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Old 27th March 2006, 05:15 AM   #1
eftihis
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Default Origin of this knife?

Here is a knife i do not know where it is from. Any ideas?
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Old 27th March 2006, 05:28 AM   #2
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Gaucho knife from south America... Fine example.
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Old 27th March 2006, 07:18 AM   #3
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I vote for North Africa
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Old 27th March 2006, 11:03 AM   #4
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IMHO I agree with Ariel, North Africa with an Arabic 'flavour'
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Old 27th March 2006, 11:24 AM   #5
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(Valjhun) "Gaucho knife from south America... Fine example."
(ariel) "I vote for North Africa"

I will meet you guys half way and say Canary Islands.


This one was recently sold by Oriental Arms

Read about them here:
http://www.grancanaria.com/patronato_turismo/965.0.html

n2s

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Old 27th March 2006, 10:38 PM   #6
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I think this is a REALLY nice South American knife, they definately have a North African look to the knives themselves but their scabbards dont look African to me, here's one on Oriental Arms thats similar.:

http://www.oriental-arms.co.il/item.php?id=608
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Old 28th March 2006, 01:00 AM   #7
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Default Facon?

Hi all,
Given the similarity of the hilt (especially the ferrule) to the Brazilian faca da ponta, I vote for South America. There was a thread about faca da ponta "Mexican (?) Dagger for Identification?" with Ian providing the correct ID.
Sincerely,
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Old 28th March 2006, 01:31 AM   #8
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It even looks a bit like the Brazilian Sorocabana knife.

Although, you should all check this page out since the brasilian 19th century bowie pictured mid page is a 98% match to the knife we are looking at here (what a beauty!!!!!!!!!)

http://images.google.com/imgres?img...%3Doff%26sa%3DN

n2s
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Old 28th March 2006, 03:38 AM   #9
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Hi,

That is not a Gaucho knife. As to its origins, I cannot say, but I have never sen one like it associated with Gauchos. Gaucho knives were made from either cut down sword blades, bayonets or kitchen/butcher knives.

Cheers
Chris

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Old 28th March 2006, 03:42 AM   #10
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Default Mediterranean perhaps

Eftihis:

Your knife has the general characteristics of a "Mediterranean knife" which is a style that was copied in a number of Portuguese, Spanish and probably Italian colonies. The Brazilian faca da ponta is, to the best of my knowledge, a S. American adaptation of the "Mediterranean knife."

Personally, I favor a Mediterranean origin for your example rather than S. America. I just have not seen such a large overlay at the ricasso on a faca and the hilt does not look right, at least compared with the examples I have seen. Also, the blade is wider than most faca, which have more of a "stiletto" profile (see the picture in link to Artzi's site above).

Since N. Africa is part of the range of "Mediterranean knives," it would be in play too.

Just my thoughts. Nothing really definite. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

Ian.
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Old 29th March 2006, 09:48 PM   #11
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"I'm not sure where the idea is coming from that this is an African/African-related style; it's pure European, (there are African Mediterranean dirks, but they're different; see "kodme") and other than the corvos and the pointed bolsters, any of these knives could very simply be from Itally or Spain. If they are from colonies they are pretty much straight copies."


Given the above response to my suggestion at the time that the faca da ponta and other similarly styled knives bear a strong African influence (see thread "Mexican ? Dagger for Identification?", 03/11/05), I can't help but feel heartened by the comments in this thread.

On a different note: I saw a knife that had a faca da ponta hilt but had a broad blade like the one that started this thread. It also had a crossguard. On the side of the blade in big fancy letters was "A. Venenoza". The scabbard was the standard faca da ponta style. The knife appeared to be factory made and of recent manufacture. There was no country of origin on the knife or sheath. If anyone knows the A Venenoza company maybe we could contact the company and find out more about this style of knife.
Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 30th March 2006, 01:53 AM   #12
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In Armas Blancas en Espana, by Rafael Rubio, there is a plate (plate 10) that shows a pair of knives silimar to the one at the top of this thread. Rafeal tells us that there are many different Spanish made versions of these knives and that they are generally catagorized as "hispanoarabes" (spanish arabic) by spanish collectors.

n2s
see ISBN 84-923200-6-0
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Old 30th March 2006, 06:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not2sharp
Rafeal tells us that there are many different Spanish made versions of these knives and that they are generally catagorized as "hispanoarabes" (spanish arabic) by spanish collectors.


