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Old 8th June 2015, 11:54 PM   #121
ariel
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Ian,
I fully agree.


As I said, Tatiana's Choora will have to wait till my fellow is back from vacation, unless somebody wishes to take charge.

Egerton' Choora is a fact and I brought it into discussion. Whoever wishes to join the discussion is more than welcome.

An aside question: some chooras have wootz blades, a real good ones, with a pattern routinely attributed to Persia. Were they reuses? Imports from Persia? Local production? Any examples of Afghani wootz of 20th century? Any hard evidence of Choora manufacture outside the Khyber Pass area?

But... " Just the facts, ma'am"
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Old 9th June 2015, 04:36 AM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Egerton' Choora is a fact and I brought it into discussion. Whoever wishes to join the discussion is more than welcome.


Knife in the directory Egerton - this is not a classic Afghan choora. Therefore it is not very correct constantly focus on "Egerton' Choora".

Choora blade which sweeps from a sharp point to a widening which meets at the shoulder of the blade and grip base. On the blade knife Egerton we do not see this.
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Old 9th June 2015, 01:06 PM   #123
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Very good description of the Choora blade.

The example in Egerton follows it to a "T". Thanks for confirming it.

Also, the handle of the Egerton's example is identical to the handles of Chooras you so generously posted here.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck.... :-)

Again, thanks for bringing examples proving that the Egerton's dagger is indeed a Choora.
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Old 9th June 2015, 01:46 PM   #124
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Gentlemen.
So good that this conversation acquires a more diplomatic tone ... before the need for a moderator intervention.
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Old 9th June 2015, 01:52 PM   #125
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Thank you for the nice words about the formulation of the blade choorа.

You can see in the figure from the catalog Egerton T-shaped cross section of the blade? Or Egerton somewhere wrote about T-shaped cross section of the blade knife № 624?

The handle of the Egerton's example is not identical to the handles of Afghan classical Chooras. This is evident if you look closely the picture. It looks like only the overall shape. You do not know that in India there were other knives with a narrow (thin) handles?

I understand that everyone sees what he wants to see But it is worth a closer look.
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Old 9th June 2015, 03:14 PM   #126
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The Egerton sketch is a rather small and simple line drawing with relatively little detail. The reason that people can see what they want to see in it is simply because there is not enough actually there to see in the first place. I would suggest that you gentlemen move on and find another point to politely debate about.
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Old 9th June 2015, 03:24 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
The Egerton sketch is a rather small and simple line drawing with relatively little detail. The reason that people can see what they want to see in it is simply because there is not enough actually there to see in the first place. I would suggest that you gentlemen move on and find another point to politely debate about.


Thank you, David.

That's what I said. It will be wrong to build the findings, considering the small image.
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Old 9th June 2015, 05:40 PM   #128
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As far as I can see, what Mahratt and David are saying is entirely key....the Egerton example is an impressive line drawing from pre 1885 of what he describes as a 'pesh kabz'. As noted by Mahratt, there are no indications of this having a T spine either in the drawing nor the caption text. It is important to note that Egerton's art work seems to include these kinds of features where applicable in other examples of arms.

In Egerton 617, a dagger also termed 'pesh kabz' is shown, the blade does reveal the T shaped back which as usually seen on Afghan arms includes the device termed 'calyx' which is a kind of palmette. Here we see in the hilt the 'Afghan' style rather a birdhead profile, and notably with the cleft.

These Afghan weapons seem to typically have what appears to be a lanyard loop at the pommel in location much like a capstan.

In my view, much of this 'debate' seems to, as reluctantly we appear to recognize, based on terminology, with 'choora' reference to what appears to be a variation of the spectrum of North Indian/Afghan/Persian daggers.

As seen in Egerton, the term 'pesh kabz' is entered, but as far as I can understand, this term applies to the 'khanjhar' hilt form of recurved Indian daggers with profound Persian influence. While the pesh kabz is of course recurved, the 'choora' appears to be a straight blade version.
In my perception , both daggers in Egerton (617, 624) both named pesh kabz, are in actuality 'KARUD' variations . While 624 has the more dramatic pommel projection, the hilt is flat, not clefted as most karud. The blade has no spine noted, and is without the more pronounced contour.

