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Old 23rd November 2010, 10:36 PM   #1
Atlantia
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Default Dagger ID required

I've been offered a pair of interesting knives. I've looked through completed items on eBay to ID them and this is the closest I can find. The pair I've been offered are horn hilted (disks piled on tang) clearly of the same origin as the one below, same hilt shape, small button on top of hilt with blue stone in it. but with slightly curved double edged blades in darkly patinated brass scabbards.
Where the hell are they from?
They are quite pricey, but are in perfect condition. Clearly brought back from wherever and stored until now. mint condition.
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Old 24th November 2010, 02:03 AM   #2
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Looks north African?
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Old 24th November 2010, 09:05 AM   #3
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I think it's Hausa from a south Tchad , and Nigeria.
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Old 24th November 2010, 10:24 AM   #4
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Hi

Its been a while since I posted on the forum, so....

Coincidently, I recently acquired one of these types of dagger and here are some images of mine. I've seen a picture somewhere saying they are South East Asian (Batak ?)

Regards
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Old 24th November 2010, 10:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colin henshaw
Hi

Its been a while since I posted on the forum, so....

Coincidently, I recently acquired one of these types of dagger and here are some images of mine. I've seen a picture somewhere saying they are South East Asian (Batak ?)

Regards


DISCO!
Thats the one Colin, thanks. The ones I've seen are somewhat shorter, but ringers for that one.
Batak you say?
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Old 24th November 2010, 10:36 AM   #6
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Some how does not look Batak to me......
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Old 24th November 2010, 10:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericlaude
I think it's Hausa from a south Tchad , and Nigeria.


Hi Eric,

I'd thought black sea! lol

Any pictures by any chance?

Thanks
Gene
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Old 24th November 2010, 10:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Some how does not look Batak to me......


Hi Battara,
They are very distinctive, but I can't find one in my books and I've never had one before.
Quite attractive though.
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Old 24th November 2010, 12:50 PM   #9
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I have seen these daggers on some old threads and they were identified as North African.
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Old 24th November 2010, 03:49 PM   #10
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It took some finding...but here is the reference from the book "The Batak" by Achim Sibeth 1991.

Regards.
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Old 24th November 2010, 03:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colin henshaw
It took some finding...but here is the reference from the book "The Batak" by Achim Sibeth 1991.

Regards.


He shoots, and he scores!!!!!! (the crowd goes wild)


Brilliant find Colin! Any thoughts on date? They don't look terribly old.
I've spent the last couple of hours searching the web and old threads and not found anything!
Best
Gene

Edit: a friend has just emailed me this earlier discussion on these.

(Thanks for the help Richard)

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Old 24th November 2010, 07:33 PM   #12
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The pictures Colin shows is not the only book to say these are Indonesian. In "Albert G Van Zonnevield, Traditional Weapons Of The Indonesian Archipeligo" the straight blade example I show is listed as West Java. I do not know why but if they were Batak or Javan they would be more sought after and you might then get some resale value. If you think hey are listed correctly you could always try to sell them. There are some more sword like examples from the Southern Sudan. Not seen them with brass scabbards though, same form of handle and they are very expensive.
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Old 24th November 2010, 09:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Simmons
The pictures Colin shows is not the only book to say these are Indonesian. In "Albert G Van Zonnevield, Traditional Weapons Of The Indonesian Archipeligo" the straight blade example I show is listed as West Java. I do not know why but if they were Batak or Javan they would be more sought after and you might then get some resale value. If you think hey are listed correctly you could always try to sell them. There are some more sword like examples from the Southern Sudan. Not seen them with brass scabbards though, same form of handle and they are very expensive.


I actually quite fancy them for myself Tim, not to resell. Well nothing stays forever of course, but you know.
They are quite nice things, but clearly they do look arab influenced.
So are you of the opinion that the books are correct?
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Old 24th November 2010, 11:01 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=Tim Simmons]The pictures Colin shows is not the only book to say these are Indonesian. In "Albert G Van Zonnevield, Traditional Weapons Of The Indonesian Archipeligo" the straight blade example I show is listed as West Java. I do not know why but if they were Batak or Javan they would be more sought after and you might then get some resale value. If you think hey are listed correctly you could always try to sell them. There are some more sword like examples from the Southern Sudan. Not seen them with brass scabbards though, same form of handle and they are very expensive.[/QUO

This one?
:-)
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Old 25th November 2010, 07:54 AM   #15
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South East Asia is not my main area of interest, but there are a few points to pick up on here :-

The inhabitants of Aceh, Northern Sumatra are Muslim, and going west across the Indian Ocean one arrives at North East Africa and Arabia. That type of handle with layers of horn sandwiched with metal is used on Somali knives, the crescent finial to the handle appears on some Sudan daggers. The blade to my knife is a bit like the form on Danakil knives. One Batak blade is in the form of an Arab jambiya. Is it reasonable to assume these are Batak weapons in an Islamic culture that have received influence from across the Indian Ocean ?

But the practice of covering the wooden sheath with sheet metal seems to be more common on Indonesian weapons.

Perhaps there are some Indonesian or Dutch forumites who can shed some light on this ?

