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Old 12th December 2006, 08:00 PM   #1
katana
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Default Can you Identify Horn hilts from photographs and or sellers descriptions?

I was wondering whether there are tell tale signs that a knife or sword is horn hilted. Many on this forum purchase knives etc. from the web with only photos and a description as to its 'provenance'. For instance this was described as 'wood' ...I think it's possibly horn...
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Old 12th December 2006, 08:19 PM   #2
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Hi Katana,
To me this looks more like antler than horn. I'm sure others with more knowledge than I can give you a better idea.


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Old 12th December 2006, 09:45 PM   #3
Jens Nordlunde
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Hi Katana,
I think Robert could be right - i don't think it is wood - what an odd sugestion.
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Old 12th December 2006, 10:39 PM   #4
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Katana: I have to agree with the others. I definitly don't think it is wood. It could be antler, because i have many antler and horn handles and they can both look pretty much alike, but this just seems to have more of a "horn" look to me.............Dave
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Old 13th December 2006, 02:44 AM   #5
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From the pictures, I'm fooled. It really looks like stained wood to me...I can see a fibrous structure, but it could be wood grain. If you didn't bring the possibility that this might be a horn-hilted dagger, I'd be sold that you're showing a wooden object
I have a piece with antler hilt, but left in its rough state...I had no idea what polished antler looked like.

Can you post more pics of the whole thing?

Emanuel

Last edited by Manolo : 13th December 2006 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 13th December 2006, 07:35 AM   #6
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Pictures can deceive, but I see the porous cellular structure of wood grain here. I find that once you grind the exterior "bark" off of antler, you end up with a dense, material that doesn't have a noticeable fibrous grain.
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Old 13th December 2006, 02:51 PM   #7
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Thankyou Gentlemen,
for your input. Its been mentioned before that horn has tubular forms in its cellular structure which are noticeable on the 'end grain'. Overall the posted pics do have a wood grain 'look' but I think there is some translucence and some 'evidence of the 'tubular' structure.
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Old 13th December 2006, 05:07 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=katana}. Its been mentioned before that horn has tubular forms in its cellular structure which are noticeable on the 'end grain'. Overall the posted pics do have a wood grain 'look' but I think there is some translucence and some 'evidence of the 'tubular' structure.[/QUOTE]



Looks like dyed wood to me, all timber is tubular & fiberous in structure.

What you call translucence looks like light reflection to me.

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Old 13th December 2006, 06:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiral
What you call translucence looks like light reflection to me.
Spiral


The translucence could also be an area of wear making it lighter .
Is this a Yat hilt ?
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Old 13th December 2006, 08:37 PM   #10
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The hilt is of an African Baja knife
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Old 13th December 2006, 11:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
The translucence could also be an area of wear making it lighter .
Is this a Yat hilt ?



Thats true Rick, I just got the impresion it was flash photography, but I think you hit the nail on the head.

Or a combination of both factors perhaps?

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Old 22nd December 2006, 06:59 PM   #12
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Default A Picture is worth a thousand words?

As a professional that works with color for a living, let me give you my two cents worth.

I am going to try to avoid things like metamerism and appearance (as much as I can) so:

1. Color is not as cut a dried as you may think.

2. As human observers, we have bias… that is we may not see color the same way (an extreme example would be... one of the forms of color blindness).

3. Cameras have bias.

The first example below is where two colors appear to match by eye, but not by digital camera.

Appearance and angle of view are everything… the second example (the grays) is of three samples at two angles of view: Which are the same color and which are not?

A word to the wise… judgments on color solely from pictures can be a dangerous thing, especially if you are thinking about thumping down a sizable stack of cash. You be the judge.

For all I know (just from the above pictures), the item could be plastic. Only the person taking the picture knows for sure.
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Old 22nd December 2006, 07:42 PM   #13
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Hi BSMStar,
very interesting angle and the 'grey' examples brilliantly demonstrate your point. I understand that 'colour' is the reflected light waves from an object....so it also makes sense that the type/source of light could easily alter the shade/hue of that colour......So colour would be a possible 'problem' in ID'ing certain materials.

Could the 'texture' of a material be falsely 'interpreted' (either deliberately or unknowingly) by a camera..assuming the image is clear?
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Old 22nd December 2006, 08:32 PM   #14
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Hi Katana, could you post a picture of the entire knife? Thanks
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Old 22nd December 2006, 08:54 PM   #15
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Hi Katana,

We are entering an area that can get very technical in a hurry…

You are getting into areas that are appearance related… the appearance of an object consist of the following factors (I will list the most important ones):

1. Gloss
2. Texture
3. Color
4. Opacity
5. Shape
6. If it is metallic or not
7. The angle of illumination

If you change any one of these factors or attributes, you change the appearance. Please note that color is an attribute of appearance (most people tend to intuitively think that appearance is an attribute of color). A lot of issues that are interpreted by untrained observers are thought to be due to difference in color… when actually, the color is the same.

So, to answer your question… yes, texture will influence the appearance of an object… to a human observer or a camera. The gray examples shown above are of differences in color, gloss and texture.

[A little secret... the chip with the textured blob of paint on it, they are the same color]

You may want to refer to this thread - this was plastic and had a few forumites confused...

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=582

Last edited by BSMStar : 23rd December 2006 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 23rd December 2006, 08:14 PM   #16
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Hey Katana....

You may want to refer to the link that I added to the above. The scabbard and the hilt are plastic... photos are a bad way to discern the material, and the color is even more meaningless.

The silver part of the scabbard is made of polystyrene (like models are made from). The brown parts are a denser plastic, possibly polyethylene. There are casting bubbles (a give away) all over the brown plastic as well as there is a casting seam… but you have to look closely at the piece to see them. A detail that may be missing in auction pictures.

I hope you find this useful...

Happy Holidays!

Last edited by BSMStar : 23rd December 2006 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 24th December 2006, 09:53 PM   #17
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Thanks BSMstar,
that link demonstrates your point perfectly.....the pictures endow the knifes furniture/fittings with much more quality ( ie looks to be carved bone/Ivory/tusk when it fact it is cast plastic.)
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Old 24th December 2006, 10:12 PM   #18
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Hi BSMStar,

I think we are comming to an interesting point - please comment on the light - the Kelvin light, direct and indirect light?

Last edited by Jens Nordlunde : 25th December 2006 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 27th December 2006, 12:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Hi BSMStar,

I think we are comming to an interesting point - please comment on the light - the Kelvin light, direct and indirect light?


Hi Jens,

I am not sure what you are asking... Kelvin light, like "D65" (as in a black body radiating at 6500 degrees Kelvin)?

I really did not want to turn this into a thread on light theory. I just wanted folks to be aware that pictures do not always tell the whole story... and show a few examples.

Email me if you want to be bored to tears on light theory.
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Old 27th December 2006, 12:13 PM   #20
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BSMStar - you have a PM.

Jens
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