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Old 2nd January 2020, 10:58 AM   #1
corrado26
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Default Choora from Afghanistan?

The first day in the new year brought me this fine knife. I think it is a choora made in Afghanistan but am not sure about this. Comments are invited.
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Old 2nd January 2020, 03:10 PM   #2
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Better than average!
Bolster most likely from " white brass" : >49% zinc. Identifying it is simple, but not practical on finished and engraved parts : get a good sample of fine filings and add just a bit of strong vinegar. Zinc will start emitting bubbles.

Unfortunately, they are virtually never dated; my guess second half of the 19th- beginning of 20th century.
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Old 2nd January 2020, 03:38 PM   #3
Jens Nordlunde
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Do you think the blade it wootz?
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Old 2nd January 2020, 04:10 PM   #4
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I am not sure but think no.
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Old 3rd January 2020, 01:19 AM   #5
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White brass, although mechanically inferior, was often used to imitate silver. In this example we can see yellow ( brassy) areas here and there. My guess the mixture was not sufficiently homogenized, suggesting rather primitive melting and casting technique. Mahsud tribesmen were not very demanding from the esthetic point of view; for them excellent was the worst enemy of the good enough:-) Right-o, buddies!
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Old 3rd January 2020, 11:58 AM   #6
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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More examples of this weapon can be compared at https://www.pinterest.com/worldantiques/choora-dagger/

AND at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/searc...earchid=1777748 a broad choice of detail on this dagger.
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Old 3rd January 2020, 12:17 PM   #7
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Quick non-destructive elemental analysis of metallic components may be made by X-ray fluorescence (XRF). A local scrapyard or precious metals dealer may have a such unit for scrap sorting and offer a quick check for a nominal fee.
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Old 3rd January 2020, 12:47 PM   #8
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Beautiful example. Congratulations!

In my oppinion, Ariel provided an accurate assesment.

I do not think it is that important whether the front bolster is silver or another silver metal. It is more important that the bolster is in good condition and nicely decorated.

The blade might be wootz as it can be older than the mountings. I would definitely consider cleaning and etching it.
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Old 3rd January 2020, 11:52 PM   #9
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Nice one. I like the carving on the spine of the blade and the thickened edge.

Is the grip made of bone, or ivory? It looks very smooth and white, which makes me think bone, but I'm no expert.
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Old 4th January 2020, 04:14 AM   #10
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Lee is 100% correct.
My” quick and dirty” approach can be used ONLY if the non-destructive one is not feasible , but the itch to know the composition of the metal is overwhelming.
As I mentioned before , this is not something I would do to my items. But chemistry has it charms:-)
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Old 4th January 2020, 06:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthulhu


Is the grip made of bone, or ivory? It looks very smooth and white, which makes me think bone, but I'm no expert.



I think it's bone
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Old 4th January 2020, 09:46 AM   #12
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I believe it is absolutely nonsensical to submit the piece to any special testing for silver.

If you are just slightly familiar with silver, you should be able to know. There are very few alloys that are practically undistinguishable from silver.

Moreover, if it is silver, in a couple of weeks/months will develop some blackish oxidation.
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Old 4th January 2020, 11:34 AM   #13
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Also true.
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Old 4th January 2020, 12:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
I believe it is absolutely nonsensical to submit the piece to any special testing for silver.




That's my opinion too. The value of these few silverparts - if it should really be silver - is so little that it is absolutely neglectible. Important for me is a good looking and original item with signs of old patina and use.

Thanks for all your comments!
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