This exquisite historical Viking age knife was probably made from a cut-down sax blade. The blade is pattern welded, and the fittings, shown in more detail to the left and right, are magnificent. The grip is in the form of a bird, with decorations incised into the wood and bronze making up the grip. The total length of the knife is 31cm (12.5in). X-ray images show that the tang is quite short.
Arran or the Isle of Arran is the largest island in the Scotland. It has been continuously inhabited since the early Neolithic period, and numerous prehistoric remains have been found. From the 6th century onwards, Goidelic-speaking peoples from Ireland colonised the island and it became a centre of religious activity. During the troubled Viking Age, Arran became the property of the Norwegian crown before becoming formally absorbed by the kingdom of Scotland in the 13th century.