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Old 9th September 2017, 08:07 PM   #1
rickystl
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Default Old Spanish Knife

Hello All.
I'm somewhat a novice with blade identification, and it's not in my normal relm of collecting. But something attracted me to this knife. I believe it's either Spanish or from the Canary Islands. It has an overall length of 12.25", with a blade length of 7.25", and a false back edge of 4.75". The edge is still somewhat sharp, but dull from age. Appears to have seen normal usage.
It would seem difficult to age these knives (?). But this one does "look" old. Any guesses to origin and age would be most appreciated.
There is a similar knife on Oriental Arms website, item # 14083, although a much better specimen. But the similarities appear obvious.

Thanks for any help, and thanks for looking.

Rick
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Old 9th September 2017, 08:09 PM   #2
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ONE MORE SHOWING THE BACK EDGE. AND TWO AFTER A QUICK LIGHT OIL CLEANING. LOOKS ABOUT THE SAME LOL..........
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Old 10th September 2017, 10:10 AM   #3
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I think this is a Spanish dagger made in the city of Albacete, http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16512
Nice Piece
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Old 10th September 2017, 05:00 PM   #4
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No doubr this is an Albacete cuchillo. Whether it is old is not so easy to say as to confirm its origin.
In INTRODUION AL ESTUDIO DE LA CUCHILLERIA ARTISTICA DE ALBACETE, de José Sanchez Ferrer, you will find similar examples, those being from the XVIII century, but regretfully your example is no so old, i am afraid. Looks like the handle was made of two parts and one of them might have been slightly turned, as the decoration doesn't match.


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Old 10th September 2017, 05:45 PM   #5
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Thank you guys for the spot on I.D.!!! What is best is that for those of us not especially well informed on these knives, the link and elaboration with notes really helps a lot. I had no idea what this was even seeing them many times, but in just two entries, the I.D. is sunk in!!!
Thank you!
Even if not old, nice example Ricky, thanks for sharing it.
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Old 10th September 2017, 06:03 PM   #6
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Hello Corrado and Fernando.

Thank you very much for the identification. Much appreciated. It's always nice to be able to make a positive ID. OK, so mine is not likely to be as old as I had hoped. LOL That will occassionaly happen. It seems with the evidence you present that this knife style was made for a fairly long period. They must have been popular. Yes, the handle cover is a two-piece brass affair. While the handle holds firm, the two brass pieces are slightly loose and will twist around. I can tell there is wood under the brass so I suspect wood shrinkage. The reason for the mis-match of the engraving.

Thanks again for the help.

Rick
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Old 10th September 2017, 07:35 PM   #7
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One more note should be added. This is the type of knife often confused with hunting (plug) bayonets, due to collectors misguidance caused by some well (?) intentioned sellers.
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Old 11th September 2017, 10:09 AM   #8
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The hilts in the fotos above are IMO made of two pieces too. This is as I think necessary because only in this way you are able to bring a fitting piece of wood in the interior of the hilt.
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Old 11th September 2017, 10:46 AM   #9
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Nothing in contrary .
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Old 16th September 2017, 03:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Thank you guys for the spot on I.D.!!! What is best is that for those of us not especially well informed on these knives, the link and elaboration with notes really helps a lot. I had no idea what this was even seeing them many times, but in just two entries, the I.D. is sunk in!!!
Thank you!
Even if not old, nice example Ricky, thanks for sharing it.

Hi Jim.

Thanks for your coments. Yes, I too couldn't believe how fast I received a positive I.D. in just two posts. LOL Doesn't always happen that way. Just my good fortune in this instance.

Rick
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Old 16th September 2017, 03:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
One more note should be added. This is the type of knife often confused with hunting (plug) bayonets, due to collectors misguidance caused by some well (?) intentioned sellers.

Thanks Fernando.

Yes, I can visualize this being confused as a plug type bayonet. It does seem that this handle/hilt style remained popular for a long time. I've seen photos of different blade shapes, still retaining this style of handle/grip.

Rick
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Old 16th September 2017, 03:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26
The hilts in the fotos above are IMO made of two pieces too. This is as I think necessary because only in this way you are able to bring a fitting piece of wood in the interior of the hilt.
corrado26

Hi Corrado.

It appears the wood portion is one piece, with the two brass pieces installed over the wood and peened tight using a small brass cap on the end.

Since this knife is not very "old", I could take the option of having the wood portion replaced with a new piece of European walnut and reassemble offering a firm grip. Would not be a difficult job having the old wood as a pattern.

What do you guys think ?

Rick
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Old 16th September 2017, 04:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
... I've seen photos of different blade shapes, still retaining this style of handle/grip...

Yes, the same grip would fit both knives (cuchillos) and puñales (daggers).
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Old 16th September 2017, 05:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
One more note should be added. This is the type of knife often confused with hunting (plug) bayonets, due to collectors misguidance caused by some well (?) intentioned sellers.



In the wonderfully informative book "The Plug Bayonet" by the late Roger Evans, it is noted that the plug bayonet, or its form, remained in use for many years as a hunting knife actually long after its use in its original manner of use in the gun had ended.

In looking at this interesting knife of the OP, the form also recalls that of the Chilean 'corvo'. The spectrum of Spanish knives is to me, one of the most intriguing and dynamic in often subtle cross influences.
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Old 16th September 2017, 06:20 PM   #15
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Yes indeed, Jim ...
The 'transference' of the plug bayonet from military to civilan was firstly due to its basic resource purpose; to 'plug' it in the hunter's musket barrel after firing its (single) shot, in defence of a wounded game charge ... like boars, for one, would often do. Only later with the advent of multi shot rifles, this bayonet became more of a game cutting tool and soon ended as a wealthy hunters adornment.

