards
Gene
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Old 26th December 2008, 12:57 PM   #4
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Default hmmmm

I would continue with investigations before I considered conservation, It may just be an early 1900s English or German bowie knife lost by a traveller?

I am interested in hearing what others have to say and perhaps your local museum in the area, they may have other examples and be able to tell better who roamed the areas that it was found.

Gav
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Old 26th December 2008, 02:17 PM   #5
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I would tend to think fairly modern, really.
The shoulders on the tang still look nice and square, and being a comparatively small blade, think if it was Saxon, would have been much more corroded.
I know on the farm we have found dateable items, that looked as rough as if from the Viking age, yet can only be from the 1880's at earliest.
(Here in Alberta, there was no-one farming west of Red Deer river 'til 1880's)

When still 'home' in Yorkshire, my dad lost and found a pocket knife after about 30 years. the blade was half eaten away,...and the knife was stuck in a beam in the mill-house.....not buried or anything. (He'd been working on a grain grinder when he lost it.)

Just my thoughs.

Re. conservation, I'd soak it in a bath of Olive oil. This oil has something in it that really lifts rust, but in a gentle manner, and doesnt leave the finish looking like it'd been in vinegar or anything.

All the best,

Richard.
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Old 27th December 2008, 12:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebooter
I would continue with investigations before I considered conservation, It may just be an early 1900s English or German bowie knife lost by a traveller?

I am interested in hearing what others have to say and perhaps your local museum in the area, they may have other examples and be able to tell better who roamed the areas that it was found.

Gav


Well thats the problem.

Its a detector find from a field that was worthy of interest because it turns up objects from the medieval period back to the roman.
Theres no way of definatively IDing its period from the location sadly.
Could be a genuine rarity or a random loss from the 1960s!
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Old 27th December 2008, 12:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
I would tend to think fairly modern, really.
The shoulders on the tang still look nice and square, and being a comparatively small blade, think if it was Saxon, would have been much more corroded.
I know on the farm we have found dateable items, that looked as rough as if from the Viking age, yet can only be from the 1880's at earliest.
(Here in Alberta, there was no-one farming west of Red Deer river 'til 1880's)

When still 'home' in Yorkshire, my dad lost and found a pocket knife after about 30 years. the blade was half eaten away,...and the knife was stuck in a beam in the mill-house.....not buried or anything. (He'd been working on a grain grinder when he lost it.)

Just my thoughs.

Re. conservation, I'd soak it in a bath of Olive oil. This oil has something in it that really lifts rust, but in a gentle manner, and doesnt leave the finish looking like it'd been in vinegar or anything.

All the best,

Richard.


Thanks Richard!
I think it must be worth an oil oil dip!
I'll do it and post results cheers Matey!
Gene
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Old 27th December 2008, 02:20 AM   #8
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Looks like a clip point to me, something I wouldn't expect on a seax. In addition I've gotten the impression that it's the straight side which is the sharp one on a seax, whereas in this case the edge seems to be one the curved side (ie down in the first pic). The part about the blade-tang transition being a bit too well defined seems to make sense as well.
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Old 27th December 2008, 02:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kisak
Looks like a clip point to me, something I wouldn't expect on a seax. In addition I've gotten the impression that it's the straight side which is the sharp one on a seax, whereas in this case the edge seems to be one the curved side (ie down in the first pic). The part about the blade-tang transition being a bit too well defined seems to make sense as well.


Yes this one is sharp on the curve in a bowie way. Theres a similar blade described as a sax in a book I have with the sdge on the curve etc, but it does have less defined shoulders on the blade/tang as you say.
I was hoping someone would come forwards with some later than a sax but earlier than a bowie ideas?

Perhpas Richrars idea of olive oil will help clarify it a bit.
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Old 27th December 2008, 04:26 PM   #10
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Gene,

I've found fencing pliers that looked worse, but as I knew they weren't That old, I just dumped them in white vinegar for a few days, and from a corroded lump appeared as if by magic, a pair of again useable pliers!
Trouble with this knife, is you just don't Do that to something if it Is rather old, and herein is the dillema.
It doesn't appear to have the modern bolster, so it Does have some age.

