Gaston Phoebus Hunting Knife

In today's post we take a look at a piece that, although it isn't a standard catalogue item, we have made enough times to give it a name -- our Gaston Phoebus Hunting Knife.  

Gaston Phoebus hunting knife

A fancier version of the knife with tooled scabbard.

In addition to being a famed warrior, the 3rd Count of Foix, and Viscount of Bearn, Gaston Phoebus was also a renowned hunter.  He wrote his hunting book, the Livre de Chasse, in order to preserve the practice of courtly hunting after the devastating loss of life brought on by the bubonic plague in the mid 14th century.  


An image from the book depicting Phoebus consulting with his hunters regarding what quarry to pursue.

Noble hunts were part party, part picnic, and part practice for war.  In addition to being functional, hunters like the Count of Foix and his retinue were also concerned with the aesthetics of their clothing and arms, and with proper etiquette.  

Gaston picnic

 A feast during the hunt

This style of knife with its graceful lines and acutely clipped point was likely popular because it served its purpose with beauty and elegance.  If you are interested in commissioning one of these knives, or something similar please send us a request using this form.

Phoebus knife up close

A similar knife depicted in the book

Check out our related blogs on medieval hunting here and here.  Also, here is the blog post mentioned in the video about medieval knives more broadly.


divider swords

Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography.  He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.

Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985.


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