Cameron Highlanders regimental brass mounted sgian dubh – Hand made by the regimental silversmith, with solid brass sphinx and thistle mounts and stone set with a real smoky quartz cairngorm.
The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders or 79th (The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders) Regiment of Foot was a line infantry regiment of the British Army.
The regiment was formed in 1793 during the French Revolutionary Wars (1792-1802) by Sir Alan Cameron of Erracht. It was originally named the Cameron Volunteers after one of the most powerful Highland Clans of the time; but was soon designated as the 79th Regiment of Foot (Cameronian Volunteers). The regiment initially served in the West Indies and remained at Martinique for two years, where it suffered significantly from disease to the extent that men were transferred to other regiments and only 200 returned to England in 1797.
In 1799 the regiment was part of the Heider Campaign during the War of the Second Coalition (1798-1802) and took part in the Battle at Egmont-op-Zee. The 79th was also part of a failed assault on the Spanish coast at Ferrol in 1800. In 1808 the 79th moved to Portugal, and then Spain as part of the Peninsular War (1808-1814), fighting at the Battle of Corunna; the Battle of Busaco; the defence of Cadiz; the Battle of Fuentes d’Onor; the Battle of Salamanca; the occupation of Madrid; the siege of Burgos; the Battles of the Pyrenees, Nivelle & Nive; and the Battle of Toulouse. In 1815 the 79th formed part of the Duke of Wellington’s force at the Battle of Waterloo. In 1854 the regiment served during the Crimean War at the Battles of Alma and Sevastopol before moving to India to assist the Honourable East India Company in crushing the Indian Rebellion in 1857. The 79th also took part in the recapture of Lucknow in 1858 before remaining in India for 12 years. On return the regiment was stationed on the Isle of Wight and performed ceremonial duties for Queen Victoria, for which it was awarded the title the 79th Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.
In 1881 the regiment was one of the few to escape amalgamation during the Childers Reforms, when it became the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders. It then served in Egypt until 1886 as part of the successful Tel-el-Kebir before participating in the Boer War, the fall of Pretoria, the Battle of Diamond Hill, the capture of Spitzkopf and the Battle of Nooitgedacht, returning to Scotland in 1904. The regiment then served in both World Wars.
In 1961 the Cameron and Seaforth Highlanders were amalgamated to form The Queens Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons). In 1994 the regiment was merged with The Gordon Highlanders to become The Highlanders. In 2006 The Highlanders became part of The Royal Regiment of Scotland and known as 4 SCOTS The Highlanders.
Our range of fine hallmarked sterling silver skean dubh’s and dirks made by the Regimental silversmith and Royal silversmiths Hamilton & Inches in Edinburgh and our regimental silversmith in Scotland. We can engrave many of these skean dubhs for presentation gifts. Many of these skean dubhs complement the silver buckles, kilt pins and Scottish silver buttons we have available from our highland jewellery page.
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.
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’).