In 617, the blade also has more the subtle contour (as Karud) as well as the T spine, calyx assembly, and the notable cleft.

These features of karud are reflective of the close association with the of course larger 'siliwar' or 'Khyber knife' which is distinctly Afghan.

While Burton and Egerton apparently knew the term 'chura', but as seen in Egerton, the term does not appear to have been 'formally' used but more colloquial (more diminutive for smaller knife?) and for daggers of karud form broadly termed 'pesh kabz' in these times.

Though I realize that the 'name game' is often rather scornfully endured in many circumstances in ethnographic cases, it is well known that terminology, semantics, transliteration and perceptions often lead to these kinds of 'debates'. We know that Egerton was the 'culprit' in the misapplication of the term 'katar' to the well known transverse grip dagger actually termed jamadhar.

I think we have established that at some point, probably early in the 19th century, these T spined straight versions of pesh kabz, and closely aligned with their usually heftier cousins, the karud, appeared in Afghan regions (northernmost India in the broad case then).

Afghan 'armourers', nor the itinerant craftsmen such as Lohar, who situated throughout Afghan tribal areas, did not use pattern books, and as can be seen by Khyber knives, karud, and other forms, the variation spectrum is reasonably broad.

These matters are I think best to continue considering, and to be observed constructively as this 'discussion' moves forward, and I for one look forward to that considering the knowledge and experience here. I always learn from you guys!! and my observations are what I can derive from what resources I have. All of you have hands on experience with actual examples.



***addendum:
On p.108 Egerton, he describes several knives en suite as ch'hurri, and these are from Ulwar (in Rajasthan) . This of course lends to the colloquial use in Hindi perhaps to the smaller size usual in these daggers.

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 9th June 2015 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 9th June 2015, 06:00 PM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
Thank you, David.

That's what I said. It will be wrong to build the findings, considering the small image.

Mahratt, considering it was you who brought this sketch into the discussion in the first place and that you were only just a couple of posts ago using it to try to advance your own theories and belief i find this last statement of yours quite amusing.
Again, i suggest that we leave this Egerton sketch behind and move forward with this discussion in a civil, good-spirit manner that seeks supportable evidence without prejudice and leaves far behind whatever petty scrabbles you and Ariel may have had on this subject somewhere on some Russian language forum.
That or the moderation team will unfortunately shut this discussion down.
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Old 9th June 2015, 07:12 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Ian,
I fully agree.


As I said, Tatiana's Choora will have to wait till my fellow is back from vacation, unless somebody wishes to take charge.

Egerton' Choora is a fact and I brought it into discussion. Whoever wishes to join the discussion is more than welcome.

An aside question: some chooras have wootz blades, a real good ones, with a pattern routinely attributed to Persia. Were they reuses? Imports from Persia? Local production? Any examples of Afghani wootz of 20th century? Any hard evidence of Choora manufacture outside the Khyber Pass area?

But... " Just the facts, ma'am"



Important to remember that the 'Khyber Pass' itself is but one notably pronounced area within the rather vast area in these regions which comprised the Khyber Agency of British administration. The tribes of the Khyber also situated far into adjacent areas, in most cases defying definitive geographic location.
It might be a consideration that the itinerant craftsmen known to be associated with the small hafted axe termed 'lohar' (these groups are actually termed Lohar as an ethnicity) may have been key in producing these smaller versions of 'Karud' form. Perhaps the always notable Persian influence of the pesh kabz lent to their evolution?
The term chuura itself as previously noted seems a Hindi colloquial for smaller knife, in this case probably a derivative of the karud form.

