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Old 20th May 2012, 04:03 AM   #1
Timo Nieminen
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Default Kukri/khukuri

Some kukri/khukuri. Here's what I know about them:

#1 has diamond-shaped bone(?) inlays on grip. Estimated as 1910s or 1920s.

#2 is small. Bolster appear integral, but it's welded on. I think it's fairly recent.

#3 has a bone(?) grip. Doesn't appear to be very old, but it isn't very new either. The scabbard appears to be covered in rawhide rather than leather.

#4 has a multicoloured grip. Estimated as WW2. Stamped "Tempered Steel Made in India".

#5 has a carved horn grip. Estimated as 20th century, pre-WW2.

#6 looks modern to me. Supposed to be a tourist purchase in Nepal, 1990s.

#7 is Indian. I got this new during the 1980s, so isn't much older than that. No bolster. This was my main camp knife/hatchet for many years.

#8 is Indian and modern. This is the Windlass Assam Rifles kukri.

#9 is modern, I think from Nepal. A monstrous 1.55kg. Oddly, it seems more unwieldy in hand than 1.6kg swords. An illusion of expectation?
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Old 20th May 2012, 09:55 AM   #2
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I like this one.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/attac...tid=88958&stc=1


I could be wrong but ww2 or into the 50s would seem quite possible. Nice little piece.

Spiral

Last edited by spiral : 21st May 2012 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 20th May 2012, 09:13 PM   #3
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My one and only Kukri. Here in England they are one of the more common blades to turn up, but I bought this one....nearly 40 years ago (god, was it that long ago) as being unlike the service or souvenir examples. Length 19 inches 48.5 cm and suprisingly light and handy. Thick backed, but hollow ground for most of the width of the blade.
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Old 20th May 2012, 11:01 PM   #4
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Great collection!
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Old 21st May 2012, 12:56 AM   #5
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very nice collection, thanks a lot, to share it with us

+

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Old 21st May 2012, 10:05 AM   #6
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Oops! The order of pics is not as intended. Therefore, an index:
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Old 26th May 2012, 04:41 AM   #7
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A few more:

#10 Estimated to be early 20th century (1900s - 1920s), horn handle which is very wide front-to-back (side-to-side seems to be a normal thickness). Comfortable in hand, except for the damage to the front corner.

#11 Don't know any details about this. It was very filthy when I got it; it's still pretty filthy now, but much cleaner. Looks like some damage to the edge has been fixed.

#12 Brass and grey metal grip. Very nice weight and balance, lovely to swing. The owner before the previous owner claimed WW2 or earlier (supposed WW2 bring-back). Just got this one, and am very pleased with its ergonomics. What might the grey metal be? I don't think it's aluminium.
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Old 26th May 2012, 08:25 AM   #8
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Hi Timo,

The grey metal is usualy a "pot" metal of any handy meltable scrap with a low melting point that getys thrown i8n the pot!

Usualy a very high zinc content due to the prolific use of old toothpaste tubes & cylinder battery casings.

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Old 24th June 2012, 05:40 AM   #9
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A few more:

#13 is very small. Seller estimated 1920s.

#14 is also small. Horn handle. Last 1/2 century or so, and Indian ("Tempered steel, Made in India").

#15 is engraved, has 8 white metal pins as decoration, aluminium I think, around larger brass rivets. Horn grip.

#16 is supposedly from the Royal Nepalese Arsenal in 2003, nicely handling for the size.

#17 is a fancy one, velvet and silver(?) scabbard, horn grip. 2 large chips in the blade (or 1 large, 1 medium, depending on opinion). Seller estimated c. 1900.

#18 is modern. I thought, "Cute! Somebody makes a tulwar-hilted kukri!" It's OK, but I strongly suspect I could do better myself with a $20 ebay tulwar hilt and a bare blade. Task for the future!
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Old 24th June 2012, 05:45 AM   #10
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And one more very long one:

#19 is very long. Modern. Do very long kukri like this have any history, or are they modern fantasy/martial arts items?

This one is a nice fighting sword. As well as being about the length of the (modern) wakizashi I show it with, it's also about the same weight (1oz heavier, 771g vs 742g).

As my longest kukri, I also photographed it with my smallest kukri.
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Old 24th June 2012, 12:11 PM   #11
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O yes they can have history! Battle or sacrifice! {Some wall hangers too out there. & modern pieces to.}

This link. Shows a few of mine & explains a little about them.

