Dagger Handles

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Dagger Handles

Post by grendel on Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:55 pm

A nice PDF someone put together of Beaker Dagger handles found in Denmark. They all seem to be made of wood wrapped with some kind of cord. 

http://1501bc.com/files/beaker_period_daggers_with_hilts.pdf

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:52 pm

Cool, I have seen the picture before, but not the Illustrations, pity the scale is not too clear.
There is still the mystery of how the Beaker daggers where hafted over here...

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by grendel on Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:48 pm

Is there any reason to think they hafted them differently over here? The Amesbury Archer's dagger seem's to have been hafted this way.

British Museum haft their's pretty similarly.



Last edited by Grendel on Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:21 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by grendel on Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:06 pm

Also while on the subject I've been meaning for a while to replicate this rather unusual design. It's in John Evans, supposed to be in the British Museum (at least in 1872) and is regarded a Beaker Dagger by Evans. Of course it was pulled out the Thames so could easily be something else. Anyway it's 7" long (I've created it 1:1 scale in Photoshop, just for you [which this damn website is not correctly reproducing:( ]), now Evans as an interesting interpretation suggesting the form of the point appears to be cut down and it may originally have been longer, which would explain the unusual design, however looking at the profile illustration the way the convexity tapers out perfectly evenly to the tip, it looks to me as if this is how it was made and was not cut down. So what do you think?


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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by skalla on Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:29 pm

Great capture of all those illuistrations and a fascinating subject.

One of the things i love in ancient blade design is that it is not so dogmatic as today, and is unconstrained by expectation in comparison to todays commonly used (and often homogenous) steel knives.  The one above is a great example - plenty of cutting edge, but enough in the way of different cutting profiles to be multifunctional.  But thats what you get when you're living a practical lifestyle and have to make (or trade) what you need.

Totally looks an intentional design too, and a good one.

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:51 pm

I have not seen any over here with a preserved handle, only time will tell.
I have long thought that they would closely resemble the handles on the early copper daggers. The pdf shows this is true of the danish examples, the British early Bronze age copper ones also usually have a pommel made from bone, some from amber.
The Beaker dagger from the Thames has slightly unusual proportoins, but within the relms of regional variation. I have a photo of it somewhere, I'll dig it out, it looks complete to me.

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by grendel on Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:34 pm

Here's a prototype handle I did yesterday.


 


Last edited by Grendel on Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:40 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by skalla on Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:39 pm

cool - is the handle split and then bound with the leather?  does it also slot into the pommel and get held together by it?  i think i'm about to get all demanding and ask for a how-to......

 ETA: those flints are gorgeous too.. i'm off to Northampton at the weekend (and lincs in a couple of weeks) and may well hop on to Quarryland from there and fill my GF's car with chalk dust, god bless her.

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by grendel on Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:43 pm

No it isn't split, I dug out the handle about 2 inches deep for the tang. As to whether Beaker dagger handles were split, this is a mute point as Otzi knives were, the next one I make will be split for comparison.

http://uk-knapping.forumotion.co.uk/t180-oetzi-s-flint-knife



ETA: those flints are gorgeous too.. i'm off to Northampton at the weekend (and lincs in a couple of weeks) and may well hop on to Quarryland from there and fill my GF's car with chalk dust, god bless her.
 I'm pretty sure chalk dust has mystical qualities, nomatter how many layers of air tight plastic you line the boot with it always finds a way through, and then spreads to the rest of the car.

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by skalla on Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:26 pm

She knows the car will be all dusty white afterwards, but i think she's weighing that against the benefit of me being hidden away in the outhouse breaking rock while she wallows in the delights of Lego Harry Potter.  And yes, she is an adult :p

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:58 pm

Good work, especially with the Lego!
The E.B.A daggers with copper blades over here where usually split, hence all the copper rivets, and the pommel helps to hold both halves together too. Like in this repro: " />

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by the barnacle on Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:44 pm

Nice looking flint - like the handle with the pommel - this is a bronze age blade I found last year - nice pic mr h -

 

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:26 pm

Nice find, looks like you have a middle Bronze age Rapier there, they where really long so there is probably more of it to find!
The repro above is lacking a couple more rivets usually just below the pommel to hold the top of the handle rigid, but hey, it's a lovely piece of work! Not mine sadly...

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by skalla on Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:01 am

Awesome find, definately looks like a rapier!

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by grendel on Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:24 am

So now you have to go back to where you found it and hunt down the other 90%.Laughing

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by the barnacle on Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:14 am

I gave the area a good going over but will return when the crop is off, problem is the farmer has spread the dreaded green waste on the field so its now covered in aluminium and industrial waste.

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:57 pm

Ah recycling! Don't you just love it!
I hate digging aluminium, it sounds too good!

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:55 pm

Ok, this is from Egypt (thank you desert and your preserving of organics!) Looks like the handle is a one piece so the wooden handle must have been hollowed out by chain drilling and carving, or something similar:
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details/collection_image_gallery.aspx?assetId=834433&objectId=118602&partId=1

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by skalla on Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:01 pm

Gah! stupid laptop just wiped my post...

In short, you could use a chain of a few vertebrae..

or there are the so called "cholla" handles from some american cacti - dunno if only a specific variety would work and i've not looked into it.  I have some fairly large cacti though, and imagine that due to them shrinking to next to nowt when they dry that a pretty huge one would be needed.

Also what about more exotic horn or antler, various sites sell these, the only one that springs to mind personally though is

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by skalla on Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:02 pm

bah!

Chichester Horn

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by grendel on Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:06 pm

skalla wrote:bah!

Chichester Horn

Wow. That's a website you don't see everyday..

Here's one I was thinking for handles. there are a few on ebay but overly carved and expensive, wish I could find a cheap source of basic ones like this.

http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=66323

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by skalla on Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:06 pm

you could do a deal with a maker in exchange for some knife blades or a nice axe, adze etc... just dangle the correct stone age lovelies and bob's yer uncle - many folk can carve wood but there aint many skilled knappers here in the uk remember, and heaps of folks make wood spirits.

I've seen some lovely carved antler too, all just done via dremel as well.

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by the barnacle on Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:04 am

as you say a web site you don't see every day - I wonder if there are any restrictions with exporting some of the items for sale or would customs pull them to search.

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by skalla on Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:30 am

I would imagine that the vast majority would be fine, and i guess Customs and Excise have a web page somewhere with listed restrictions etc.

You may still find it's been opened though and comes with an explanatory letter when it arrives.

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Re: Dagger Handles

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:06 pm

" /> Three more from the British museum. The little black one is multi notched.

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Re: Dagger Handles

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