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Old 6th October 2010, 04:32 AM   #1
archer
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Default What Is This

What is this? What culture do you think it comes from? Is it the first Ethnographic Fantasy Dagger?
14inches overall with double 8 inch blades. If it's a type Bichwa then it's probably left handed. Hasn't come in yet. Intriguing, blades may be suspect.
So much work went into it I had to see first hand.
It coming from Nesher, Israel.
Comments and advice welcome, Steve
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Old 6th October 2010, 05:13 AM   #2
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It's amazing, whatever it is. You've certainly picked up something very very nice.

It wouldn't surprise me if this was Indian. Could be wrong but those horns remind me of fakir's horns.
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Old 6th October 2010, 05:46 AM   #3
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Extremely nice Archer!!!
This is indeed a dual bladed bichwa, and interesting in being fashioned into a scabbard made from the style buffalo horns used for the madu madu, a parrying weapon with buffalo horns usually opposed and attached in the center.
These weapons gave the origin of the haladie, whose blades typically followed the contour of the buffalo horns and as I understand, were often considered to have Rajput origins. The design ended up as far west as Syria and ultimately became a known weapon in the Sudan.

The bichwa itself, while known through much of India in Mahratta regions, seems to have been well established with dual blades in Gujerat (also Kutch) as well as Rajasthan in degree. Many of these have the loop type hilt.

The silver mounts on this are exquisite! as is the dagger overall, and reflects quite possibly an important weapon of probably early to mid 19th century. As noted, the blades will tell more, but it looks great so far.

Beautiful!!!

All the best,
Jim
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Old 6th October 2010, 05:54 AM   #4
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BEAUTIFUL WORKMANSHIP AND A VERY UNIQUE DAGGER. I AGREE IT IS LIKELY FROM INDIA AND THE TWO HORNS APPEAR TO BE FROM A SMALL ANTELOPE CALLED BLACKBUCK WHICH IS FOUND IN INDIA AND USED FOR A FEW WEAPONS AS JIM MENTIONED. THE HANDLE APPEARS TO HAVE COME FROM A LARGER HORN MOST LIKELY WATER BUFFALOW. CONGRADULATIONS.
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Old 6th October 2010, 06:07 AM   #5
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Beautiful silver work! What a piece!
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Old 6th October 2010, 07:34 AM   #6
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Blackbuck horns are indeed used on the weapons known as fakir's horns.

I will post a picture of my pair. They are not all that small. They can grow quite large.

But these are obviously smaller.
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Old 9th October 2010, 03:01 AM   #7
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Default Still looking for more info

The Bichwa?? came in today overall length 16 inches blades about 7 1/2 inches.
This may end up being a "Fakirs' backscratcher". The cut of the blades and some of the design work may have a Moroccan influence say Koumayan like.
Blades have a brazed? spacer between them, while thin 1/16+ in.,feel functional.
I think I read that Bichwas were used for slashing and push type stabbing. It is
suited to right hand use drawing down from the left hip.
Any additional ideas? Thank you all for your help.

Steve
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Old 9th October 2010, 04:21 AM   #8
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Very interesting piece! Love the primitiveness, yet sophistication. Beautiful!
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Old 9th October 2010, 04:31 AM   #9
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If it's a backscratcher, it's not a fakir's backscratcher. Certainly, holy men like fakir's wouldn't need to create a tool to scratch their backs. Fakir's horns were a way around them carrying weapons (a bit of a cop out, frankly, if you ask me). But the whole point of the holy life is to do away with this kinds of material necessities when one can.

Also, I can't see it being a backscratcher at all because it doesn't have a long handle for the purpose.

It is almost certainly a dagger.
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Old 9th October 2010, 04:46 AM   #10
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However, I do see your point. It doesn't look all that functional as a stabbing implement.

I'd say it may be more decorative. But still a very nice thing. In my view.
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Old 9th October 2010, 04:48 AM   #11
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Another thought, it may be a backscratcher of the erotic kind. The kind you use to scratch someone else's back.
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Old 9th October 2010, 05:08 AM   #12
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I suspect I have the answer. It's a defensive weapon. It's not designed to kill, but to deter.

And the reason may be religious. In a land that believes in karma, killing is the ultimate no-no.

