A Viking Age Hunting Knife
A customer came to me with a a pseudo-sharp pattern-welded knife they'd bought, but wanted a sheath more in-keeping with the cultural background they were portraying.
I re-handled it with with an oak grip and ground the back of the blade so that the proportions were consistent with Early Medieval examples.
Work could then start on the sheath which was based on an original find from Cheapside in London, and the copper alloy binding was worked from bar consistent with both the rivet holes on the surviving sheath and one of the few surviving instances of metal work from a knife sheath in the British Isles (Cumwhitton Cemetary in Cumbria)
I really like the pattern on this sheath, with its combination of interlace, arcanthus and simple geometric designs!
A New Scabbard
I was asked to provide an evidenced-based scabbard that could be used both on the re-enactment battlefield and during educational school visits.
I started by making a wooden core to fit the blade, lined it with sheepskin and bound it first in linen then with leather. As with the surviving examples the core was made so that once complete the scabbard would be only as thick as the guard,
The leather was sewn on with a flesh/grain stitch so that the thread is not visible and won't wear by rubbing against the user's clothes when worn.
Rather than opt for the baldric & strap distributor commonly seen in re-enactment, I opted for a strap-slider and belt evidenced much more frequently in archaeology and manuscript illustrations, fabricating a buckle based on a grave find from Repton in Derbyshire.
I signed up for a craft-swap thinking I'd make a piece in leather, but then drew Hamish of Pictavia Leather!
After some thought I decided make him a Pictish bone cloak pin based on one from North Uist and, because he is a regular feature at the Scottish Crannog Centre, a red deer antler comb from Buiston Crannog in Ayreshire.
Crannogs typically date to the Iron Age but some, like Buiston, Lagore in Ireland and Llan-gors in Wales, show occupation into the Viking Age, providing a nice link between his period and mine.
I finished the package with some thread winders based on examples from Scotland and Norway