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Old 16th October 2007, 08:53 PM   #1
Tim Simmons
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Question I say Africa, you say?

This is my latest thing, so new I will have to wait before I can make any comparisons to other African stiletto. I have a feeling it is African by style. It is not European? the total length out of the scabbard is 11.75 inches and a blade of 8 inches, these are the sellers measurements. So that would make the handle very small for a european knife. I paid a lot for this knife but as you can see the uncommon all steel scabbard and nice fit do have some appeal. I do not think the iron work on the handle knob and scabbard end are European?

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Old 16th October 2007, 09:49 PM   #2
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Hi Tim,
certainly has an African 'look', a cosh / dagger combination ? Do you know what shape the blade profile is (in cross section) Some of the pics on the listing seem to suggest a 'triangular' shape. If so could this be an old bayonet blade sheathed in a modified gun barrel ?? Nice !

Could this be Zulu.....has a knobkerrie look, the bayonets used in the Zulu wars were the 1876 Enfield triangular pattern, 25.25 in (63,5 cm) long. If a rifle barrel was used to make the scabbard, it could be rifled (I believe 7 grooved) or smoothbore ( the Zulus had a few muzzle-loading percussion smoothbore muskets at Isandlwana) All just a thought off the 'top of my head' but if this is the case, what a facinating piece of history.

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Old 17th October 2007, 04:22 AM   #3
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It's funny how one tends to associate new things with other, familiar things. To me, the form looks like a Tibetan pen case--with a difference!
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Old 17th October 2007, 07:13 AM   #4
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Good point it could look Asian too. Hopefully it will be here soon to inspect. It is also strange how that big pictures of an object taken a certain way can be not very clear. I stuck my neck out on this.
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Old 18th October 2007, 02:43 AM   #5
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Another one for Tim's 'Museum of Weapons Curiosa'!!
I really look forward to the stuff you come up with Tim! Fascinating.
I think Katana has a good idea on the bayonet blade, but this looks pretty worked down. I think in the direction of 'trench art' with many items fashioned out of spent ammunition casings, bayonets etc. The rifle barrel idea seems plausible too.
Possibly an officers baton? or swagger stick?
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Old 18th October 2007, 03:41 AM   #6
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The attached photo is kinda what I had in mind in terms of a pen case. They are often highly decorated and/or pierced, but there are simpler ones. The link below is to a similarly shaped example---which can't be seen very well but is described as containing a single-edged knife.

http://www.artfact.com/catalog/view...otCode=Sjp3zSo1
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Old 18th October 2007, 06:34 PM   #7
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I think you might have the answer there dennee. The similarity of form and construction does seem too strong to think otherwise. A pleasant surprise. I hope to have it tomorrow.
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Old 19th October 2007, 10:27 AM   #8
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Default Old Indian

Clearly Indian and at one time covered in silver plated pattern made to look like inlay. The sort of thing you see on many axes some have the same blade screw fitted in the handle. I can never make my mind up as to whether this sort of thing are just very early "Victorian" tourist stuff or real Indian things made to be used in earnest. I had to clean it a bit but I prefered it all black like it was so I will have to leave it in the shed over winter? Not really my sort of thing but it feels quite nice in the hand. I suppose the price was just about fair





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Old 19th October 2007, 11:49 AM   #9
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Looking more closely with my 10x loop. I think this may indeed have some age. The decoration was that stuff known as koftgari however it is spelled. The surface of the steel scabbard and handle are completely covered in very fine scoring. Amazing how the blade is spotless, I guess it only takes a second to keep it clean?
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Old 19th October 2007, 01:10 PM   #10
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I found another example of a Tibetan pen case that's a little simpler in construction than the last but has gold koftgari. Koftgari, especially in silver, was a very common decoration on iron (on belts, scabbards, etc.) in Tibet, usually heavily Chinese-influenced in motifs.

There are a number of references to substantial pen cases being used as a weapon of opportunity, as a cosh, in self-defense. It would be interesting to see that such items were also transformed into concealed weapons of a still more lethal character. The police/athlete/thug/etc. monks known as "Dob-dobs" were known to frequently carry concealed knives.
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Old 19th October 2007, 01:45 PM   #11
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Thanks dennee that's so helpful. I now rather fancy I did quite well.
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Old 19th October 2007, 06:48 PM   #12
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Tim,

Are you going to clean it so that the koftgari becomes visible? And if so a description of the process with pictures?
Looks like a nice find again.
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Old 19th October 2007, 07:16 PM   #13
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Thanks Henk another good buy you say, it must be due to my new hearing aid.
There really is not much more koftgari to see just specks of it all over the item. It is best just left alone to go dark again.
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Old 19th October 2007, 07:53 PM   #14
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My 'off the cuff' suggestion is obviously wrong I have read that a few soldiers made momento's of the Zulu wars (a la 'trench art') and this seemed an ideal candidate. Well spotted Dennee, a pen case it is the idea that it could be used as a cosh seems valid with those bulbous ends.

Still a very interesting object Tim, it is a shame the decoration has deteriated.... the clues it could have given you
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Old 20th October 2007, 10:32 AM   #15
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This is interesting. A good addition to the MET publication "Warriors of the Himalayas" many of the photographs are the but with a little more information.
http://www.rel.su.se/Papers/Tibetan...ry%20Reform.pdf
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Old 20th October 2007, 04:31 PM   #16
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Yes, Tim, I think you got a good one.

And many thanks for the article.
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Old 20th October 2007, 09:47 PM   #17
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Thanks dennee, the first photograph could be seen as quite an amusing reflection on the taste of late Victorian intelligentsia. The knight and his valet just as things should be, indeed 1903 one would be emerging into art nouveau from romantic medievalism. Makes me think of the "Man from La Mancha" but that was Peter O'toole? in 1972.

Thought i had better add this.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Quixote

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Old 21st October 2007, 03:20 PM   #18
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Same general form. This sellar has two on offer. Mine appears a little different.
http://www.tibetanrelics.com/ls542.html
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Old 4th November 2007, 03:29 AM   #19
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Default similar item

This one is similar to the above.
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Old 4th November 2007, 03:57 PM   #20
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Yes along the same lines a concealed weapon. Looks a little larger, where from?
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