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Old 7th June 2012, 12:25 PM   #1
David R
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Default New purchase.

I have been looking at this for some time, described as Indo-persian and associated with a scabbard that certainly looked in keeping with that description......but it didn't look quite right. Then I noticed that the scabbard was not a good fit, and most likely a Kurdish type scabbard put with it to improve saleability. It looks a well made knife anyway, 31cm overall, blade 21cm.....and it looked Phillipean. So guys, have I played a blinder, or dropped a clanger.
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Last edited by David R : 7th June 2012 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 7th June 2012, 05:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
I have been looking at this for some time, described as Indo-persian and associated with a scabbard that certainly looked in keeping with that description......but it didn't look quite right. Then I noticed that the scabbard was not a good fit, and most likely a Kurdish type scabbard put with it to improve saleability.
Good Day David
no comment for the knife, I dunno that type
I'm waiting with interest to know what the specialists they will decide
the scabbard it's as you said,
a Kurdish made in wood with of tooled leather and it has nothing to do with the knife
may be useful, when you will find a Kurdish jambiya with a naked blade ...

+

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Old 7th June 2012, 07:52 PM   #3
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David

The dagger looks like an early to mid 20th century Piece from India? Like Dom said the scabbard belongs to a Kurdish jambiya. Your dagger probably started out as some type of naval dagger

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Old 8th June 2012, 01:59 PM   #4
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
I have been looking at this for some time, described as Indo-persian and associated with a scabbard that certainly looked in keeping with that description......but it didn't look quite right. Then I noticed that the scabbard was not a good fit, and most likely a Kurdish type scabbard put with it to improve saleability. It looks a well made knife anyway, 31cm overall, blade 21cm.....and it looked Phillipean. So guys, have I played a blinder, or dropped a clanger.


Salaams David R~ This one is a brain teaser.. Going by the scabbard alone it is Kurd...see http://www.saradistribution.com/kurdish_jambiya.htm for an alsmost identically decorated scabbard. The hilt looks like it has Syrian influence. Blade ... I have no idea.
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Old 9th June 2012, 09:13 AM   #5
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Well it arrived today, and Lew looks to have called it spot on. The scabbard is your typical Kurdish piece, a bit worn but nicely tooled, and nothing to do with the knife.
The blade is a nice one, not too rusty, still sharp though with some fine serration due to abuse or corrosion, but nothing that will not disappear with a wipe of fine ebrasive as I clean the blade. It has a good distal taper and a well crafted section. A nice blade in fact.
The guard well made and well fitted to the blade, in fact metal to metal and metal to horn fit is good all round.
The grip is horn and pot metal, neatly done, and as you said Ibrahim very like Syrian work. And engraved on one of the metal panels of the grip...INDIA 1943.
Overall it is a sound piece of work, and I think Lew called it right, a 19th C Naval dirk reworked in India in the first half of the 20thC. Not what I optimisticaly hoped for, but hopefully not overpriced for what it is.........
Since posting this I went on the Google for naval dirks, and then a link to this site!!! took me in another direction,-kirpan- the Sikh short sword or dagger. The blade seems a it good though for something purely ceremonial?

Last edited by David R : 9th June 2012 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Added information.
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Old 10th June 2012, 03:24 PM   #6
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This one has got interesting all of a sudden. While cleaning the blade I decided to give a quick "wipe" to the edge to get rid of the serrations which were catching the emery paper and ripping it....the file just skidded over the edge without catching. Odd, but never mind, perhaps the blade was hardened and not tempered.
Some small pitting in the blade, so I decided to give it a vinegar dip, I have some Polish pickling vinegar at 10 percent solution...lovely for a quick and dirty job. I now have what looks like a longditudinal grain and a definate edge harden...not one that follows the edge though, a straight line as indicated on the pic below.
Still not got a camera allas, but I am seeing a friend during the week who has a good one, and will try to get some done.
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Old 17th June 2012, 12:55 AM   #7
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Got some pics taken, the colour quality is not good, but I think they show what I wanted. The area of differential hardening is visible, as is what looks to be wootz type activity, also detail of the INDIA 1943 engraving. As my photographer friend pointed out, there looks to be 2 different engraving styles, and both could have been done anytime after the knives manufacture.
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Old 9th July 2012, 09:52 PM   #8
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Latest on this knife, I took it into the Armouries and we all had a look at it. The concensus is that the engraving was probably done some time after the knife was made, most probably not for the souvenier market originaly. The blade looks to be made of wootz, probably ground or forged from an old sword blade, and edge hardened for use and the point left soft so not to break too easily.
A kirpan does look to be the best contender for this, but I have a query, would this sort of knife ever be used for animal sacrifice/slaughter? Use for this would explain the trouble taken over the edge hardening.
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Old 9th July 2012, 11:16 PM   #9
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I remember emailing the seller about the mismatched scabbard (pointing out the scabbard was Kurdish) and he wasn't much help tbh lol.
In all honesty David, you probobly don't need to look much further than the 'label' for this one. As Lew rightly pegged it, it's a mid 20thC Indian dagger of reasonable quality.
To call it a 'souvenir' is fine in the literal sense, but don't judge it by applying a modern definition to a bygone age.
We have a tendency to think 'souvenir' means cheap and mass produced rubbish, because thats sort of true NOW.
Back in the 40s, you could buy fantastic quality items in the markets of any country across asia.
I doubt there is a single member here without something of similar age and origin.
Yes, it was seemingly marketed to 'foreigners' so might be regarded as a souvenir, but it's quality is what could have been expected of any knife made in that era.
Look at other items of that date.
Shops in Calcutta selling Kukri and such to foreigners that make all the military patterns that post date them look like crap.
Fine quality Jambiya and Khanjar being bought by local and foreigner alike, Druze Jambiya, Keris, etc, etc. There was no real 'line'.
Just because your knife was (from the inscription) sold to a foreigner, doesn't mean it's in the same room with those lion headed Kukri from the 1970s that we all know and despise.
It's possible that it's a reused section of a sword blade, but that wouldn't be usual. Soak it in vinegar or lemon juice if you really want to test for wootz.
Beyond that I'd say that it is what it is, a rather stylish 'fusion' knife from the last days of the Raj.