I am certain that I have seen a similar knife categorised as 'Moroccan', a hop. skip and a jump from Spain. (Possibly a trade knife?) Conversely, many areas of Southern Spain are steeped in Moorish history, could these knives have been manufactured for their Arab brethren ?
Certainly the Med. has been a hot-bed for trading for thousands of years, so the idea of cultures copying designs of knives goes without saying.
Is there a scabbard?

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Old 31st March 2006, 05:22 PM   #14
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I am probably off base, but I cannot help but to see some similarities to the blade of a Kindjal...
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Old 1st April 2006, 04:18 AM   #15
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Hi,
The blade on this kindjal is new! It is a reproduction and it is not tempered. Yes, there are straight lines similar, but the similarities stop there.
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Old 3rd April 2006, 05:50 PM   #16
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As I have stated, I am probably off base...

I know the Kindjal pictured is "new" piece and I am not making a comparison for age sake. I was looking at the shape of the blade... the "V" towards the tip of the blade. The oddity of your blade is the hilt location and the cutting edges of the blade. It is a bit like taking a "broken near the hilt" older Kindjal type blade and rehilting off center. Is the "back" of the blade wide or narrow?

These are just some observations of the ignorant.

A very nice and interesting piece!
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Old 4th April 2006, 12:12 PM   #17
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Ok, my go at it, knives, and specially of such a late date, being a bit off my speciality...

The shape and decoration screams Spanish, Albacete, 19th. C, maybe even late 18th. Such fullers on the blade of these are not unusual, by the way.
Things that put me off: the Albacete knives had their metallic parts (aside from the blade, of course) made of brass/bronze, not silver, which is material more usually found in, for example, the South American "cuchillos criollos" ("Criollo" knives, sometimes also called "gaucho" knives). Also, the pommels, when present, tend to be smaller.
In short, it could be a variation, particularly rich, of an Albacete knife. My bets would surely go in this direction. If it would happen to be a "colonial" variation, improbable as I believe it to be, I wouldn't be surprised, tough.

My two euro cents...


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Old 4th April 2006, 05:24 PM   #18
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HI Rob T
You might try this aproach.
A Venenoza, correctly spelled A Venenosa, meaning The Poisonous ( Venomous ) One. Not a knife mark, but one of these popular phrases usually seen on blades. The z sounds the same as the s, and was used in an earlier period. The term is the same in spanish, but maybe the z letter apoints to old fashion Portuguese from Brazil or Brasil.
Just a hint.
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Old 4th April 2006, 06:36 PM   #19
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Forgive me, for i am an ignaro. Do i see any relation between these three and the knife questioned by Eftihis , plus all that was shown and said in the periphery?
The top one is surely brazilian, as it holds the sellers name and adress.
The center one, with a scabbard like the one in Oriental Arms, has a blade engraving " ENFIN " ( french for "at last" ), which diverts my guessing on its origin.
The bottom one, with a hilt mount again similar to the one pictured and described in Oriental Arms, is also a mistery for me.
I hope to learn further data on them, at following this thread.
Thanks
fernando
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Old 5th April 2006, 01:43 AM   #20
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Default Invaluable Info

fernando,
Both of your posts have provided valuable information and much to think about. First, thanks for the venenoza translation. (It was spelled with a z on the knife by the way. I wrote it down while I was looking at the blade to make sure I got the correct spelling.) I had done a couple of internet searches to see if I couldn't find a manufacturer with that name. Now I know why I came up empty. Thanks to you I won't waste any more time in that direction. What's really interesting is that the middle knife you show in your second post has a hilt, crossguard, and sheath virtually identical to the "venenoza" knife. Even more curious is the French inscription on your knife.
I think the first knife you show is a Gaucho facon. I have seen a number of those from Brazil that are made for the tourist trade. Yours appears to be the real deal however. It's really nice looking.
The sheath of the last knife you show looks very much like the sheath for my Canary Island knife however the hilt of your knife looks more like a faca da ponta hilt than a Canary Island hilt and your blade lacks the Spanish notch. Whatever it is I'd really like to get one.
Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 5th April 2006, 09:14 AM   #21
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I'm sorry to disagree, but the first and last knives in Fernando's picture are not "facones". Yes, I know that what I'm saying is contrary to a fairly established belief, but it's about these things that usually pays handsomely to listen to the natives. Although in this case the "natives" are Argentinians, so listening to them may be a bit... tiresome... ( joking, joking, just joking...)

