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Old 26th February 2012, 02:35 AM   #1
Stan S.
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Default Not a kukri...

Please take a look at this "chopper" I just received in the mail after winning it via eBay auction. Despite what it at first appears to be, it is not a kukri. Thsi si why when I saw it listed for a pathetically low price, I knew I had to have it! You will notice the lack of a typical notch, plus the hilt is all wrong - It is actually carved out of a single piece of wood and secured to a flat tang with 3 rivets exposing the tang on top and bottom. Also, the blade has a more pronounced "belly" than commonly encountered with kukris and features a false edge. Series of svastikas stamped into the blade identify this as a hindu weapon. There is also a small and faint "eye" closer to the tip, which reminds me of a decoration found on ram daos. Only one side of the blade is decorated. The weapon is massive and quite heavy, and comes with a later scabbard. When I saw pictures of the scabbard, I thought it was for sure home made by a previous owner. Upon receiving the item however, I am not so certain. It is made of an incredibly thick leather (thicker than what is found on heavy duty belts) and stitched using a heavy cord rather than a thread. The scabbard covers the knife to mid-grip, like a pech kabz scabbard would. However, it is lacking a wooden shell and has a belt loop on the back, which still has me thinking that it is quite new...

I need some help identifying the origins of this item. My guess would be Nepal, or either Coorg or Malabar. But if it is Nepalese, shy would its maker deviate from a traditional kukri form? After all, it is ALMOST a kukri
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Old 26th February 2012, 03:46 AM   #2
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The scabbard looks quite new and not in the Indian style of manufacture .

The knife does look like it has some age and has an intriguing, darker scalloped edged pattern on the blade .
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Old 26th February 2012, 10:23 AM   #3
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I'm not sure those are swastikas, could be just simple decoration, and even if they are swastikas, they could just as easily be Buddhist.
Two things for sure, it isn't a kukri and it isn't Nepalese, perhaps some other people could shed light on the origin of the knife?
All the best Simon
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Old 26th February 2012, 02:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
The scabbard looks quite new and not in the Indian style of


I agree that the scabbard looks new. I am just buffled as towhy someone would use such a heavy leather for it it must be at least 5pm thick. But of ofcourse the knife itself is a much bigger mistery and I would love to know more about it
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Old 26th February 2012, 06:39 PM   #5
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Looks like a reforged European chefs knife probably by a local blacksmith from India or the surrounding area?
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Old 26th February 2012, 07:10 PM   #6
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Hi Stan,

I think you were on the right track with thinking 'almost' a Kukri.
I think it's possibly of the 'Chin Knife' family. Have a look at these:

http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sh...r-Kukri-Wannabe

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/s...-Battle-Khukuri

Jonathan (Spiral) has more knowledge on these than I, perhaps he will know for sure.

Best
Gene

P.S. Failing that it has similarities with the Thai knives.
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Old 26th February 2012, 09:09 PM   #7
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A chin knife? Well, it's a possibility and at least we are getting somewhere. Personally, I am inclined to believe that this is a small ram dao for sacrificing paultry, lambs, etc. I will clean clean it up in the next few weeks which will hopefully bring out the "eye" some more. So far my camera had failed to capture it with any clarity. Lets get some other opinions
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Old 26th February 2012, 10:44 PM   #8
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Nice example Stan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
Jonathan (Spiral) has more knowledge on these than I, perhaps he will know for sure.
Best
Gene



Cheers Gene for your confidence, Luckily I know the answear although not truly my field!

so chaps heres what there not...

Thats not Thai. Not Hindu not Buddhist thats not a swastika there not Nepali there not Indian.

There Roman Cathlic from the Pacific ocean.

Its a Chamorro knife from Guam.


N2S an American kukri collector & forumite on IKRHS & Bladeforums has a few of them.

Heres some of his from his website. {sorry mods its a hotlink, havent got rights to steal & post here.} {Hes a great chap though I am sure he wont mind.}

Looks a good one to me....There many subtelties in varients though.

spiral


Last edited by spiral : 26th February 2012 at 11:23 PM. Reason: spelling!
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Old 26th February 2012, 11:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiral
Nice example Stan!




Cheers Gene for your confidence, Luckily I know the answear although not truly my field!

so chaps heres what there not...

