Seax sheaths

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Seaxes with a blade between 6" and 14" should be suspended horizontally from the belt with two straps. The sheath may be stitched along the top or may have a strip of brass (technically ‘copper alloy’) along the top, riveted at the holding straps. Both sides of the sheath should be tooled and decorated. The sheath should cover most of the handle, leaving an inch or so visible. The sheath should be formed around the knife itself, with the imprint of the handle forming a different decorative panel. The sheath should always come to a point as if the knife is sharp, even (especially!) if it is a combat blunt.

Wearing short seaxes

They are suspended horizontally from the belt, worn at the front, with the sharp edge uppermost and the grip on the right hand side. Partly this was to display the decoration on the front of the sheath, but also for ease of drawing. Drawing the seax from its sheath will mean your right hand pulls back, which isn't very handy if you want to bring it up to a guard position, but is perfect for stabbing an enemy in the stomach. You don't draw a seax to start a fight - you use it to finish one!

the late ninth-century Middleton Cross, from Yorkshire

Examples of seaxes

a tenth-century English seax with decorated sheath, in the Aachen cathedral treasury

A short seax in its sheath, awaiting decoration. Seax in sheath.jpg