Cool Custom: Derick Kemper’s Scottish Dirk

Cool Custom: Derick Kemper’s Scottish Dirk
Derick Kemper’s first-ever try at a Scottish dirk is a most successful one. It’s markedly oversized compared to standard Scottish dirks but he wanted the knife to be a “statement piece,” and that it is. He sold the knife before he could make a sheath for it and would supply a traditional sheath for a similar dirk. (SharpByCoop image)

A bonnie blade to be sure, Kemper makes a statement with his Scottish dirk.

Derick Kemper celebrates his Scottish heritage with his sprawling reproduction of a Scottish dirk. It’s overstated to salute the legend and lore of his Scottish Highlander ancestors who fought so valiantly for their independence from Great Britain, beginning with the Jacobite rising of 1745.

The edge of the stunning damascus blade is a simple twist pattern of W2 carbon and 15N20 nickel alloy steels. The three bars above it are Derick’s version of Robert Eggerling’s paisley pattern—a modified twist of 203E carbon steel for the bright section and W2 and 15N20 as well.

The habaki has Derick’s Damselfly Forge stamp of two damselflies and his initials in the middle engraved on one side, and the white rose of Scotland’s “Bonnie Prince Charlie” (1720-1788) on the other.

Derick Kemper
Derick Kemper

The chess-piece-like handle is oversized as well, with the pommel engraved in Latin, Qui Optime Regnare Ius Habet. The English translation is “Who hath best right to reign,” a slogan that appeared on the flags and accouterments of many of the Highlanders in the 18th century.

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