Thats not Thai. Not Hindu not Buddhist thats not a swastika there not Nepali there not Indian.

There Roman Cathlic from the Pacific ocean.

Its a Chamorro knife from Guam.


N2S an American kukri collector & forumite on IKRHS & Bladeforums has a few of them.

Heres some of his from his website. {sorry mods its a hotlink, havent got rights to steal & post here.} {Hes a great chap though I am sure he wont mind.}

Looks a good old one to me....There many subtelties in varients though.

spiral




LOL, how weird! I was completely wrong but you were still the right man for the ID!
I knew you'd have a photographic memory of anything even remotely Kukri-esq!
Good catch mate.
Best
Gene
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Old 27th February 2012, 10:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
LOL, how weird! I was completely wrong but you were still the right man for the ID!
I knew you'd have a photographic memory of anything even remotely Kukri-esq!
Good catch mate.
Best
Gene


Well the obsession with them has certanly taken many diverse avenues & studies over the years!

Cheers Man,

Spiral
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Old 28th February 2012, 02:08 AM   #11
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Spiral, please forgive my ignorance but other than the downcurved blade and a wooden grip held in place by 3 rivets, I fail to see the resemblance between my “thing” and these Guam knives. To me chamoro is basically a large bowie with a drooping blade. My choper is clearly leaf shaped and looks almost like a dowcurved barong or something. Plus, what leads you to believe that decorations on the blade are not swastikas and how do you explain a little hook-like protrusion on the ricasso? I am not trying to start an argument here as you are clearly an expert on this stuff. I am just trying to understand... Do you have any pictures of decorations attributed to Guam culture? I tried google but didn’t find much

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Old 28th February 2012, 09:09 AM   #12
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Perhaps I didnt use the best photo to illustrate Stan, Here some more of them from a shop in Guam {Also courtesy of N2S.} {_about 5 years ago.}

I am not an expert in these, I am a student of kukris but through them I have come across such things. I dont think your ignorant, a few yesrs ago Idve wondered what it was as well.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/attac...tid=10096&stc=1

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/attac...tid=10097&stc=1

These pictures display the many types available showing various matching features I think? The down curved blade, the protrusian at the riccaso, the plainer, triple riveted hilt.

Over the years have seen others more like yours also id. as Chammoro knives. Sadley I didnt keep the pix.

Personaly I think the style of riccaso is a very strong id feature with these. But the whole gestalt fits to my eye.

Sadley I have no knowledge of the original decorative features of the Chammoro people. I would imagine your knife could tell us something about them though.

Its a nice piece.

spiral
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Old 29th February 2012, 11:32 AM   #13
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Spiral

Those Guam knives are current interpitatations of kukri style knives along with the original Guam Bowie/bolo knife. The one Stan shows an Indian influence in my opinion. Like I said it reminds of a 19th or early 20th century French chefs knife that was reworked by a local bladesmith in coorg or Malabar. I wil post some of old chefs knives for comparison later today to show what I am talking about.
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Old 29th February 2012, 01:50 PM   #14
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Sounds interesting Lew!

spiral
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Old 29th February 2012, 04:17 PM   #15
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Looking forward to that Lew
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Old 1st March 2012, 10:49 AM   #16
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Stan

Can you post a pic of the top view looking down at the spine of your knife please include the hilt in the photo.

Thanks

Lew
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Old 1st March 2012, 11:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lew
Stan

Can you post a pic of the top view looking down at the spine of your knife please include the hilt in the photo.

Thanks

Lew


Give me a day or two. I am planning to clean it over the weekend and will post some new pictures then.
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Old 1st March 2012, 11:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lew
Stan

Can you post a pic of the top view looking down at the spine of your knife please include the hilt in the photo.

Thanks

Lew



Wise move Lew!