Spiral

linky.

Also a thread on this forum including links to various other kukri slaughter pics. {Caution advised for link for Vegitareans or upset by animal slaughter.}

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=10292
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Old 25th June 2012, 02:38 AM   #12
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Or, more specifically, are very long kukri of this form - very slender - historical? A couple of modern makers do these, but I haven't seen any old ones.

The top one in your link is about the same length and weight (a little longer, and a little lighter). Should be a very good fighting kukri!

Modern "sacrificial" kukri I see (i.e., what's made for the tourist market as sacrificial kukri) seem to be much heavier than yours, 50oz and up.
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Old 25th June 2012, 09:46 AM   #13
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Not of the same shape as yours ,no I dont think so.

Modern kukris are often more heavily built & sometimes more clumsy than many antiques. {Although you get some clumsy old ones to!} Many corners are cut compared to the old ways.

Certanly the finest craftsmen of 100 years ago are not equaled today. {And thats understating it.}

The only 100% sacrificial kukri of mine is the bottom kora handled one from First quarter/third of 20th century. {Gifted in 20s.}

The others could be sacrificial but are also likely to have originaly been used for war. {But of course in there long lives will have probably been used for sacrafice as well, while still in Nepal.}

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Old 5th August 2012, 10:29 AM   #14
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Some with decorated scabbards:

#20 has a full length decorated scabbard. Very roughly engraved lines along the blade, rather petite horn grip, steel butt plate. Butt plate looks old and crusty. 335g.

#21 is a little less decorated. Horn handle, lightweight, engraved. The blade has crept a little way out of the grip. It looks like the wire has been put there to help hold the accessory pouch, which is only attached at the bottom. Supposedly 1930s, and has travelled from Nepal/India to Scotland to Texas to Australia. Even more petite grip than #20, and at 205g, it's lighter than it's scabbard.

#22 is brass decorated, both scabbard and grip. A whole bunch of glued-on brass decorations have fallen off - there's one left on the scabbard and one left on the grip. Most of the decoration on the hilt is on the outside. Seller estimates as 1950s or earlier. Looks touristy to me, but would be functional. 350g.

And one that looks to be ornamental, rather than functional:

#23 is a small kukri, with small horn grip. Those aren't rivets in the grip, just ornamental inlays, as seen by the tang as revealed by glue failure. Fuzzy fabric covered scabbard, but the wood core halves are separated, the cloth is falling off - without the black electrical tape, it would fall apart. Apart from the falling-apart condition of kukri and scabbard, this might be functional, but fake rivets make me think it's intended as ornament.
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Old 5th August 2012, 10:33 AM   #15
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... and a few more:

#24 has a crude engraving on the blade. Hilt is a lightweight wood, a little crudely made. Hidden tang. Lightweight due to the light grip. 345g, with an 8mm spine.

#25 has an ornamented metal grip. Seems to be well-made. Estimated to be from 1890-1920. Feels rather neutral in hand. 600g.

#26 looks like a MKII. Unmarked, and rusty and crusty. I'd call it heavy, at 795g.

#27 is large and engraved. Bone inlays in grip. Estimated as pre WW2. At 760g, it's lighter than #26, but a little unwieldy due to its size.

#28 is said to be 1950s, Indian-made. Basic kukri, nothing wrong with it. Nothing more to say about it other than it being 550g.

#29 is also said to be 1950s, Indian-made, and to have come from Nepal with a group of Nepalese weapons (rifles and edged weapons). Long crack in the grip, but it seems to be functionally strong. 560g.
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Old 5th August 2012, 10:37 AM   #16
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... and one last one for today. Is this, sensu stricto, a kukri?

#30 is extremely curved, S-shaped even. Thin blade, only 5.1mm thick, and light, only 230g. Seller suggested north Indian, and it looks Indian to me. The back of the scabbard has an open slot to let the blade in and out. Very round end on the grip.
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Old 7th August 2012, 11:58 PM   #17
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Hello Timo,

Quote:
#30 is extremely curved, S-shaped even. Thin blade, only 5.1mm thick, and light, only 230g. Seller suggested north Indian, and it looks Indian to me. The back of the scabbard has an open slot to let the blade in and out. Very round end on the grip.

Afghan (IIRC).

Any blade marks? How long is the blade?

Regards,
Kai
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Old 8th August 2012, 06:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Afghan (IIRC).

