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Old 3rd January 2018, 07:12 PM   #1
Ian
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Default Anglo-Indian Knives

Two things come to mind when I read "Anglo-Indian knife." The first is the knives made in England in imitation of Indian knives. The Rogers company, for example, made several such knives.

The second is the knives made in India during the late 19th and early 20th C aimed specifically at European markets and British people who liked to travel to exotic places. There is a particular style that stands out in this regard. The most common of these is a knife that has a curved blade of polished steel with "Pure Steel," "Victory," and occasionally "Kirpan" reverse-etched at the forte. The hilts comprise small plates of MOP with interspersed straight or zig-zag black lines made of jet. A brass guard, ferrule and pommel are present, with a brass chain often linking the pointed pommel to the cross guard. The hilt is of full tang construction, with a screw thread on the end of the tang that takes a nut to hold the hilt in place. These knives originally came in a red leather sheath with a brass chape and locket. In my experience the chape tends to get lost first and later the lockets.

A less common variant of similar construction has a karud style blade of T-section, usually with a fuller, and a hilt of MOP with interspersed black jet, a brass ferrule and pommel, but no cross guard or chain; the hilt is again of full tang construction.

I have shown a small sample of these in the pictures below. Despite being mainly "tourist" knives, they are generally well made and attractive knives. There are quite a few of them around, so they are neither rare nor particularly valuable. I think the karud style is less common, and indeed knives of this form seem to be offered for sale at quite a high price these days.

The accompanying pictures illustrate the two styles and some of the marks found at forte. Close up views of the hilts show the MOP and jet construction.

I would be interested to see any other variants of this genre that folks have found over the years.

Ian.
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Last edited by Ian : 4th January 2018 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 11:52 PM   #2
thinreadline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Two things come to mind when I read "Anglo-Indian knife." The first is the knives made in England in imitation of Indian knives. The Rogers company, for example, made several such knives.

The second is the knives made in India during the late 19th and early 20th C aimed specifically at European markets and British people who liked to travel to exotic places. There is a particular style that stands out in this regard. The most common of these is a knife that has a curved blade of polished steel with "Pure Steel," "Victory," and occasionally "Kirpan" reverse-etched at the forte. The hilts comprise small plates of MOP with interspersed straight or zig-zag black lines made of jet. A brass guard, ferrule and pommel are present, with a brass chain often linking the pointed pommel to the cross guard. The hilt is of full tang construction, with a screw thread on the end of the tang that takes a nut to hold the hilt in place. These knives originally came in a red leather sheath with a brass chape and locket. In my experience the chape tends to get lost first and later the lockets.

A less common variant of similar construction has a karud style blade of T-section, usually with a fuller, and a hilt of MOP with interspersed black jet, a brass ferrule and pommel, but no cross guard or chain; the hilt is again of full tang construction.

I have shown a small sample of these in the pictures below. Despite being mainly "tourist" knives, they are generally well made and attractive knives. There are quite a few of them around, so they are neither rare nor particularly valuable. I think the karud style is less common, and indeed knives of this form seem to be offered for sale at quite a high price these days.

The accompanying pictures illustrate the two styles and some of the marks found at forte. Close up views of the hilts show the MOP and jet construction.

I would be interested to see any other variants of this genre that folks have found over the years.

Ian.

Very interesting to see such an excellent selection of variants of this interesting knife illustrated . I have had several of these over the years and never considered them to be as early as you describe , though I have no evidence of this , just an opinion. My gut feeling was that they were 1940s possibly made for sale to British servicemen as souvenirs in WW2, but as I say, w/o any evidence to support this view. I see them fairly often at militaria shows , very often described as '19th C midshipman's dirks' which of course is ludicrous. Superb collection Ian.

Last edited by Ian : 4th January 2018 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 4th January 2018, 06:36 AM   #3
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Here are a couple more examples of sold items from the Oriental Arms site.

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Old 4th January 2018, 12:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Here are a couple more examples of sold items from the Oriental Arms site.

.


yes those handles are very similar in style.
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Old 4th January 2018, 01:24 PM   #5
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I bought this one some time ago from an internet dealer. Engraved on a panel of the grip, "India 1943" so this one is definitely WW2 era. A nice sturdy blade with signs of differential hardening, alas now pitted from neglect.
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Old 7th January 2018, 06:45 PM   #6
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Hi
Here is my version, I reckoned Indian but this is as far as I went
Do you think it is from same family tree
Overall37 cm
Blade is 26 cm

Handle feels v cold like some sort of stone
Regards
Ken
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Old 24th January 2018, 09:53 AM   #7
shastardhari
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I have a recurving pesh kabz I purchased recently. It had a jadite handle..many of these daggers are faux wootz. Not worth etching.
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Old 24th January 2018, 05:46 PM   #8
A. G. Maisey
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Both Kubur and Detlef think that the knife shown in post #6 is both much better and much older than the knives shown in the other posts.

I find this very interesting.

In respect of age, I cannot guess how old the post #6 knife is, so I am prepared to accept it might be older than the other knives.

However, what interests me is that two very experienced people should have formed the opinion that the post #6 knife is much better than the other knives shown.

I might be missing something here, but I simply cannot see that.

I have taken the word "better" to mean that the quality of craftsmanship, and the overall condition of the post #6 knife are better than the other knives shown.

Really?

I would very much appreciate a clear objective explanation as to exactly what characteristics of the post #6 knife make it better than the other knives shown.
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Old 24th January 2018, 08:15 PM   #9
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Hi
As owner of knife 6 I too am interested as to what makes this a better knife, especially as I had it in my mistake acquisition pile.
Regards
Ken

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Old 24th January 2018, 08:36 PM   #10
Jon MB
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I am surprised it's not immediately evident that Ken's piece from post six is both older and of superior quality. The Agate Grip is but one indicator of the latter, and the patina of the fittings and blade of the former.

For example, compare the craftsmanship of the scabbard throat on all the pieces here, (or of the chapes). less of a 'mass produced' feel to Ken's piece.
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Old 25th January 2018, 05:21 AM   #11
A. G. Maisey
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Thank you Jon for explaining to me that the hilt material is just one of the things that makes the post #6 knife superior to all of the others .

I would be very pleased to hear of the other things.

I'm only addressing the knife with my question, not the scabbard. The scabbard may be better than some of the others, or it may not, I'd have to handle all of them to form any opinion at all, I cannot assess the scabbard from photos, but I can form a good preliminary opinion of the knives from the photos.

Just as you are surprised that it was not immediately evident to me that the post #6 knife is superior in quality to all the other knives, it was very surprising to me that two of our very experienced members voted the post #6 knife as better than the others.

I admit, these knives are a little bit out of my field of study, so perhaps I do not see them in quite the same way that some other collectors might. Bearing this inadequacy in mind, I have put aside the objects in which I specialise, and I am drawing upon my experience as a custom knife-maker and blade-smith in attempting to form an objective opinion.

I eagerly await further education.
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