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Old 9th June 2015, 07:21 PM   #131
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Please pardon my return to the Egerton images and text (I just noticed Davids post)....and while I realize this particular resource has obvious inadequacies , my purpose was to note again that the terminology for these knives does seem pertinent.
If the discussion is toward a terminus ante quem for the form we have come to know as 'choora' , then illustrations with accompanying text do have certain capacity in the material discussed...even if not definitive identification in corroborating the form.

Unless we define exactly what we are striving for in our discussion, it leads to misunderstanding and frustrating digressions unnecessarily. This topic is fascinating and not nearly well enough understood in the arms community.
Lets make this discussion notably constructive in remedying that
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Old 9th June 2015, 07:22 PM   #132
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David, I'm glad that I can amuse you.

When I brought this sketch, I showed the shape of the blade, which is clearly visible. (The remaining fragments in the figure can not be seen).

But I brought this image, after about him said Ariel, assuming this is an important fact (post number 90):

[QUOTE=ariel]
Egerton shows a Choora in his book ( #624, Plate XIV) and gives Bannu as its origin: current Edwardsville, Pakhtunkhwa, The Pakistani part of the Khyber Pass) . Regretfully, Mahratt refuses to see a Choora in it :-)
[QUOTE]

I violated some rules of the forum? Show me, please, where exactly I committed a violation, that I do not repeat their mistakes.

Thank you.
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Old 9th June 2015, 07:27 PM   #133
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Good point Mahratt on that the Egerton example is designated as Bannu, which if I am not mistaken is the same region as where the hafted axe (of zaghnal form) which is termed a 'lohar' is from. As I mentioned in my previous post, possibly the itinerant artisans who often crafted these might have developed the smaller version of karud which appears to have become colloquially known as 'choora'?

I think this might be pertinent, and hope you and the others here might express your views if my idea is possibly plausible.

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 9th June 2015, 07:45 PM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
I violated some rules of the forum? Show me, please, where exactly I committed a violation, that I do not repeat their mistakes.
Thank you.

I have not singled you out specifically Mahratt for any particular violation. However both you and Ariel are dancing dangerously close to the border of the very first rule of these forums, "Be nice and respect your fellow members."
There is more written underneath that heading, a portion of which reads:
"Flames or insults are strictly against the rules. If you disagree with another member's point of view, do so in a mature and civil manner. Civility and respect towards other participants are unconditionally expected.

If you find yourself being flamed or insulted by another member, please do not dignify that person with a response. Notify a moderator and let us handle it. If you feel you must respond to a flame or insult directly, please do NOT do so on the board - use private messages or e-mail."

If this rule had been more blatantly violated this thread would already be closed. You gentleman have been skirting dangerously close with the tone of your debate. My comments about thread closure is intended as a pre-emptive measure. I suggest you both take heed and adjust the direction of these discussions.
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Old 9th June 2015, 08:04 PM   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
You gentleman have been skirting dangerously close with the tone of your debate. My comments about thread closure is intended as a pre-emptive measure. I suggest you both take heed and adjust the direction of these discussions.


David,

I would be grateful if you tell me exactly what kind of my words were on the brink of "Flames or insults"? You can quote these my words? This will help me to avoid violations.

Thank you.
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Old 9th June 2015, 09:13 PM   #136
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Mahratt, i would be grateful if you stopped trying to make a public show of indignant innocence to this audience and simply understood that the tone of the debate between yourself and Ariel is not what we like to see in civil and reasonable debate on these forums. End of story.
If you wish further clarification please PM me and i will attempt to explain it to you in terms you can better understand.
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Old 9th June 2015, 09:42 PM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Mahratt, i would be grateful if you stopped trying to make a public show of indignant innocence to this audience and simply understood that the tone of the debate between yourself and Ariel is not what we like to see in civil and reasonable debate on these forums. End of story.
If you wish further clarification please PM me and i will attempt to explain it to you in terms you can better understand.


Thanks for the reply David.

Public show - not my style. I do not know very well English. So I simply like to find out my alleged violations. From your words, I realized that specific violations of me was not (Since you are not citation). I'm glad I did not violate the rules and I will not violate the rules further (as well as it did before).

