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Old 3rd January 2009, 08:26 PM   #1
Lew
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Default 19th Century Bhutan dagger?

Just picked this up on ebay. It seems 19th century to me and I bet that blade is hiding a hair pin pattern in the steel?


http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...em=120355386333

Lew
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Old 3rd January 2009, 11:21 PM   #2
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I wouldn't necessarily date it to the 19th century, as the Bhutanese made swords and daggers in the traditional way until about 50 years ago (and had some Indian replicas made later and are now returning to traditional manufacture).

On average, the weapons with the sheet metal pommels are probably more recent than the pierced ones, although the types obviously overlap. Writing in 1910, J. Claude White, a British diplomat in Sikkim and Bhutan, characterized the pierced work, as on the traditional pommels, as almost a lost art.

The pierced pommels were much more expensive. (So what did a poor man do if he couldn't afford a pierced iron or silver pommel? Probably had a bare horn or wood hilt on a working blade.)
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Old 4th January 2009, 12:51 AM   #3
Gavin Nugent
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Default I look forward to more images

New or old I always likes daggers from Bhutan, although they were not always made in Bhutan and are still made traditionally today.

I have recently been corresponding with a very learned gentleman in SEA who pointed out and provided old photos of his visits to a small mountain village on the Burma/China border that is famous for making these daggers and the Burmese Dha for as long as they can remember and other swords and knives since the Ming Dynasty.

I have a 19th century Bhutan dagger, just under 17inches with a beaut laminated blade and very thick spine, a 20th century rendition made from a file and a horn hilt with the eight auspicious symbols in repousse work on the scabbard and another all metal completely covered with repousse work with intricate dragons and motifs that was made in this village in the 1950's, it also has striations in the blade and the second ring to the middle of the hilt that is present on yours too. The later should arrive by the end of January, I can then provide the three side by side for comparisons.
It is my belief that this one pictured in the auction is from the 1980s and the blade will most likely be made of forged car spring steel.

I would like to see other comparisons of these daggers from anyone who has them as I also believe that the 19th century pieces never had that second ring in the middle of the hilt??

I look forward to viewing more images when it arrives Lew.

Gav

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Old 4th January 2009, 01:11 AM   #4
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I hope this is old. It still looks 20th century to me. But Lew, you're so seldom wrong that I would have bid on it just on your say so. Can't wait to see the etch!

Steve
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Old 4th January 2009, 01:48 AM   #5
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A couple of daggers made in Bhutan recently. The blades are springs but the hilts and scabbards are traditional.

And four daggers of various types and qualities, most 20th century: one with washo (grooves) on a laminated blade (plus a gilt pierced-iron pommel); one with a plain laminated blade; one with a monosteel fullered blade; and one with a doorknob shaped repousse sheet metal pommel and a fluted diamond-section blade.
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Old 4th January 2009, 04:59 AM   #6
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Thanks guys

Hey it's not like I spent a lot on the dagger so I won't be disappointed I'm sure it still seems well made. I have an older one and will compare it when it arrives. The inside of the scabbard seems to have wear and some age to it and the width at the top edge seems thick so to me it won't be a thin sheet steel blade.

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Old 4th January 2009, 05:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennee

The pierced pommels were much more expensive. (So what did a poor man do if he couldn't afford a pierced iron or silver pommel? Probably had a bare horn or wood hilt on a working blade.)


Like this one a poor man's dagger.
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Old 4th January 2009, 05:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferguson
I hope this is old. It still looks 20th century to me. But Lew, you're so seldom wrong that I would have bid on it just on your say so. Can't wait to see the etch!

Steve


Steve

The 20th century started over one hundred years ago so even if this turns out to be mid 20th I will still like it . I really don't think it's that recent. I will keep my fingers crossed.
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Old 10th January 2009, 04:19 PM   #9
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The dagger arrived today blade is mono steel but is about 1/4" thick at the base and is small compared to the other one I have. Still think it was a decent buy.



Lew
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Old 11th January 2009, 10:42 AM   #10
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It was absolutely a good buy. Pretty piece.

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