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Old 2nd March 2019, 11:14 AM   #1
Sajen
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Default South or Middle American dagger for identification

Hello dear members,

This nice dagger found as gift from a very good friend in my collection. But we both are unsure about it's exact origin. While I think that it could be a Mexican so called Scorpion dagger there are some features on this dagger which are untypical for such a dagger, for example the spanish notch at the blade.
It's 15" overall with a blade from 10".
All comments are very welcome! Thank's in advance,
Detlef
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Old 3rd March 2019, 02:42 AM   #2
Ian
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Hi Detlef:


A very unusual knife which, I think, has some mixed styles to it. Taking the blade on its own, it has both a notch and a bolster at forte, and a prominently curved blade with concave edge. Every Spanish colonial knife that I have seen with a noch like this has not had a guard on the hilt. Also, the presence of both a notch and a bolster suggest to me that this knife started out with a simple hilt and no guard. Also, the guard just does not seem to fit aesthetically with this blade.



I believe the hilt was added later (is it silver?). The three-part hilt with stacked sections either end of a central plain section is consistent with Spanish work from several places, including Spain (although the stacked sections would be uncommon in this configuration). The (silver?) finial on the end of the hilt also reminds me of some Ilokano examples.


I think you have a Spanish colonial knife from the Americas that has been rehilted at some later time--where and when is hard to say.


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Old 3rd March 2019, 09:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
A very unusual knife which, I think, has some mixed styles to it. Taking the blade on its own, it has both a notch and a bolster at forte, and a prominently curved blade with concave edge. Every Spanish colonial knife that I have seen with a noch like this has not had a guard on the hilt. Also, the presence of both a notch and a bolster suggest to me that this knife started out with a simple hilt and no guard. Also, the guard just does not seem to fit aesthetically with this blade.


Hi Ian,

Like usual very good observations! I agree complete with you that the spanish notch in conjunction with the little guard look weird and out of place.
I've added pictures from some Mexican Scorpion daggers I've found on the net, all examples seems to have a guard so it seems likely IMVHO that when the knife in question belong to this family of knives that the guard is original and the manufacturer has given this knife an unusual visual appearance.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
I believe the hilt was added later (is it silver?). The three-part hilt with stacked sections either end of a central plain section is consistent with Spanish work from several places, including Spain (although the stacked sections would be uncommon in this configuration). The (silver?) finial on the end of the hilt also reminds me of some Ilokano examples.


I think you have a Spanish colonial knife from the Americas that has been rehilted at some later time--where and when is hard to say.


The hilt is from (white)brass. You never can be sure if a hilt is original to a blade but I think that it is still the original hilt and that the combination guard/spanish notch let look the knife a little bit weird. Like said, a guard seems typical for this daggers!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 3rd March 2019, 09:13 AM   #4
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Another observation, while a ricasso seems to be typical is a narrowed down ricasso like by my example more seldom. At last by the shown examples.
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Old 3rd March 2019, 03:45 PM   #5
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The differences I can see from the daggers harvested from the web are that the curve of the blade is more extreme and the profile of the blade next to the ricasso is quite different.
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Old 3rd March 2019, 05:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
The differences I can see from the daggers harvested from the web are that the curve of the blade is more extreme and the profile of the blade next to the ricasso is quite different.


Hello Rick,

Special the second point let me ask my main question!

Best,
Detlef
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Old 2nd May 2019, 02:06 AM   #7
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I stumbled across this picture in a book in the clearance bin of B&N. It reminded me of this thread, so I snapped a picture to share. The primary feature is the combination of the finger choil AND a cross guard. The example below, per the caption, is an early form of Bowie knife. I wonder if makers had blades already made for the South American market, and simply fitted the hilt with the hand guard that was becoming fashionable in the southern/southwestern US. Otherwise, I don't see any functional value to this design.

Regardless, I figured I'd park this additional example here for future reference:
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