Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Sheep Shearing Shears Knives-?

There has been a spate of postings on living history forums of late, including our own, on knives made from sheep shears. Now whilst it is true that sheep shearing goes back to madieval days, the shears used were not the same as those used today. If you are going to make a knife out of sheep shear blades, and claim it is authentic to your period, then the shears need to be authentic to your period also IF you are using the whole blade and arm. If you are only using the metal to craft a blade, then of course this is fine. Below you will see some examples of what I am talking about.
 The above knife is typical of the knives being shown. Whilst I think this is a really great knife and a great idea, it is not representative of a 18th century knife. Notice the reenforcing rib on the top of the blade. This is 20th-21st century. Yes they still make these shears.
 Above, 21st century shears. Note the rib on top of the blade.
 16th-17th century shears. Notice these are made in one piece, not two pieces.
 This knife above is actually advertised as an early Indian knife on an antique site! Early when!


Gorges Smythe said...

I would assume that two-piece shears came along with the advent of stamping sheet metal. I'm guessing mid-1800's, but it could have been a bit earlier, I guess.

Vieuxbois said...

Hi Keith,

I agree, a knife made with a 20th-21st century sheep shears blade cannot be representative of a 18th century knife.

Note that most of the 20th century shears I've seen are forged in one piece, not two pieces. And the rib on top of the blade is the part of the one piece blade that is folded to reinforce the thin blade.

Look at this Sheep shears : it was found in Viuz-Faverges (south-eastern France) in a Third-Century A.D. context : http://www.sav.org/images/mus-t09.jpg
Very similar, but the rib is not folded.


Le Loup said...

Vieuxbois. Not only not folded, but the blade is not central and the arm not curved. Totally different to the ones seen in the 19th, 20th & 21st centuries. A knife made liks this would be quite acceptable.
Though I note that in all my researching, I have yet to come across an original sheep shear knife.
Regards, Keith.