Example 1 (continued). The inside (as worn) side of the handle (above top) depicts a serpent, likely an anaconda, the tail of which continues around the bottom of the handle (not shown). The upper chape (above lower left) depicts a man in military costume. The stamped inscription NAPOLEON III shows a patination different from the main incised design and is regarded as a later addition. The flag in the upper left of this component is consistent with that of Argentina as is that attached to a pole with a spearhead depicted on the lower chape (above lower right) held by a woman wearing a "liberty cap". Though primitive in its execution, the decoration on this cuchillo gaucho is arguably more effective than the more technically proficient work often encountered on these knives.

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Version 1.1 ~ 20 June 1999 ~ Copyright © 1998, 1999 by Lee A. Jones