Zoomorphic Vintage Edinburgh Silver Scottish Sgian Dubh
Zoomorphic design has been very popular in Celtic art for a thousand years or more and became entwined with Norse design brought to Scotland by the Vikings in the the late 8th until the mid-11th century . The word zoomorphic derives from the Greek ζωον, meaning "animal", and μορφη (morphē), meaning "shape" or "form". The Urnes-Romanesque Norse Style has been widely influenced the designs of the 20th century and has been used for sporrans, plaid brooches and sgian dubh mounts.
Thomas Kerr Ebbutt was a Scottish manufacturing jeweller, St David’s Square, Edinburgh. Thomas Ebbutt started work in 1896 and died in 1921. From the beginning he concentrated on making Highland Dress accoutrements. His company continued in business until 1977 when it was bought by Hamilton & Inches. His sgian dubhs are highly prized and respected for their beauty & high quality.
We have a passion for fine antique and collectible sgian dubh’s and Highland dirks. We source antique Jacobite styles of the 18th century, high Victorian styles and regimental patterns of WW1 – WW2. Our sgian dubh and dirk range make wonderful addition to any Highland dress collection.
Our range of fine hallmarked sterling silver skean dubh’s made by the Highland regimental silversmith and Royal silversmiths Hamilton & Inches in Edinburgh, Scotland. We can engrave many of these skean dubhs for presentation gifts.
The Gaelic sgian dubh meaning “black knife”, where “black” may refer to the usual colour of the handle of the knife. It is also suggested that “black” means secret, or hidden, as in the word blackmail. This is based on the stories and theories surrounding the knife’s origin and the meaning of “Dubh” in Gaelic, in particular those associated with the Highland custom of depositing weapons at the entrance to a house prior to entering as a guest. Despite this practice, a small twin edged-dagger, (‘Mattucashlass’), concealed under the armpit, combined with a smaller knife, (‘Sgian dubh’).