May 13, 2008

Single-Edged Knife (Scramasax)

Single-Edged Knife (Scramasax)


Iron, copper, and gold foil

Overall: 36.9 x 4.1 cm (14 1/2 x 1 5/8 in.)

Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1919.1015

Did you know?

Scramasax come in a variety of sizes and are all-purpose tools and weapons often carried by both men and women.


The scramasax, a single-edged knife, was a general purpose implement. It could serve equally well as a tool or as a weapon and generally did not exceed 12 inches in length. As with most objects of the Migration period, iron weapons survive as excavated grave goods and tend to be heavily corroded. The grips, now missing, were probably fashioned from wood or bone and silver inlay decorated the pommels (the knob on the hilt, or handle). The ornamental gold foil bands, perhaps from the original scabbards (the cases in which the blades of swords or daggers are kept) have survived relatively intact.

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