Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Small sickle chopper -- Southern Indian (?)
This is a small but well made sickle weapon. I've searched my files and references and the closest I can come to an ID is either a Moplah chopper from the Malabar Coast of SW India, or something a little further inland from Mysore. Egerton has an example that resembles the one pictured below.
The blade measures 8 1/4 inches from tip to bolster and is 1 5/8 inches at its widest. Blade is 3/16 inches thick just in front of the bolster. There is a 1/2-inch steel bolster and the rest of the handle is 4 1/4 inches in length, with a brass and a steel ferrule flanking the circular wooden grip. There is a thin metal plate at the end of the hilt, with a peened tang to secure the hilt.
There are elongated S-shapes along the spine of the blade and other designs at "forte" -- see the pictures below. Perhaps the most unusual feature is a humped protrusion from the back of the blade immediately before the bolster. I have included detailed pictures of this area. The only similar arrangement I have found is a Malabar chopper illustrated in Egerton.
Close up views of the blade show some patination and there is evidence of an inserted edge. Overall, I would say the blade is at least 100 years old, probably older, but the hilt may be a replacement.
Opinons and observations would be most welcome.