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The hilt (handle) is made of a single large piece of deer bone (about 5.5 inches long), smoothed and polished to the feel and texture of fine ivory. I don't hunt - the bones are picked up in the spring and come from deer that die naturally over the winter. Laying out in the open all season leaves them to absorb minerals from the ground, giving them a nice aged look. They are also professionally cleaned and sanitized.
The quillion (guard) is hand carved and forged from a solid bar of .25 x .75 inch brass. This makes for a much stronger (though much more labor intensive) quillion than the cheaper and easier cast pieces more commonly seen. Between the quillion and the hilt is a brass band (the "wedding band") which serves both to strengthen the cut end of the bone handle, and to make a lovely transition between the quillion and hilt. The wedding band is decorated on two sides with a simple ray design..
The scabbard for this athame is hand carved from poplar wood - a strong, rapidly growing, renewable hardwood - and is fitted specifically for this blade. The wood is dyed a rich brown/black, and inside is padded with felt to hold oil (to protect the blade) and keep the blade from rattling or falling out when carried.
Please be aware that this is a big one! The overall length is a bit over 17 inches. When the tip of the athame is touching my finger tips, the other end reaches to my elbow. By modern standards, this make for a jumbo knife, by by the medieval standards on which I've based this design, this length would have been considered proper. The slim blade and slender handle make this a graceful tool to hold.
We've all seen the cheap, decorative knife-like objects made in factories by people who could hardly care less about your real needs offered for sale in various catalogues. But this is the real deal, made by somebody who cares, and who knows what you want. If that's what you're after, this is what you want.
This athame is signed with my persoanl touchmark - a little fish all curled up - on the quillion.
This is a nice piece - it could easily go into a museum or collection, but would be much better in the hands of somebody who knows what it is, and what to do with it.
PLEASE NOTE: High carbon steel, unlike the flashy, cheaper and brittle stainless steel often used on items like this, is subject to rusting if not properly cared for. The blade needs to be oiled periodically, and should not be stored in the scabbard for long periods of time without being tended to occasionally. Because I can't control how people will treat a blade like this, I do not guarantee the blade against rust.