Last edited by Atlantia : 9th July 2012 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 10th July 2012, 10:17 PM   #10
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Hi Atlantia, I did give it a quick pickle as I mentioned in an earlier post.....thats why we think it's probably wootz. Not a classy pattern, but there is activity, a wavy grain clearer to the eye than is apparent in the photo's. That is what also brought out the differential hardening on the edge.
Overall I am happy enough with the knife, and some day I might turn up a Kurdish khanjar that needs a scabbard.
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Old 11th July 2012, 01:31 PM   #11
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David,

I agree with Atlantia. I think your knife would have been made, as it says, in India (but remember there wasn't a Pakistan then) during WW2, as a bowie knife, for sale to whoever wanted one. I have seen them about, and altho' dismissed by the "Sheffield" purists, are usually of good servicable quality

I have a similar knife showing western and north Indian traits made in Akyab in 1945.
Akyab is on the Arakan coast in Burma and when captured from the Japanese in 1945 was a significant staging post for the British, Indian and American air and land forces engaged in the later stages of the Burmese war. A possible scenario is that Abdul Qadar made this in a military workshop, as most of the materials are those you would expect from such a source, as a means of earning an extra bob or two from British or American officers. It is very sturdy and well made and wouldn't shame any officer.

Incidentally, the plan to capture Akyab was by seaborne landings preceded by arial bombardment. When intelligence was received that the Japanese had already absconded the bombing was cancelled, but the seaborne landings went ahead as they were considered a useful rehearsal for D-Day.
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Richard
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Old 11th July 2012, 01:34 PM   #12
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While the images provided by David R are fuzzy, I can see some waves on the blade so lets give it the benefit of the doubt ! :-)
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Old 11th July 2012, 01:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.alnakkas
While the images provided by David R are fuzzy, I can see some waves on the blade so lets give it the benefit of the doubt ! :-)



Without close-up daylight pics it's hard to tell. Those waves could be shear steel which is sometimes seen on these knives.

David, get thee outside with teh box brownie!
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Old 11th July 2012, 01:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G
David,

I agree with Atlantia. I think your knife would have been made, as it says, in India (but remember there wasn't a Pakistan then) during WW2, as a bowie knife, for sale to whoever wanted one. I have seen them about, and altho' dismissed by the "Sheffield" purists, are usually of good servicable quality

I have a similar knife showing western and north Indian traits made in Akyab in 1945.
Akyab is on the Arakan coast in Burma and when captured from the Japanese in 1945 was a significant staging post for the British, Indian and American air and land forces engaged in the later stages of the Burmese war. A possible scenario is that Abdul Qadar made this in a military workshop, as most of the materials are those you would expect from such a source, as a means of earning an extra bob or two from British or American officers. It is very sturdy and well made and wouldn't shame any officer.

Incidentally, the plan to capture Akyab was by seaborne landings preceded by arial bombardment. When intelligence was received that the Japanese had already absconded the bombing was cancelled, but the seaborne landings went ahead as they were considered a useful rehearsal for D-Day.
Regards
Richard



A BEAUTIFUL knife Richard.
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Old 29th August 2012, 12:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
Without close-up daylight pics it's hard to tell. Those waves could be shear steel which is sometimes seen on these knives.

David, get thee outside with teh box brownie!


As requested/advised, here are some further photo's taken with natural daylight. The real limitation here is the quality of the camera....my phone! However there is some pitting in the blade, and removing this would be tantamount to reshaping the blade, so I will be content with a bit more of a cleanup, and then it goes on my wall.
What is clear in these pics is the area of differential hardening on the edge, as for the grain...sometimes I look at it and am not sure, other times I am certain I can see a wootz type pattern....
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