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Old 17th July 2007, 08:19 PM   #1
Henk
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Default Chinese dagger for comment

It is probably nothing and the characters will say "made in China" but I picked this one up with some other real nice things.
Just wanted to be sure because the chinese stuff isn't my field.

A translation of the characters on the scabbard as well on the knife would be nice. But I'm sure it will be made in China

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Old 17th July 2007, 08:23 PM   #2
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Henk

It looks like a Chinese repro of a Tibet dagger.

Lew
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Old 18th July 2007, 12:21 AM   #3
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Yeah I am afraid I agree - never seen Tibetan pieces have chinese characters on the blades and the style of work does not appear Tibetan to me.
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Old 18th July 2007, 08:34 AM   #4
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Lew, Battara,

Thanks for your answer. A repro of a tibetan dagger. Don't know why your answer doesn't surprise me. I don't know why, but with chinese stuff i always get an itchy feeling.
What does it make you think it should represent a tibetan dagger? Is it the horned dragon on the scabbard or the complete style of this thing?
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Old 18th July 2007, 08:47 AM   #5
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The overall design looks Tibetan.

This is an everyday herdsman's kinfe.
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Old 18th July 2007, 04:31 PM   #6
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I'm with Bill, the overall style is Tibetan/Bhutanese, althought the style of the mounts are not and the design features are a little off to be authentic for me.
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Old 18th July 2007, 04:37 PM   #7
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The blade seems a bit rough and not well finished, and the fullers are also shallow and not well made. I have a dagger made around 1990 for everyday use from the Tibetan/Chinese border region and it is quite different. The scabbard is plain brass with no designs, while the blade is thick and solid and well made with deeply cut fullers. The tang runs through the solid metal handle and is peened at the end. The point is also much less hurried looking. Even in the early 90s when there were no Westerners traveling in the area and not even that many Han Chinese, there were many knives in the market that looked like this (according to hearsay). They were not exactly tourist pieces, but perhaps more for status and show than use. Now of course eBay is flooded with such stuff.

Can anyone comment on the pommel style of this blade? It looks like a copy of Bhutanese styles to me.
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Old 18th July 2007, 05:13 PM   #8
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Hi Josh,

I got this from LionsGate at the Baltimore Arms Show. He said it was Bhutanese. Can you tell us the differences in Bhutanese and Tibetan?

Thanks, Bill
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Old 18th July 2007, 05:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Marsh
Hi Josh,

I got this from LionsGate at the Baltimore Arms Show. He said it was Bhutanese. Can you tell us the differences in Bhutanese and Tibetan?

Thanks, Bill


Bill

Tibet borders on Bhutan to the north east and north west so the lines start to get a little blurred when looking at these types of daggers.

Lew
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Old 18th July 2007, 05:27 PM   #10
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Bill,

That are some nice and better examples.

Josh,

The one I picked up didn't come from ebay. But that statement means nothing at all.

The tang of the knife runs trough the handle and is also peened at the end. The blade is thick and sturdy and still rather sharp. I can see traces of sharpening at the edge and the edge has some blunts as it was used to cut something with it.

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Old 18th July 2007, 08:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOUIEBLADES
Bill

Tibet borders on Bhutan to the north east and north west so the lines start to get a little blurred when looking at these types of daggers.

Lew


This is why I wondered how some sellers seem to say with such certainty it is Tibetan or Bhutanese.
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Old 18th July 2007, 08:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOUIEBLADES
Bill

Tibet borders on Bhutan to the north east and north west so the lines start to get a little blurred when looking at these types of daggers.

Lew


This is why I wondered how some sellers seem to say with such certainty it is Tibetan or Bhutanese.
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Old 19th July 2007, 03:56 PM   #13
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Well that last dagger has several elements that identify it as Bhutanese. The pommel is absolutely typical, and the blade looks like the hairpin folding has been highlighted with narrow shallow grooves which are also associated with Bhutanese styles. A classical Tibetan dagger would have the trefoil pommel, and very distinct dark and light lines of hairpin folding without grooves. That said, there are many mixtures of the two styles, and within the region of Tibetan influence there are many pommel styles beyond the trefoil. In "Warriors of the Himalayas" there are Tibetan swords with grooves cut in the blade, though they still look a bit fatter than most Bhutanese styles. Also in Phuntsho Rapten's "Patag-the symbol of heroes" there are several different styles of blades, ranging from those with no grooves to wide grooves to narrow grooves. In addition, Rapten mentions a trade with Tibet in Bhutanese pommels (price=one mule). Undoubtedly blades were also traded back and forth.

So while there are many areas of uncertainty, the last dagger has purely Bhutanese elements in a cohesive unit that is easily recognizable as Bhutanese. I would say the same about many Tibetan daggers.

About the first two daggers posted: I tried to convey the sense that while the fittings look like more energy was put into them than the blade, I would not at all assume they were meant for tourists or were never used. The first one shows quite a mixture of styles with a vaguely Bhutanese looking pommel, Chinese characters, and Tibetan brass work. The fullers have decorative lines at the ends similar to the "Unusual Tibetan saber" I recently posted. That saber also shows several influences. The brass work on the second dagger is better than the first, with a pommel that is even further evolved from a classic Bhutanese look. But once again, it looks like less time was spent on the blade than the fittings. This does not mean it could not have been used, just that use was secondary to show.