Regards.
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Old 25th November 2010, 12:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colin henshaw
South East Asia is not my main area of interest, but there are a few points to pick up on here :-

The inhabitants of Aceh, Northern Sumatra are Muslim, and going west across the Indian Ocean one arrives at North East Africa and Arabia. That type of handle with layers of horn sandwiched with metal is used on Somali knives, the crescent finial to the handle appears on some Sudan daggers. The blade to my knife is a bit like the form on Danakil knives. One Batak blade is in the form of an Arab jambiya. Is it reasonable to assume these are Batak weapons in an Islamic culture that have received influence from across the Indian Ocean ?

But the practice of covering the wooden sheath with sheet metal seems to be more common on Indonesian weapons.

Perhaps there are some Indonesian or Dutch forumites who can shed some light on this ?

Regards.



They are certainly somewhat mysterious. They even share some similarities with shibriya.
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Old 25th November 2010, 07:41 PM   #17
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Hello,

These examples from Indonesia are neither Batak nor Sunda (W Java), IHMO: The style just doesn't fit with any Malay/Sumatran/Sunda/whatever Indonesian culture. That they seem to pop up here and there throughout the archipelago seems to be best explained by the Haji, as mentioned by Ian in the other thread, or plain trade (only few Batak were Muslim).

There are local adaptations of Arab style daggers (Jambea, Beladau, Sadop, etc.) but these are different and usually sport local traditional decorations and craftmanship.

Regards,
Kai

Last edited by kai : 25th November 2010 at 07:56 PM. Reason: wrong attribution of the haji
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Old 25th November 2010, 07:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello,

These examples from Indonesia are neither Batak nor Sunda (W Java), IHMO: The style just doesn't fit with any Malay/Sumatran/Sunda/whatever Indonesian culture. That they seem to pop up here and there throughout the archipelago seems to be best explained by the Haj, as mentioned by Michael in the other thread, or plain trade (only few Batak were Muslim).

There are local adaptations of Arab style daggers (Jambea, Beladau, Sadop, etc.) but these are different and usually sport local traditional decorations and craftmanship.

Regards,
Kai



Hi Kai,

So where are these from? They are clearly a specific type, probobly from a specific place, but that location remains elusive.
They are quite delicate and relatively well made. Surely they are known to collectors?
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Old 25th November 2010, 08:03 PM   #19
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Not SE Asia, not India, not Persia, not sub-saharan Africa (IMHO).

The hilt and the zigzag decorations appear quite distinctive - maybe Artzi or some of the other long-time collectors of N/NE African and Near East pieces can comment?

Regards,
Kai
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Old 25th November 2010, 08:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Not SE Asia, not India, not Persia, not sub-saharan Africa (IMHO).

The hilt and the zigzag decorations appear quite distinctive - maybe Artzi or some of the other long-time collectors of N/NE African and Near East pieces can comment?

Regards,
Kai


If two books have got it wrong, do any others have a different identification? I've searched mine to no avail.
Although this has been a very helpful thread in as much as I now know that the two I've been offered are WAY overpriced! lol
I think you're right Kai, without more input this will remain a subject of mystery!
Thanks
Gene
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Old 26th November 2010, 04:50 PM   #21
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Searching searching finding this in " Swords & Daggers, Frederick Wilkinson " Clearly there is much movement to and from the Horn of Africa and the Arabian peninsular. I hope to come up with more, this is rather a fancy example.
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Old 26th November 2010, 07:03 PM   #22
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Here's one I posted for comment a while ago.
http://vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=12115
I had thought maybe a huge tourist Iraqi Marsh Arab jambiya type.
Alex figured EAst African, mid-20th.
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Old 27th November 2010, 02:23 PM   #23
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Folks,
We have the advantage of having the author of the "indonesian" book right here on this Forum.
Most of the objects in the book come from highly respectable Dutch museums, the rest come from equally respectable Dutch private collections.

Would it be possible to check the provenance of the dagger illustrated in the book? Is it a solitary example or a defined pattern? The former may be a curiosity brought from Africa, the latter implies local manufacture.

I often marveled at the similarity between the two, viewing it as an example of co-incidental, parallel development. Would be nice to know the real story, wouldn't it?
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Old 27th November 2010, 08:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Folks,
We have the advantage of having the author of the "indonesian" book right here on this Forum.
Most of the objects in the book come from highly respectable Dutch museums, the rest come from equally respectable Dutch private collections.

Would it be possible to check the provenance of the dagger illustrated in the book? Is it a solitary example or a defined pattern? The former may be a curiosity brought from Africa, the latter implies local manufacture.

I often marveled at the similarity between the two, viewing it as an example of co-incidental, parallel development. Would be nice to know the real story, wouldn't it?



Well, thats a very interesting turn of events!
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Old 28th November 2010, 12:29 AM   #25
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Quote:
If two books have got it wrong, do any others have a different identification?

Hello Gene,

Not necessarily wrong - most books and museums state where a piece was collected and this is most likely correct. In this case, there was no in-depth discussion and I don't think it wasn't implied to have been crafted in W Java (or by any Batak group for the other example).

Regards,
Kai
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Old 28th November 2010, 12:35 AM   #26
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Hello Ariel,

Quote:
Would it be possible to check the provenance of the dagger illustrated in the book?

It came from Willem van der Post's collection and I've emailed him for more info on this piece.

Quote:
Is it a solitary example or a defined pattern? The former may be a curiosity brought from Africa, the latter implies local manufacture.

IMHO, it doesn't resemble any Indonesian craftmanship.

Regards,
Kai
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