I guess if when it's cleaned up a bit, it says on it; "Wm Rogers, Sheffield"...then you'll know what you have!

Cheers,

R.
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Old 14th January 2009, 05:56 AM   #11
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i see a false edge on the clip of the blade, i suspect it is a recently made knife,
ive not seen any knives of this form with a clip blade produced in england till the 18th century..
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Old 14th January 2009, 05:56 AM   #12
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i think it is likely a knife from the last 150 years.
mainly by the clip sectio of the tip being ground as it is,
by the rust alone one cannever tell as a knife 1000 years old can be no more rusted than a knife 50 years old when left in the ground if it is in the right area
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Old 14th January 2009, 05:11 PM   #13
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Hi All,

The thing that's got me scratching my head is the lack of a hilt.

Basically, my first instinct is that the blade is fairly recent (20th Century, late 19th at the earliest), mostly because it isn't totally corroded.

Problem with that is, if it's so recent, there should be remnants of the handle.

Perhaps the detectorist removed the handle? Otherwise, it could be a blade blank.

My 0.0002 pence,

F
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Old 14th January 2009, 08:28 PM   #14
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England was one of the largest cutlery makers during the 19th century so the blade could have been a second the was discarded.

Lew
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Old 15th January 2009, 03:39 PM   #15
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Hi Guys, thanks for keeping this one in mind.
It was brought up by a deep plough. So any remains of a handle were not visible when my friend dug it.
I would normally just assume it was a reasonably modern blade, but it doesn't look like a farmers knife.
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Old 15th January 2009, 04:31 PM   #16
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Default Dear Richard,

I tried sending you this as a PM but could not. I am interested in your comment on olive oil. I have an ancient blade that is badly affected by rust and I was thinking intially of studying it without any invasive cleaning. I have used X-Ray photography before which brings some details out. But if olive oil is an effective rust remover with minimum harm I may try this method. Do you have any more details on this method.

Best Regards.
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Old 15th January 2009, 05:26 PM   #17
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I think Lew may be right. I found this heavy horse shoe up by the Uffington White horse and the Weyland Smithy. Looks like your knife has been buried in very much the same soil type.
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Old 15th January 2009, 10:54 PM   #18
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There are a number of factors that accelerate or slow the 'decay' of iron and steel once buried in soil.

The 'drainage' of the surrounding land caused by the type of soil, the type of underlying strata (bed rock) and location i.e. tops of hills drain well....river valleys do not.

The mineralization of the soil....high content of mineral salts create good 'electrolytic' reactions.....speeding up the rust... with the presence of moisture.

Objects submerged in wet highly organic soils generally 'rot' more slowly due to the anaerobic (without oxygen) environment .....this is due to the fact that iron (steel) cannot easily oxidise (i.e. iron oxide= rust).

I am sure there are a number of individuals (fakers) that have various 'recipes' and techniques that can recreate these effects ..... you only have to look on eBay and see the number of 'genuine' crusader swords found in the Danube (with very low reserve prices ) , antique swords from China , rusty heavily pitted Zulu "Iklwa" that are claimed to be from the Zulu wars (but made a few years ago ) and the increasing influx of 'old' Khandas and Khyber knives with pitted,rusty blades ....recently made in India .... afterall the 'older' it looks ...the more is paid

Rant over ....deep breath and

Gene, I really wish this was a Seax but the shape etc is not right ...according to some web resources the clip point with a false edge 'materialised' around the 1830's...so perhaps an early Bowie (as already suggested) ...apparently early types were fitted 'into' the handle...as the tang on this one suggests.

Any luck with the rust removal ?

Kind Regards David
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Old 17th January 2009, 03:15 AM   #19
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Hi Guys, I'm sure you're right and its not a goody, give me a little bit longer to clean it, I'm using all available space with a couple of other projects at the moment

Soooooon

Tim, yup, does look VERY similar corrosion wise. I think I'm going to be dissapointing my friend once its been cleaned.
Great diagram David! Wish mine had gold runic lettering along the top edge
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