In the last dagger from Bhutan, is the tang peened at the pommel? It is something I have wondered about, and it does not show up in the usual pictures.
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Old 27th July 2007, 07:13 PM   #14
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Here is an example of a "Bhutanese" dagger with a more debatable origin. It shows the Bhutanese style handle, but in a form more similar to ones such as the first two posted. I wonder if it is not a Tibetan copy of a Bhutanese dagger.

http://www.sevenstarstrading.com/swords/?subpage=1414

Josh
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Old 27th July 2007, 07:47 PM   #15
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I have had a few of these when they were not in vogue a decade back or so. I like the one Bill post. Even old ones are not very old if you research the British encroachment into Butuan and Tibet. These fancy scabbard ones to me are very suspect and I would have nothing to do with them. I am kicking myself for parting with what I had. At the time nobody was that interested. That's life .
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Old 28th July 2007, 05:02 AM   #16
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Here is a nice example from my collection the hilt is made from local mountain sheep horn.

Lew
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Old 30th July 2007, 03:41 PM   #17
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That one is just lovely. Where would you say it is from?
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Old 30th July 2007, 05:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh stout
That one is just lovely. Where would you say it is from?
Josh



It's from Bhutan.


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Old 31st July 2007, 09:35 AM   #19
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Default It's a Chinese dagger, from Yunnan

Hello
Henk, your dagger is from China, because it is written on it, unless "yunnan" is not anymore a province of China ;-)

In fact, there are 4 caracters on you scabbard
yun hu sa nan (in this order)

The first and the last have to be read together as the size of their font show they are linked. In fact, they are smaller and from left to right, they mean simply "Yunnan", the province of China. At least, you know for sure the origin of this dagger.

The second and the third caracter, hum... It's something else.
"Hu" means family, house, clan
"sa" means to let go, to abandon, to escape

So there is many ways to understand it, but I see two very different. What is strange is that these two caracters are read from right to left to have the meaning I see. In the other way, from left to right, they remain a mystery.

First explanation, it's the name of a clan : the clan Sa.

Second explanation, there is a very rare Chinese proverb in four caracters that say : Use extreme means so that there is no way to escape (sa chueh hu wang)

The Chinese always reducing the four caracters sentences to two, the proverb in this way would become 'sa hu', exactly what is written on the scabbard. The precise translation in our case, adapted to the knife :
(This knife or the holder of this knife) use extreme means without anyway (for the prey or the opponent) to escape.

On the blade are carved exactly the two same caracters, linking the blade to the scabbard and emphasing on the fact that this blade leaves no way to escape for the one that is targeted.

Sorry, it seems a little esoteric, but I can't tell you more. At least, Henk, you know that your dagger is from Yunnan, China.

Nicolas
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Old 31st July 2007, 01:58 PM   #20
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Hello Nicolas,

Thank you so much for your translation. Indeed now I know the dagger is from Yunnan, China.

Two ways to understand the writing on the scabbard and dagger.
First one, it could be a dagger from the family or clan Sa, Yunnan or made in Yunnan.
Second one, the dagger is made in Yunnan and has both on blade and scabbard the saying, this blade leaves no way to escape for the one that is targeted.

Maybe it is a little bit esoteric, but I like it. It certainly gives another dimension to this dagger for me personally.

Thanks again, Nicolas
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Old 31st July 2007, 05:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOUIEBLADES
It's from Bhutan.


Lew

Thanks, the handle certainly has the Bhutanese shape, but as has been shown, some Tibetan daggers seem to have the same shape. What are the materials?

There does not seem to be anything about the blade itself that would be definitive either way that I can see. The elegant undecorated scabbard looks like what I have read about Bhatanese scabbards, but this example is the first I have seen of this particular type.
Thanks,
Josh
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Old 2nd January 2011, 10:46 AM   #22
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Default Husa Knife

Hi i the first knife must be an Achang knife which is also known as Husa knife Husa and Lasa areas of Longchuan County province of China . This sort of knife is well-forged and elaborately made, and very sharp, tensile, durable Sheaths made of wood, leather and silver i got one of those in silver with rusty blade but still sharp
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Old 3rd January 2011, 01:36 AM   #23
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IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THIS FORM OF DAGGER OR SWORD IS PRESENT IN BUTHAN, TIBET AND IN PARTS OF CHINA THAT ARE NEAR TIBET. I SAW QUITE A FEW NICE EXAMPLES IN CHENGDU CHINA YEARS AGO AND SOMETHING SIMULAR SAID TO BE A MONGOLIAN DAGGER/KNIFE. THESE DAGGERS ARE STILL BEING MADE BUT MANY WERE MADE BEFORE CHINA WAS OPEN TO TOURISTS AS WELL SO THEY WERE LIKELY TO HAVE BEEN USED ENTIRELY BY THE LOCALS. CHINA HAS NOT BEEN OPEN TO OUTSIDERS AND TOURISTS FOR LONG MY FIRST TRIP INTO RED CHINA WAS IN 1982 AND ALL THAT WAS ALLOWED AT THAT TIME WAS A DAY TRIP BY BUS FROM MACAU. THERE WAS NO PROVISION FOR BUYING ANYTHING EXCEPT AT ONE FRIEND-SHIP STORE THEY WERE STILL BUILDING. WE WERE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE CHINESE MONEY OR BUY ANYTHING ANYWHERE ELSE USING HONG KONG OR US DOLLARS. NO ONE WAS ALLOWED ANYWHERE NEAR TIBET AT THAT TIME.
SIMULAR ITEMS THRUOUT THE AREA IS NOT A GREAT SUPRIZE AS THERE ARE MANY MINORITY TRIBES WHO WERE NOMADIC AND TRAVELED ABOUT WITH THEIR FLOCKS. THERE ARE QUITE A FEW TRIBES IN CHINA WHO FAVOR THE DHA AS WELL.
THESE ARE JUST MY THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS ON IT AS I HAVE NO WRITTEN REFRENCE OR STUDY DONE ON THE SUBJECT.
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