Thanks again.
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Old 9th June 2015, 09:59 PM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
If you wish further clarification please PM me and i will attempt to explain it to you in terms you can better understand.

Obviously my last statement to you was unclear Mahratt. If you would like to question moderation policy, decisions or suggestions this is not the forum to do it in.
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Old 9th June 2015, 10:57 PM   #139
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I think we have unnecessarily complicated the issue of Afghani weapons.
Both Karud and Choora ( whatever they mean) are straight-bladed derivatives of Persian Pesh Kabz. This is, likely, why many old ( and even contemporary) authors use Pesh Kabz as the general definition (Please refer to the recent books by Oliver Pinchot and Robert Hales).


Elgood and Flindt, in a joint statement bashfully admitted that they had no idea of the origin of the word Karud and suggested that it may just be a mis-literation of the word Kard ( Persian "knife"), as heard by an european traveller.

Choora is an Indian word also meaning just "knife" and I am uncertain that Muslim natives of Afghanistan would use it instead of more familiar Kard( Kord) and Bichaq ( P'chak). Although geographical closeness of the Khyber Pass area to India proper might have made it possible.

If we look at Karud and Choora side-by-side, they are absolutely identical blade-wise in terms of form, lenght or thickness. The only difference is the handle, including the calyx on the back of the blade, i.e. pure decoration, not affecting the fighting abilities of the implement. I think we have already discussed the leading role of the decorative elements in defining the ethnic character of a bladed weapon. Karuds were seen everywhere: the entire Afghanistan, Central Asia, Northern India; Choora was specific for a small corner of Afghanistan , - the Khyber Pass and vicinities. I would pose that Choora was just an ethnic variant of the Karud, the straight-bladed variant of Pesh Kabz.
When did the Mahsud ( as per Stone) started manufacturing it, - is the exact issue of the current discussion. One could easily suggest their acquisition of the mass produced "karud" blades in larger centers and fitting them with "their own" inexpensive handle. This would also agree with the occasional finding of a wootz blade ( pretty frequent on expensive Karuds with rhino, ivory or valuable stone handles) coupled with ivory pommel: an Afghani bling-bling :-) Also, poor quality blades with a mishmash of cheap materials might have been attempts of provincial, village production. The last sentences are pure and unadulterated IMHO, but what the unbridled fantasy is for :-)))
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Old 12th June 2015, 05:41 AM   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Well, after a long interruption, I want to show 2 more chooras.
The is a long friendly argument between myself and another member about the age of a choora as a pattern.
In his opinion choora appeared only in the 20 th century as a modification of Karud.

Here are two chooras bought originally at an auction in Scotland. Their scabbards are in a sorry shape, but both carry paper labels dated 1854 and 1840. The daggers and their scabbards fit each other perfectly: no doubt original.Since the daggers themselves are not dated, as usual for the Afghani stuff, I did the next best thing: contacted Dr. Cathleen Baker from the Department of Restoration and Preservation of the University of Michigan Library. She is a world-renown expert on all things printed: paper, ink, techniques, bindings etc, former President and member of the Board of Directors of professional societies in her field, and the author of books and articles on the history of printing materials and techniques.
She examined the chooras ( magnifying equipment, UV and infrared lights, some chemical analysis), and in her professional opinion the physical condition of the labels and their materials ( papers, inks) are compatible with the mid-19th century or earlier, and incompatible with 20th century.

Together with the dates, this seems to clinch the issue: chooras existed in the pattern known till today even in the middle of the 19th century.

Gentlemen, I give you 2 oldest dated chooras known to man and beast :-)

And of the beasts: please look at the pics of the handle of the bigger choora: rhino?


Ariel, I am using this point as a starting point for my thoughts and I'll follow through the rest of the posts as time permits and respond.

The Choora as a form, to me is clearly a 19th century creation, that's the simple part as it appears in 19th century publications, namely Lord Egerton's work.

