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Old 6th May 2023, 06:34 PM   #1
Roibeard na Piobaire
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 1
Default The Irish Skean

Information on the Irish skean has long been elusive. As such, no really satisfactory reproductions are available. I thought it might be of interest to let members know I have published a new book on the subject: The Skean, the distinctive fighting knife of Gaelic Ireland, 1500-1700. Schiffer Publishing's military imprint have produced a 9"x12" hardback, full color book, very good value at $24 US. Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Thrift Books, etc. Here is Schiffer's page for it:

From a review in Heritage Arms, an Australian collectors magazine:
"The physical book is 87 pages, heavy quality paper and beautifully presented. The illustrated covers are in hard board avoiding the need for a dust cover that so often deteriorates. Published by Schiffer Military publishing and available at
The list price is 24.9p which I am assuming is US not Australian.

This is an excellent in-depth introduction to a little known or explored historical fighting knife that remains elusive today. My only disappointment is that there are so few intact historical examples to view. The Skeans relationship to other fighting knives of times such as the dungeon dagger and Scottish dirk is also well defined in this publication. Whilst a very much in depth and academic approach to the Skean I found the book very easy to read.

I would highly recommend this publication to edged weapons collectors, particularly those who have an interest in early knives and how they were employed from a military perspective. I hope that this publication may yet bring to light more original examples that have perhaps been incorrectly identified in the past."
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dagger, dirk, irish, scottish, skean

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