Maybe this is carried by people with religious convictions. It may be a woman's self-defense tool.

Not all weapons are designed to inflict fatality. I recently posted an aboriginal weapon that was only designed to wound (see Kangaroo Tooth Lacerator thread).

Also, if memory serves me well, I think there are a multitude of Indian weapons that are designed to deter rather than kill. I think of Tiger's Claws, in particular.

Perhaps others more knowledgeable in this area can expand.

That's what I think, anyway. It's a defensive weapon. Carried by people who don't want to kill potential attackers.
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Old 9th October 2010, 05:47 AM   #13
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OOPS!! THESE HORNS ARE NOT FROM A BLACKBUCK THEY COULD BE FROM ANOTHER IN THE ANTELOPE FAMILY BUT ARE MORE LIKELY FROM THE GAZELLE FAMILY. A POSSIBILITY IS THE INDIAN GAZELL (GAZELLA BENNETTII) BUT THERE ARE SEVERAL POSSIBILITYS THE BLACKBUCK HAS A SPIRAL HORN LIKE THE KUDU SO IS ELIMINATED. THE HORNS COULD HAVE COME FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY AND NOT INDIA AND COULD BE FROM THE MIDDLE EAST OR AFRICA. I HAVE SEEN SIMULAR METALWORK ON TIGER SKULL SMOKING SETS MADE IN INDIA IN THE PAST WHEN TIGERS WERE NOT PROTECTED.
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Old 9th October 2010, 09:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
OOPS!! THESE HORNS ARE NOT FROM A BLACKBUCK THEY COULD BE FROM ANOTHER IN THE ANTELOPE FAMILY BUT ARE MORE LIKELY FROM THE GAZELLE FAMILY. A POSSIBILITY IS THE INDIAN GAZELL (GAZELLA BENNETTII) BUT THERE ARE SEVERAL POSSIBILITYS THE BLACKBUCK HAS A SPIRAL HORN LIKE THE KUDU SO IS ELIMINATED. THE HORNS COULD HAVE COME FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY AND NOT INDIA AND COULD BE FROM THE MIDDLE EAST OR AFRICA.


My thoughts, too.
If you look again upon the blades you'll see that at first glance they appear as Moroccan Kumiyah style, but actualy I think they were made to accomodate this special dagger, as one is a mirror-image of the other, each one pose a sharp longer edge outside.

Nesher? This is 15 minutes driving from where I live... didn't realise there is a source for interesting things
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Old 9th October 2010, 09:30 AM   #15
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Default Nice

Nice example of unique craftsmanship.

My thoughts, I feel it is supposed to appear as a powder horn but conceals a blade.

Gav
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Old 9th October 2010, 10:38 AM   #16
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My fakir's horns, just for the record.

I believe these may be blackbuck. But not particularly black nonetheless.
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Old 9th October 2010, 07:28 PM   #17
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Beautiful, fascinating and most certainly deadly if properly applied.
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Old 9th October 2010, 10:53 PM   #18
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Ron,
I vote defensive, too. Your Fakirs horns are likely from the same species.
I was joking about the back scratchers, I'll be sure to add a smiley next time.

Broad axe, I'm still leaning toward Kumyah for blade shape, all Indian double Bichwas I can find have a diamond profiles. The closest design comparisons are Moroccan influenced. Even their Henna art is similar.

The patterns/symbols on the horn hilt surely have a meaning other than just a free form design. The designs overall don't depict any flowers a commonly seen in Indian works.

Whoever, worked out the blade to natural horn adjustments alone has my admiration.

Thank you all for your interest and comments,
Steve
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Old 17th October 2010, 09:38 AM   #19
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HI Steve

I found this surprising. It's in a new book I've just received - The illustrated encyclopedia of knives, daggers and bayonets.

Sorry for taking a photo, I haven't got my scanner up and running yet. Two points worth noting - the horn hilt (obviously), described as gazelle, and secondly the blades bear a fair resemblane to the blade type of your item.

These are described as Spanish fighting knives, 19th century.

Whether this is a red herring, or a breakthrough in the identification, I don't know. But I thought should let you know.

Cheers
Ron
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Old 17th October 2010, 02:33 PM   #20
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I don't know. Man's inventiveness is incredible, and some Spanishman may conceivably have made something whimsical like this. Just look at the Sagrada Familia Cathedral.