Any blade marks? How long is the blade?


Unmarked. Blade is about 10" (see tape in photo).

The scabbard with the open slot on the back makes me think Indian. Are such scabbards used/common in Afghanistan? (I've not seen any at all, so any examples will be interesting.)
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Old 8th August 2012, 08:19 AM   #19
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Hello Timo,

Nice collection - seems like the kukri infection is in full swing...

Quote:
The scabbard with the open slot on the back makes me think Indian. Are such scabbards used/common in Afghanistan? (I've not seen any at all, so any examples will be interesting.)

I believe the slotted scabbard is a form-follows-function thing rather than allowing to narrow down on its geographic/ethnic origin.

The roundish pommel seems quite distinctive though and also the missing/integral bolster and recurved blade design are not unique:
http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sh...-MKI-Variations
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15899

BTW, does your blade have a false edge towards the tip or is it even sharpened?

Regards,
Kai
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Old 8th August 2012, 09:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Nieminen
Unmarked. Blade is about 10" (see tape in photo).

The scabbard with the open slot on the back makes me think Indian. Are such scabbards used/common in Afghanistan? (I've not seen any at all, so any examples will be interesting.)



Hi Timo,

I believe you are correct about the origins as being Indian.
The sheath tip is typical of Khanjar, Tiger Tooth Jambia and other small arms from Indian manufacturing centres.
The presence of the block ricasso on the blade side of the Kaudi is also indicative of this origin.

Gav
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Old 8th August 2012, 04:00 PM   #21
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Yes Indian I agree, The only ethnicaly made, open back kukri scabbards I can recall also come from India, Jodhpur to be precise.

These strange beasts turn up occasion, they usualy have have very large & fat grips, even by western standards.

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Old 8th August 2012, 10:38 PM   #22
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It's single-edged, and respectably sharp. The blade has a fairly uniform taper in thickness towards the tip, from 5.1m near the hilt to about 2.5mm an inch short of the tip.

No bolster, but the blade end of the hilt is carved in the shape one would expect of a bolster.

This would work as a kitchen knife, if sharpened better. At the moment, it's sharper than the kitchen knives some people use, but not as sharp as a kitchen knife should be.

As for "form follows function", most conventional-bladed kukris have conventional kukri scabbards, whether Nepalese, Indian, or Afghan. But I've see (somewhere on www) a couple of Indian conventional-bladed kukris with slotted-back scabbards. More than one form can fulfill the function.
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Old 8th August 2012, 11:28 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Nieminen
. But I've see (somewhere on www) a couple of Indian conventional-bladed kukris with slotted-back scabbards. More than one form can fulfill the function.


Did you read my repley Timo? Suggest you google jodhpur kukri, for other such practicle scabbards.

{ignore sales pitch re.ww1.... ww2 is much more likely it know seems.}

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Old 9th August 2012, 09:31 AM   #24
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Thanks a lot for chiming in, Jonathan and Gav!


Hello Timo,

Quote:
As for "form follows function", most conventional-bladed kukris have conventional kukri scabbards, whether Nepalese, Indian, or Afghan. But I've see (somewhere on www) a couple of Indian conventional-bladed kukris with slotted-back scabbards. More than one form can fulfill the function.

Yep, but the reverse isn't neccessarily true: I was assuming the blade not to be single-edged and that would have made it unpractical if not impossible to draw from a conventional scabbard...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 9th August 2012, 11:22 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiral
Suggest you google jodhpur kukri, for other such practicle scabbards.


Oh my! What an excellent magic search term! The ones I had seen before were just generically described as "Indian" and "north Indian".

How well do they work? Do they work if worn in a sash? In my experience with slotted scabbards, they need a lot more care when re-sheathing. Still, perhaps more elegant than a chunky wide-mouth scabbard.
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Old 10th August 2012, 10:01 AM   #26
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Would not work well in a sash Timo, normaly have belt loops.

Spiral
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Old 21st October 2012, 02:44 AM   #27
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#31 looks like a typical Armoury kukri. No pommel, inscription on the spine in Devanagari, reading "Sri 3 Candra Varas(?) 2/48", which would date it to being in the Armoury in the early 20th century (1901-1929). I have no experience reading Devanagari, so perhaps I have the battalion (i.e., "Varas") wrong - any corrections appreciated. 14.5" blade, 800g.
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