Spiral
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Old 12th April 2012, 06:36 PM   #19
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Time to bring this theread to the top again. Actually, I would have done it sooner but a few weeks ago, while cleaning this blade, it slipped and left me with a nasty bone-deep cut on the side of my right thumb. I dont think I have ever bled so much in my life ER visit, 4 stitches, and a month of healing later, I can start using a camera again. I am left with some numbness in the affected digit and teh doctor says there may be some nerve damage. At least now I know which item from my collection I will be bringing in the event of a zombie apocalypse

Here are some pictures of a cleaned knife. You can now see the "eye" on the blade and a close up of the tang construction. What do you think?
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Old 12th April 2012, 06:39 PM   #20
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Few more
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Old 12th April 2012, 06:48 PM   #21
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That tends to shoot down my first guess of a Cocos Island knife with a new sheath. Swastikas and an eye of Shiva do suggest a Hindu origin. That said, I think there are a bunch of down-curved knives out there.

F
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Old 12th April 2012, 10:44 PM   #22
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Maybe Hindu, or Maybe just later money making scratchings? certanly later sheath, definatly... Not Nepali.

dimensions please for clarity.. including ricasso.

Spiral
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Old 14th April 2012, 07:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fearn
That tends to shoot down my first guess of a Cocos Island knife with a new sheath...


cocos island knives are fairly distinctive and while coming in different sizes, the scabbards and overall look are that they are essentially all the same shape, just scaled up or down. apparently there is only one family that makes them is why. steel supposedly came (comes from) the german battle cruiser emden that was run aground in the north of the island in ww1 after being damaged in battle.
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Old 14th April 2012, 07:46 PM   #24
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Dimensions for clarity:

OAL: 17.5"
Blade: 11"
Blade width: 2" (widest point)

The hilt is long and carved out of a single piece of wood as can be seen in the pictures. It is attached to the tang by 3 rivets with large diamond or square shaped brass washers.
"Ricasso" is not really a ricasso, being that ricasso is a part of the blade. This thing is is clearly a swollen extension of the tang intended not to be covered by the grip, sort of like an intergrated bolster. It measures approximately .75" in lenght
Engravings dont appear to be a later addition but I have no way of telling for sure.
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Old 14th April 2012, 11:22 PM   #25
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Kronckew,

Gives you a chance to show off your knives, at least. Good to see them.

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Old 14th April 2012, 11:34 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan S.

"Ricasso" is not really a ricasso, being that ricasso is a part of the blade. This thing is is clearly a swollen extension of the tang intended not to be covered by the grip, sort of like an intergrated bolster. It measures approximately .75" in lenght
Engravings dont appear to be a later addition but I have no way of telling for sure.



Thanks for the dimensions Stan.

Thickness of spine on blade & tang as well as the "disputed name area, in front of the hilt" Might also be interesting.

To my nind, A bolsters purpose is to "bolster" or support the blade handle join, generaly in the manner of a ferrule, normaly encircling at least part of the hilt/grip/handle area to prevent splitting & reduce lateral pressure in use to the blade, hilt area. At the very minimum it must be flush againt it to serve that function.. Eg. not out in front of the hilt!

A Riccaso is to to sometimes support the blade at its weakest point in the waist before the hilt & to provide an area to neatly finnish the blade bevel grinding,etc. { And according to some provide an area a forfinger can still be used upon.}

Your milage obviosly varies though.

Thats ok...Diversity is good.

Have a nice day....

Spiral

PS The "engravings" are hardly of the depth & engraving style found on Nepalese & Bengali kora/khonra Ram dao etc. Thats why I refered to them as scratchings. But there again your entitled to your beliefs.

Either way .. Enjoy... Its a curious piece indeed.
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Old 15th April 2012, 12:02 PM   #27
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For my twopennyworth, the grip looks to be a replacement, which is why it does not fit well to the "bolster". It is certainly not up to the workmanship of the blade. Re the engraving, that is neatly done and looks right to me. Anyone who has tried engraving steel will tell you that it is not easily done, which is why acid resist etching tends to be so common on the tourist pieces.
Try giving it a quick/light surface etch/stain with vinegar or cola on a limited area to see if there is an inserted edge or differential temper. I did that on one of my unknowns and it revealed an edge treatment that sent me off in a different and successfull direction of search. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15348 Swasticas are/were used by many cultures including Native American and Bronze age European before the Nazis spoiled it for everyone. The eye symbol also appears in a lot of cultures, still painted on boats in the Mediterranian and, I believe, the Pacific.

Last edited by David R : 15th April 2012 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Some more thought on the subject.
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