View Full Version : Gotlandic Seax

J.Arthur Loose
04-03-2004, 07:57 PM
<p align=center>
<img src="">

<a href="" target="_blank">-Click here to see a close-up of the blade-</a>
<a href="" target="_blank">-Click here to see the knife sheathed-</a>
<a href="" target="_blank">-Click here to see the pommel & ring-</a>
<a href="" target="_blank">-Click here to see the inspiration for the piece-</a>

<b>'Damascus Seax with Gotland Sheath'</b>

Blade 8 1/2" ; Handle 5"

This Seax is based on finds from Gotland, an island off the coast of Sweden. The blade is a 5 billet composite made in a very traditional Seax style, the spine is made of four billets of 10 layers welded together in 1080 & 15N20. The edge is 1080 folded onto itself as if it was refined in the traditonal manner; you can see the layers running lengthwise. The blade is hollow ground, which is a technique demonstrated on many Viking blades. The handle is Blackwood and the fittings are all Sterling silver. The wire wrap at the bolster area serves to stop the fingers and is found on many of the blades from this period. It is my belief that the wrap also served to hold the tang in by tension; there is a slight cut in the handle which clamps down on the tang when the wire is tightly wrapped in place. The pommel holds a ring in the shape of the Midgard Serpent, biting his own tail. The sheath is vegetable tanned leather and Sterling silver with stamped designs such as those found on originals.

Jake Powning
04-04-2004, 07:30 AM
I think this is an excellent addendum to the discussion we were having earlier about historical fit and finnish. how did you do that wire wrap? are there tiny holes drilled in the grip to stick the wire ends in?
It's a great piece, very inspiring:)

Jan Dox
04-04-2004, 01:42 PM
Another beautifull knife Jonathan.

Is the wire wrap just putting extra tension , to hold the blade tighter? Have you seen knives where the wrapping like that also held the blade by going in a cutout in the blade, providing a fysical block?

Certain similarities in shape between several Scandinavian and Japanese knives have cought my attention already a long time ago. It is fascinating just to compare shapes. The main differences are in the techniques and materials, but the shapes....


Nathan Taylor
04-04-2004, 04:11 PM
That is a wonderful piece of work. I would love to see a better picture of the pommel if it is not too much trouble.:)

04-06-2004, 07:59 AM
I have to keep coming back and looking at this one. Just amazing!

J.Arthur Loose
04-07-2004, 11:54 PM
Thanks, guys!

Nathan, there's a pic up of the pommel now.

Jake, the wire wrap goes through two holes and was pulled tight & wedged in place. There's a bowyer's knot I;m goin to try next time around with slightly thinner wire, just to experiment.

04-15-2004, 01:26 PM
Wow Jonathan!

Thats a stunner all right. Every time I think you have made the best Seax yet, you produce another one that is even better. Thank you for breathing more life into this ancient style.

04-26-2004, 03:06 PM
very nice work, jon.

05-05-2004, 07:07 PM

I have spent the last 30 mins gazing at your photos....superb.

Re the 4 layer composite (spine)....are they twisted first ......and how many times did you fold the edge on its self?



Jonathan Gage
04-17-2006, 02:53 AM
Nice touch on the end ring

J.Arthur Loose
04-19-2006, 11:15 AM
Since this one got Raised from the Dead...

I should do another one now that I have a bunch of sheet bronze.

I wasn't quite satisfied with the pattern development on this one.

Was it the angle of the blade or the illusion that the pommel ring holder is off-center you were going to ask about, Jonathan? The blade curved ever so slightly forward in the quench and I just went with it, though I like the slight taper and the hint of forward curve on the edge makes it seem like more of a swinger. The pommel thing was photographic... drove me nuts.

Don Halter
04-19-2006, 11:46 AM
Cool! I especially love the sheath!

Jonathan Gage
04-19-2006, 01:33 PM
yep, it was that pommel thing. The reason I wanted to mention it (its the next thread I'll be starting) is that many of the seax tangs I am seeing are off center and I'm searching for reasons why. If you made the pommel thing off center to match an off center tang, that would have been so cool to know the reasons why that would have been the thing to do: added balance, less vibrations, added strength, aid to a certain fighting style, etc.

About it being a photo nightmare...I feel your pain

04-19-2006, 03:38 PM
you know, I think it looks a lot like an awesome japanese Tanto. Well, just the tip, I suppose. It's a terribly beautiful knife any way you want to spell it.

J.Arthur Loose
04-20-2006, 10:24 AM
you know, I think it looks a lot like an awesome japanese Tanto.

Funny you mention that, Dodd.

A great friend of mine once wrote a bit on that subject. He was something of a Viking gone Buddhist. Scroll down to #15 and check out the links.