Myself, I have never seen anything even remotely similar coming from Iberia. Then, Spain is a big country. What looks strange to someone from the North may be perfectly normal for someone in the South.

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Old 18th October 2010, 12:52 AM   #21
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I think its a bichwa.
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Old 7th October 2011, 03:29 PM   #22
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Default Odd dagger - anyone know of any parallels?

I recently received an odd dagger from my aunt. She got it from her father, who got it from a friend, who got it from someone who stole it from a destroyed museum in Germany during WWI. He thought it might be Egyptian (which I doubt, as I study Egyptian archaeology), but that is all the information I have on it.

The handle is horn (I think gazelle, but could be a small section of blackbuck horn) and the blade is metal (don't know what kind, possibly an iron alloy). This overall condition of the dagger makes me think it can't be more than a couple hundred years old, if that. It's also not particularly well made - the guard is loose and the connection of hilt with blade is cheaply done - so it could be an imitation of something older.

I'm thinking it might be Indian, or an imitation of an Indian dagger. The hilt is reminiscent of a fakir's horn and the curve of the blade reminds me of a bichwa. I can't find any parallels for this exact type of blade; the closest thing I have been able to find was in a post on this forum a year ago - the "Spanish fighting knives": http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=12657

I've attached pictures below. Does anyone have any thoughts about the provenance, date, authenticity of such a dagger? Thanks,

Courtney
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Old 22nd November 2011, 04:44 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer
What is this? What culture do you think it comes from? Is it the first Ethnographic Fantasy Dagger?
14inches overall with double 8 inch blades. If it's a type Bichwa then it's probably left handed. Hasn't come in yet. Intriguing, blades may be suspect.
So much work went into it I had to see first hand.
It coming from Nesher, Israel.
Comments and advice welcome, Steve



Salaams Steve,
I have a small project in hand to look at Gazelle horn across the entire spectrum of artefacts in Oman and have a few pictures almost ready. It is interesting to see how diverse were the uses of this material and I will prepare the small research info in the next few days.

Regards Ibrahiim.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 05:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer
What is this? What culture do you think it comes from? Is it the first Ethnographic Fantasy Dagger?
14inches overall with double 8 inch blades. If it's a type Bichwa then it's probably left handed. Hasn't come in yet. Intriguing, blades may be suspect.
So much work went into it I had to see first hand.
It coming from Nesher, Israel.
Comments and advice welcome, Steve



Salaams Steve,

As promised here is the result of a short sharp scan into uses of the same Gazelle horn in Oman and in fact other Bedouin Arab areas where it is used;

1. In Syria it is used on the loom(nol) where it is called Mishga or mihta used as a beating hook to ram the weaving tight; "The Arts and Crafts of Syria" by Johannes Kalter published by Thames and Hudson refers.

2. It is used in the same way in the Huwaytat Bedouin group in Trans Jordan . "The Bedoiuin" By Shelagh Weir refers.

3. In Oman amongst the bedouin in the Sharqiyyah (Wihabi Tribes)and other areas of Northern Oman ~ same same ~ where it has the name Mishrat ...according to the book "Bedouin"...Nomads of the desert by Alan Keohane.

4. The other interesting use in Oman was as a powder horn, adorned with silver; according to the superb, double volume book "The Craft Herritage of Oman" by Richardson and Dorr published by Motivate Publishing.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 25th November 2011, 01:07 AM   #25
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Default A second odd Bichwa

Thank you for your research Ibraham. I'm sure it will provide further incite to others' quests. I saw another similar dagger on E bay here are a few photos. Is there any meaning to the five point star within the larger six point star in the design? thank you, Steve I'm unable to show the star design, but, you get the idea.
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Last edited by archer : 25th November 2011 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 25th November 2011, 05:56 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer
Thank you for your research Ibraham. I'm sure it will provide further incite to others' quests. I saw another similar dagger on E bay here are a few photos. Is there any meaning to the five point star within the larger six point star in the design? thank you, Steve I'm unable to show the star design, but, you get the idea.



Salaams ... Check this out ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandala

Geometry in Hindu and indeed Islamic art and history is a vast subject...The work above deals with the Hindu side. Regards Ibrahiim.
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