The Mower

My friend Susan brought me back pictures of scythes from her recent visit to the newly revamped Tate Britain. Among them was The Mower by Sir Hamo Thornycroft. Made at the end of the 1800s it depicts a British labourer in his workng clothes with his English, straight-shafted scythe and whetstone carried on his belt. Trying to imagine myself working with his scythe (while Susan commented on the similarities of my and his hats) something didn’t seem quite right..

The MowerThe Mower

Take a look at the image from the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, where they have the life-size bronze and suddenly you see that the snath is actually curved slightly though in the opposite sense from most English snaths, ie with the top of it curving upwards. I’m still tryling to understand it and the positioning of the nibs as the lower one seems turned far too downwards but I wonder if it’s all artistic licence on Mr Thorncroft’s part. A trip to Liverpool may be in order..

The Mower

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About Steve Tomlin

I am a greenwood worker and scythe tutor. I carve spoons, bowls and other products from locally sourced greenwood. During the summer I teach scything around the UK.
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2 Responses to The Mower

  1. Andrea Rayner says:

    The exact configuration of his scythe may not be, er, the point.

  2. Without a photograph of the rear and side of the full-sized original it’s difficult to comment on the snath curvature, but many Anglo/American snaths feature a slight upward recurvature at the small end of the snath. In terms of the lower nib positioning I rather enjoy a slight downward set to the nib because it allows me to prevent the toe of a long blade from wanting to droop under its own weight and I can allow my right arm to hand in a nearly fully-extended position which reduces tiring of the joints during use. 🙂

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