It's one of those anthropological things that defy clear categorization and that are subjected to some local variations, but as a general trend, these little (or not so little) single-edged knives with the off-centred handle, integral bolster and frequently richly decorated with embossed silver and even gold, are in fact called cuchillos criollos ("Criollo" knives), found in the south-western part of South America (Argentina, Uruguay...), and still in production (and use) today.
See:




An undecorated example:


and, although the pic is smaller, here's one of the big exemplars:



I don't know the exact details, but I do know that one may recognize regional variations of those through morphological features of the knife and its decorations, like the shape of the drag or the button/clip.


On the other hand, a facón is an unmistakable fighting weapon, much bigger, sometimes made from a cut-down or broken sword blade, and, as such, frequently double-edged. the hilt is usually centred and they normally (although not always) feature a handguard.
See:





"A facón? This is not a facón... THIS is a facón!"

It is also worth mentioning that this terminology is still in use today.

The credit goes to that Argentinian who managed to make all this information past my thick skull..
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Old 5th April 2006, 10:34 AM   #22
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Hi,

Marc, I think that you are absolutely right.

There is much misapplication of the terms facon, puñal, cuchillo cuchilla and daga (dagger), but the Argentinean knife expert Abel Domenech does make the point that for a knife to qualify for the nomenclature of facon, it must have a cross guard. He further argues that the facon is a sub-species of the dagger family, albeit of single edge, often sporting a false edge.

To summarize:

Cuchillo: A narrow single edged knife, that resembles a butcher's or kitchen knife

Cuchilla: a broad bladed variant of the cuchillo

Daga (dagger): Any one of the possible variations of the straight double edged European bladed knife.

Puñal (Poniard): A loose term indiscriminately applied in Sth America to all kinds of shorter knves. The root word is in Spanish "puño", that is fist, so a puñal is a knife that is intended to be held in the "ice pick"grip, in the clenched fist, so as to deliver a powerful downward stab. It finds correspondence with the pogniard.

Facon: The bade of legends. A large variant of the dagger, but with a single edge and always fitted with a cross guard. Facons measured up to 60cm blade length and were invariably made from discarded swords or bayonets.

Caronera: A very large facon, at times of sword length, carried under the saddle and usually lacking a handguard. Or, to put it differently, a rehilted sword sans its handguard.

I should add that facons (and caroneras) were more in use before the 19th century than afterwards and that real halcyon days of the gauchos were before 1800. Their mystique of the facon bearing gaucho was such that right up to the present day any knife worn on the small of the back tends to be called a facon. Historically, facons and caroneras were made from cut-down sword and bayonet blades, whereas cuhillos and cuchillas were re-hilted butcher's blades, usually imported from Europe, the most famous brand being Arbolitio, a trade name owned by Boker. In the closing years of the 19th century, Sth American manufacturers started to make blades, but up to that date their cutlers largely confined themselves to the re-hilting and ornamentation of sundry imported blades.

The silver hilted and sheated knives that these days we associate with gauchos, were in fact luxury items that could only be afforded by wealthy landowners or their overseers. The common gaucho, by the 19th century was reduced to an impoverished "peon", a mere agricultural laborer, and had to contend himself with far far less lavish cutting implements.

In the 20th century gaucho knives in all kinds and sizes were mass produced around imported butcher blades and their sheaths and hilts made from German Silver (Spanish: Alpaca). For most part these are items sold to tourists, or worn as dress items on festive occasions.

Cheers
Chris
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Old 5th April 2006, 08:11 PM   #23
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Blade lengths are:
Top one - 18 centimeters
Center one - 20,5 centimetrs.
I wonder what the hilt is made with.
Bottom one - 13,5 centimeters ... quite small.
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Old 6th April 2006, 01:19 AM   #24
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Default I stand corrected

Marc and Chris Evans,
This thread is providing me with some much needed information. First fernando and now you guys. Your explanation of what qualifies as a facon cleared up a mystery for me. I had wondered why the general purpose knife (that I had mistakenly thought was a facon) was considered such a formidable weapon and why the tourist versions were always so small. Now I know that I have been looking at tourist versions of the cuchillo criollo.
By the way, I didn't say the third knife was a facon. I said the hilt looked very much like a faca da ponta hilt and the sheath looked like a Canary Island knife sheath but the blade lacked the Spanish notch.
Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 6th April 2006, 01:44 AM   #25
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Hi,

In Sth America, smaller cuchillos and cuchillas, that is narrow and broad bladed knives are known as "verijeros", sometimes spelled as "verigeros". Now, "verije" in Spanish means the groin/genital area and why these knives are known as literally "groiners" is less than entirely clear, but conventional wisdom has it that they acquired the name from the manner in which they are carried; Verijeros are usually tucked into the belt on the LHS and in between the hip and the belly button, pointing towards the groin.

