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Scutching/swingling knife

Object Number: 
N-158
Date: 
1750-1800
Medium: 
Oak
Dimensions: 
Overall: 1 1/4 x 27 1/2 x 2 3/4 in. ( 3.2 x 69.8 x 7 cm )
Description: 
Oak scutching knife with long, narrow slit running down center of blade and rounded handle with hole drilled through base.
Gallery Label: 
Flax was processed in several stages. After the plants were dried and the seeds were removed, they were submerged in water in order to rot away the useless part. After drying a flax brake was used to start the process of separating the line fiber from the shives, or core and bark. The remains were then scutched or swingled to remove more broken shives from the tough line fiber. In this stage, the flax was beaten on a scutching board with a scutching knife.
Credit Line: 
Gift of George W. Nash
Provenance: 
The George W. Nash Collection of Ulster County, New York Household Artifacts
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group