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Fire Steels of this design are a simple variation on the classic ‘C’ shaped Fire Steels, but with the inclusion of a thicker ‘hump’ on the inside striking surface (the Belly) of the long side of the Steel. A Fire Steel of this style, which now resides in the Science Museums as part of the donated ‘Bryant & May Museum of Fire-Making Appliances’ collection, was purchased in 1898 from a Bazaar at Tizi Ouzou in Algeria. It was said to have been used by the Kabyle Tribe [people], who are the the largest nation in North Africa to be considered exclusively Berber. However, there is more compelling evidence that suggests that this design originated from the Viking era, since many Fire Steels of this style with the ‘Hump’ have been found in Viking burial mounds.
The extremely well made Fire Steels were made for us by the much-valued blacksmith Andrew Kirkham who specialises in historical replicas. The Steel measure about 3-1/4 Inches (80mm) Long by 1-3/4 Inches (42mm) Wide and 1/8 Inch (3mm) Thick.