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Old 29th March 2012, 10:46 PM   #1
David R
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Default Small blade for ID.

Another one of my junk box finds, but quite a nice one. 20cm long overall, 3.5 cm at it's widest point and a hefty (for it's size) 7.5 mill wide at it's base. I bought it at an antiques fair for a pittance, and I suspect it may be wootz, it has that feel about it, very fine grain, slightly greasy like silver.
What I am hoping someone can tell me is, where it is from, and what sort of hilt it would have had. I have found blades of the same basic flame shape in my books, but none with the same ogee detail at the heel of the blade.
Once I have some idea, I can then make a replacement grip, and put it on my wall. I suspect it had a V nice grip originaly, stripped to go on a better blade, or even scrapped for the metal value.
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Old 30th March 2012, 03:45 AM   #2
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resembles the same shape as some south Indian blades I've been seeing.. they say those are from Kerala but I don't know.

hope that helps, if only as a lead/potential starting point for research
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Old 30th March 2012, 02:01 PM   #3
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You know, I was also about to say India (and Kerala is one of the regions famous for downcurved single-edged knife blades) but there is something "unindian" about this item, even despite a little figural cut out at the bottom of the edge... Perhaps it is the thickness of the blade? Kerala knifes are usually much thiner and compensate for that by having a T-spine on the back of the blade. Sorry, I wish I could be more helpful. If you do decide to turn this into a kerala knife, here are a few examples to give you an idea for the construction of the hilt.
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Old 30th March 2012, 06:58 PM   #4
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Cool looking blade. Sadly it looks like it's lost half of it's heat treat, if it was ever hardened.
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Old 6th April 2012, 11:44 PM   #5
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I have began proper cleaning of the blade, starting with the old coke soak, getting the first layers off, so to speak. Interestingly, a third of the width of the blade, along the edge, has come out distinctly darker, along a clearly defined line. So, edge insert or wootz, or is there a tradition that uses both. Any ideas anyone??
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Old 7th April 2012, 01:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
I have began proper cleaning of the blade, starting with the old coke soak, getting the first layers off, so to speak. Interestingly, a third of the width of the blade, along the edge, has come out distinctly darker, along a clearly defined line. So, edge insert or wootz, or is there a tradition that uses both. Any ideas anyone??


Hmmmm... India? We need some pictures of this "line"...
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Old 7th April 2012, 02:42 PM   #7
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I am not sure how well it would photograph, and do not have a decent enough camera anyway at present. However I have marked on a photo' the deliniation of the colour difference, it is distinctly darker along the edge. If it is anything like an edge insert or differential tempering it will show after a polish and etch, which is what I am doing next.
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Old 7th April 2012, 05:01 PM   #8
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I have polished one side, (not to well, alas the pitting is too deep to ever get it back to original finish) and given it a quick etch with hot vinegar. Not wootz, but looks very much like san mai. Definately an inserted edge. So perhaps further South and East rather than India.
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Old 7th April 2012, 11:12 PM   #9
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Hello David R. Could you post a photo of the blade after the polish and quick etch? I have never seen this done before and am interested in the process.
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Old 10th April 2012, 12:37 AM   #10
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Default Meed chaithong.

I think I might have found it, here on the forum. I sat at the 'puter for hours just googling SEA knives by country, the "differential" edge made me think more in that area than India, which is "wootz" country. This is the closest I have seen to it, and it seems to fit ok. I just wish the heel of the blade was clearer.
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Old 10th April 2012, 03:52 AM   #11
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Hmmm... Interesting stuff. You may be on to something...
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Old 10th April 2012, 04:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
I think I might have found it, here on the forum. I sat at the 'puter for hours just googling SEA knives by country, the "differential" edge made me think more in that area than India, which is "wootz" country. This is the closest I have seen to it, and it seems to fit ok. I just wish the heel of the blade was clearer.


Good leg work David R. When I first saw the blade, I thought of the Meed ChaiTong and kept scrolling down the posts to see if any one mentioned it. I am no expert though.

Here is another example...with slight variation
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Old 10th April 2012, 05:19 PM   #13
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Hi Nathaniel, thanks,
I think your photo, pretty well confirms it. Nice piece, one of your own? Do you know what the grip is made of, and is the ferrule open at the blade end or closed....'cos now I have a hilt to make. Do you have pics of any others to share?
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Old 21st April 2012, 04:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
Hi Nathaniel, thanks,
I think your photo, pretty well confirms it. Nice piece, one of your own? Do you know what the grip is made of, and is the ferrule open at the blade end or closed....'cos now I have a hilt to make. Do you have pics of any others to share?


Hello David,

Sorry for the delayed response. Glad you liked the piece, unfortunately not my own, but maybe it's owner will be able to confirm the handle material, and ferrule construction....

As you can see with the above examples it could be either a pistol grip handle (with oval cross section) or a more straight handle (round cross section... possibly oval). In both examples the handle is more on the hefty side to match with blade. I've also seen some examples with a simple pommel cap.

The ferrule could be either open or closed...open is more common (the two examples in this thread appear to be open), but like on other SEA blades, the more fancy versions might have a closed ferrule. Another possibility I can thinking of other SEA blades is a metal disk of silver, brass or copper or even an old Thai coin.
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Old 21st April 2012, 07:02 PM   #15
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Hi Nathaniel, I have been chasing other pics all the time, but these things just do not appear in my searches. So, if you have any other pics, please post them.
Many t'anks
Dave
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