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Old 8th April 2006, 12:34 AM   #1
kronckew
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Default Bone Handled Dagger?

interesting knife i snagged on ebay today

.... 12in LOA apparently







Seller thought it was a bone handled dagger from the middle east, but it does not strike me as such, looks more like a small naval midshipmans dagger or dirk possibly a present as he was sent off to war. apparently has 'pure steel' marked on one side, and 'good luck' on the other, in english, along with the rest of the blade etching, so i'd suspect either english or american origin. i'll know more in a couple of days when it arrives & i can see if there are any other markings....saw some in the other recent 'naval dirk' thread & thought this could be a mustang's (came up thru the hawse pipe) or a poor middie...doesn't look like a milord's gold plated dress toy, rather a proper weapon.

any ideas?

edited:

just found almost the exact item at: Linky
mine looks like it's in better shape with a nicer grip & scabbard. i still wonder whether its US or British & approx age....

Last edited by kronckew; 8th April 2006 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 8th April 2006, 03:31 AM   #2
Lew
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Hi kronckew

Your dagger is a kirpan it comes from India.



Lew
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Old 8th April 2006, 03:41 AM   #3
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Is it?
The blade looks like a Koummiya and the inscriptions on it do not sound Sikh.
The pommel looks American.
Kind of dog's breakfast..... I tend to believe the original idea of a "souvenir" American naval dirk.
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Old 8th April 2006, 04:20 AM   #4
Jim McDougall
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I agree with Ariel, this appears to be an American Federal period dirk of about c. 1805-1815. The hilt eaglehead pommel very similar to American silver hilted hangers and officers swords of the period, and the chainguard is also typical. There were apparantly two principal schools of influence for these hilt forms, one in Baltimore and the other in the Philadelphia area, although certainly examples would not be confined only to those areas.
(see "The American Sword 1775-1945" by Harold L.Peterson, 1973, pp.31-51 for discussion on these hilt forms in chapter 'Eagle Head Pommels').
Very nice example, especially retaining its scabbard.
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Jim
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Old 8th April 2006, 09:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
I agree with Ariel, this appears to be an American Federal period dirk of about c. 1805-1815. The hilt eaglehead pommel very similar to American silver hilted hangers and officers swords of the period, and the chainguard is also typical. There were apparantly two principal schools of influence for these hilt forms, one in Baltimore and the other in the Philadelphia area, although certainly examples would not be confined only to those areas.
(see "The American Sword 1775-1945" by Harold L.Peterson, 1973, pp.31-51 for discussion on these hilt forms in chapter 'Eagle Head Pommels').
Very nice example, especially retaining its scabbard.
Best regards,
Jim
Hey guys
I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you! The dagger is from India or Pakistan I have seen these all over the place. Some times they say pure steel or best steel. Look at the scabbard the brass work is sloppy old scabbards would have a nicely formed button on the throat not a bent over hook with silver solder all over it and the leather looks the same as on the kukri scabbards right down to the X stamping on it. Also the eagle head casting is of poor quality 19th century castings have much finer detail to them you also would not see the pommel topped with a brass hex nut. I have seen this type of tourist grade dagger all over the internet in the past few year one had a composite hilt of bone and other material with the same blade and writing but saying best steel kirpan. When I showed it to a sikh friend at work she told me that these were made in India and were worn as kirpans by some of the men in her country. Btw there is no true designated style of kirpan this type might be an adopted form influenced by the British.


Lew

Last edited by LOUIEBLADES; 8th April 2006 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 8th April 2006, 10:02 AM   #6
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thanks for all the comments, nice to see some discussion....

koummya blades i've seen have the major edge on the inside of the curve, false edge on outside, and very different grips.

kirpan have a similar shape, so i could accept this is an indian copy.

especially if it's good enough to have jim think it was a good example of a federal dirk. i do not have access to the ref. mtls. he listed....

if it is a replica, good thing i only paid a tenner for it. the one in the link ref. i found which looks like it, nut & all, is going for almost $200 & i don't like it as much.
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Old 8th April 2006, 11:16 AM   #7
Jens Nordlunde
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Here is something more about the kirpan subject.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ghlight=Kirpan
and here is another.
http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/002512.html on the old forum there are a few more - just search.
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Old 8th April 2006, 11:29 AM   #8
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found this link

still like it tho for the ten pounds i paid ($15), won't feel so bad sharpening it knowing its a repro. glad someone did not bid a large amt. for it. (i wouldn't have bid much more anyway - i'm too new at this game to risk large bids)
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Old 8th April 2006, 03:03 PM   #9
Ian
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Default Indian reproduction

Lew is absolutely correct about these being from India. They are in the same general class of reproductions as the ones with mosaic MOP and brass inlay on the hilts (see example below). Some are intended for use by Sikhs as kirpan, but many are intended as items to sell as souvenirs to Westerners, etc.

The "Pure Steel" inscription is probably the most common marking on these reproductions.

I've picked up a few of these inexpensively. Some are quite attractive and reasonably well made, although most of the blades would not stand up to much use. Some of the blades have been electroplated.

Ian.


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Old 8th April 2006, 06:18 PM   #10
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Default Tiger Tooth Pommel

Hi all,
Here's my version. It has a sort of tiger's tooth pommel. That, along with the mop on the hilt, makes an Indian origin for the piece pretty certain. The blade says "pure steel" on one side and "victory" on the other. There is a floral design on both sides of the blade. Both the designs and the writing appear to be acid etched. At the hilt, the blade spine measures a tad over 3/16" (about 8mm). All in all the piece seems carefully wrought and sturdy. Could it be the the blades themselves were actually English made for export while the fittings were added by local craftsmen? Thanks for all the sheath photos. My sheath is missing its drag (and some leather at the tip) but now I know what the drag looks like so perhaps I can make a replacement. By the way, I've seen these things with asking prices of well over $100. I wonder if dealers are getting that kind of money from the unwary.
Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 8th April 2006, 06:18 PM   #11
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I think this could also reflect on the dirk that N2S has recently shown us .
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Old 10th April 2006, 04:57 AM   #12
Jim McDougall
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So Lew.....uh, how much for the bridge? oops!
Best,
Jim
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