At face value, it is hard to argue the science behind the info on the sheaths but I strongly suspect the upper one to be a later knife in that sheath.
I'd support this statement with the known WII and pre WWII period Indian knives of various forms using the same construction and material vs known old stuff.

As far as the material of the lower older one, I see goat horn under magnification.

The lower one with inserted brass pins, certainly an older Choora.

Gavin
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Old 12th June 2015, 11:36 AM   #141
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Goat horn????

Never seen one, never thought of it.
Thanks
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Old 13th June 2015, 07:07 PM   #142
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I suggest all participants in this thread heed the sage advice offered by Fernando, David and Ian.

I have been busy with other pressing personal matters, but I find the on-topic posts here interesting and stimulating. Accordingly, I will likely check in frequently on the discussion. Those of you who are familiar with my approach to moderation know what to expect. Those of you who are new, well, let's just say I employ a rather...blunt form of diplomacy.

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Old 13th June 2015, 09:36 PM   #143
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Nice to see you here Andrew:-)
Always nice to see you - but when threads seem to run a bit out of hands, it is nice that there is an anchor man.
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Old 13th June 2015, 11:51 PM   #144
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Hello, my friend! Hope all is well with you and yours, Jens.
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Old 14th June 2015, 03:51 AM   #145
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Gavin,
Thanks for your input. I am glad we are on the same page re. age of a Choora as a pattern.

I can easily see your point re. smaller choora: it is much cruder and the handle is very primitive.
However, do we really know that such village-level examples were not manufactured in the 19th century? As I mentioned earlier, there must have been local production of simple, inexpensive and replaceable knives made locally, without resorting to fancy blades and expensive materials. We see it with each and every antique oriental weapon.

Egerton, in his comment to #750 mentions Ch'hura, a " strong, heavy knife" made in Khorassan, Kandahar and Jellalabad. Did he have in mind a Choora as we refer to it in this discussion or a Khyber Knife? We will never know, because the main item he described ( #750) is an unquestionable Khyber. However, he mentions Ch'hura in the same breath, as a separate example. Most importantly from my perspective is the mention of both local and imported examples. There mush have been gradations of quality. Pure IMHO :-)

My Pakistani fellow contacted his father-in-law who is a language professor in a small university in Pakhtunkhwa and his friend, a colonel in Pakistani military, who has connections in the Military Museum in Rawalpindi. Regretfully, contacts with Afghani specialists are not possible now.....
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Old 1st July 2015, 07:45 PM   #146
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Another interesting twist:

Harvey Withers, a well-known and respected dealer fom the UK, posted this Choora on E-bay ( it is sold).
The interesting thing is the presense of a lead museum tag with Queen Victoria's mark and , on the reverse, the location of this Choora in the muzeum ( hall and position). This info is per Mr. Withers' information.
Victoria reigned in the 19th century:-)
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Old 1st July 2015, 07:53 PM   #147
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Unless you can add more information the crown does not mean Victoria.
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Old 1st July 2015, 08:08 PM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Harvey Withers, a well-known and respected dealer from the UK, :-)


His books are full of incredibly misidentified pieces. I suggest you get a couple of his books to read....
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Old 1st July 2015, 08:47 PM   #149
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Please address all queries to Mr. Withers.

I am just a messenger, quoting his description.
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Old 3rd July 2015, 06:04 AM   #150
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Regarding the lead tag with crown, this may not be technically Queen Victoria's 'mark' ,but it is the crown used during her reign from until her death in 1901. It seems the crown used by Edward VII was slightly different.
It is interesting to see this kind of tag used in identifying holdings in these museums.

I personally have not seen the references published by Mr. Withers, but my experiences with him suggest he does seriously research his material. It is almost certain that errors will occur in most published material, whether directly as an error or revised by subsequent research and findings. I would hesitate to discredit any authors work comprehensively as doing so is in my opinion irresponsible. Disagreement with material should be specific and supported by alternate explanation, and readers be allowed to form their own opinions.
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