The maxium size for a verijero is limited by the comfort that it can be carried in the above mentioned position. This consideration usually restricts them to a blade length of less than 6". Longer knives having to be carried across the small of the back. Verijeros are used for those tasks that require a small blade and are considered tools rather than weapons.

Fernando's gaucho kife with the 18cm blade is a little too big for a verijero and too small to be carried in the small of the back, so it would be simply known as a cuchillo and by a few as an oversized verijero. Knives of this size were usually tucked into the belt near the hip, though at times also at the small of the back.

The blade and cross guard, of the second is typical of facons, albeit in this instance very much undersized and probably made to serve as a souvenir. The dimensions of the third firmly makes it a verijero, although its handle is not that of typical South American knives.

However we have to keep in mind that contrary to modern perceptions, apart from blade commonalities, there was no universal typology in handles until the 20th century because the Sth American nations lacked a manufacturing base up to that time, most tools, weapons and other implement having to be imported from Europe. As a result, all kinds of knives found their way into the hands of the Gauchos, which included knives fashioned from broken sheep shears. The general style that nowadays is associated with gaucho knives emerged from a desire to conform with a national cultural sereotype, that of a mythical gaucho, and is based on what a wealthy "campesino" (man of the land) would have owned in the second half of the 19th century and worn only on festive occasions.

Cheers
Chris
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Old 7th April 2006, 02:35 AM   #26
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Hi,

A Correction:

In my haste I forgot to mention that according to Argentinean authorities a "puñal" is a cuchillo with a substantial false edge, which in many cases is left blunt - As with the term "facon", this nomenclature is also used fairly loosely.


Also, According to the Argentinean expert Abel Domenech, and confirmed by my own observations, is the disproportionate emphasis placed on the decoration of those very ornate criollo knives, whilst in too many cases the blade's finish and general quality is quite basic or even disappointing. Domenech concludes that for the owners of these knives appearance was considerably more important than function. As an aside, I made the same observation about a good many antique Spanish navajas found in collections.

Cheers
Chris
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Old 2nd September 2011, 03:15 AM   #27
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Default Reactivating topic!

Hello Guys!
I'm reviving this topic to add new information!

This knife is a knife with certainty Brazilian. Probably this is a “Mineira” knife. This type of knives (Mineira) were produced starting in the end century XVIII the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Present on the cable, sheath and ricasso pretty loud in silver. The grooves and details on the blade are not rare, and appear in various knives.
This model influenced the type of “faca de ponta”, another Brazilian model.

This link has extensive information on Brasilian Knives...
http://www.colecaoorsini.com.br/
But in the Portuguese language.

Best regards

Brezolin

PS: Sorry for my english, I'm using Google translator.
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Old 2nd September 2011, 09:05 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brezolin
Hello Guys!
I'm reviving this topic to add new information!

This knife is a knife with certainty Brazilian. Probably this is a “Mineira” knife. This type of knives (Mineira) were produced starting in the end century XVIII the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Present on the cable, sheath and ricasso pretty loud in silver. The grooves and details on the blade are not rare, and appear in various knives.
This model influenced the type of “faca de ponta”, another Brazilian model.

This link has extensive information on Brasilian Knives...
http://www.colecaoorsini.com.br/
But in the Portuguese language.

Best regards

Brezolin

PS: Sorry for my english, I'm using Google translator.



Hi Brezolin,

Your English translation is excellent, do not worry.
Thank you for the information and welcome to the forums.
I assumed that these small Brazilian knives were still generically known simply as 'Faca De Ponta', so it's very interesting to hear that these small ones are “Mineira”.
Could you have a look at this thread please:
Faca de ponta
I would be greatful is you could review my 'findings' into the below examples and make any comments or corrections?

Regards
Gene
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Old 3rd September 2011, 09:32 AM   #29
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Brezolin,

Muito obrigado for your post and that wonderful link to Brazilian knives.

Cheers
Chris
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Old 3rd September 2011, 11:38 AM   #30
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I don't know what this piece is, I see some similarity in this post, the metal mounts are aluminum, the guard in the shape of a Lebel bayonet. The pumpkin shape ball pommel is horn and much eaten by insects. Grip is reeded bone. 17" overall. Any idea?

Best,
Jerry
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