I guess i wouldn't personaly associate Albacete knives with Chilean Corvos. As the name tells (corvo=curved), their characteristic blade shape is what makes a difference in its own.
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Old 17th September 2017, 08:49 AM   #16
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chilean corvos, their national knife, from the latin 'corvus' - 'raven' or 'crow', referring mostly to it's beak, roman war ships developed a 'corvus' to defeat the cartaginian navy. unfamiliar with naval warfare, the romans were doing badly ast sea, so they brought mass production and infantry warfare to cure the problem. a damaged cathagenian warship was recovered, brought to the naval yards at ostia, disassembled, parts numbered and marked and they proceeded to mass produce each part, then assembled them in reverse order of the disassembly, producing a fleet in weeks rather than months.

they then added a 'corvus', a boarding ramp on a pivot near the bow that could be positioned over the side of a carthaginian ship, then dropped, a sharp large hooked steel spike, the 'beak' of the raven, drove into the planking of the deck and held it fast for an infantry assault by roman legionaries. bye-bye carthage.

a modern army issue corvo is also included below. like an arab jambiyah or moroccan koumiyah, the primary edge is inside the curve and used with the point down, also like the slightly larger roman corvus.
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Old 17th September 2017, 12:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
... chilean corvos, their national knife, from the latin 'corvus' - 'raven' or 'crow', referring mostly to it's beak ...

Not the cuervo=raven, Wayne, but the curved=corvo .

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Old 17th September 2017, 05:16 PM   #18
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i blame google: i shall fire off an error report to them.

i also blame hannibal and julius caesar and all the countries that have mangled latin into the babel of romance languages.

how anyone understands anyone else is a mystery.

p.s. - we have a 'curved', er, crow, living in a leylandii in our garden. poppy visits it every time we go out there walking, and stares at it by pushing into the branches around the base. the bird is not amused. poppy never barks or tries to attack it there tho.
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Old 17th September 2017, 05:51 PM   #19
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The problem is that you got a translation from the portuguese, in which Corvo is a crow; whereas in castillian Corvo means curved and Cuervo is the one living in your garden; subtle differences beween similar (not equal) languages.
On the other hand, Hannibal and Caesar, after a dozen pints of bitter would tell that the beak of your corvu has a curvu shape .


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Old 17th September 2017, 11:30 PM   #20
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Since we all enjoy linguistics so much, let me throw in another, uh, 'curve'.

Again, travelling through these states these past months, in Montana we drove through the Absaroka Range of mountains. I was curious to know what the word meant. We are in regions of the Crow tribe, and learned that Absaroka apparently was a Hidatsa (tribes to east of here in Dakotas) word for 'children of the big beaked bird' which also I have seen as curved beak.
This could mean either raven or crow if used indiscriminately, as often occurs in transliterations and descriptions cross linguistically.

These two birds are of the genus 'corvus' which seems to mean curved as well, and wonder if the term applies to the beak of these, even though the raven has the more curved.

If this is the case, then although 'corvus' means curved in Spanish, perhaps the meaning might have been extended to the avian meaning as it seems to be in some other instances.

A quandary indeed.
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Old 18th September 2017, 11:00 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
...Since we all enjoy linguistics so much ...

So true Jim; only that in this corner there exists no anathema for non academic terms; all corruptions allowed .
I guess we are dealing with heirs of two distinct etymologies here; corvu/s is a bird which name comes from the Indo-Europeia KOR-, as imitative of his croaking (onomatopoeic); whereas Corvo (portuguese curvo from latin curvu) means curved, bent, arcuate. So you have a cuchillo corvo and a navaja corva.
And as i read out there, connotating a bird with a corvo (curved) beak is more in the instance of those with a more accentuated curved extremity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
...A quandary indeed.

I hope it is a bit 'unquanderied' now ... as i hope you din't fall asleep during this boring injection .
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Old 18th September 2017, 04:58 PM   #22
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LOL! Not a chance of dropping off in your entries Nando!
As always I very much appreciate your 'unquandriment' (not sure that's a word ) and I love to learn....so your patient explanations are a win, win deal to me.

I did not know about the croaking thing (I think of frogs) but that does well describe the loud sounds these often huge birds make. I admit I rather liked the crow/raven analogy, and especially presently being in the Native American frame of mind with their uses of it.

Actually in another digression, the term corvo always in a phonetic sense brings to mind the well known tequila (ta kill ya, in Southern Calif. beach party parlance some years back) Jose Cuervo, which often had more of an octane rating than a proof number.
Whether margaritas or shots, that stuff would throw ya for a loop (curve?)

While tedious at times, sometimes the dynamics and color of these linguistic anomalies really do add some dimension to these weapon terms.
Around here....always learning ....that's a good thing.
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Old 18th September 2017, 06:30 PM   #23
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I keep telling the dudes that surround me that, if it weren't for this hobby, i wouldn't have acquired an infinitesimal slice of the general culture i have gathered... linguistics included .
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Old 18th September 2017, 06:58 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
...

Actually in another digression, the term corvo always in a phonetic sense brings to mind the well known tequila (ta kill ya, in Southern Calif. beach party parlance some years back) Jose Cuervo, which often had more of an octane rating than a proof number.
Whether margaritas or shots, that stuff would throw ya for a loop (curve?)

While tedious at times, sometimes the dynamics and color of these linguistic anomalies really do add some dimension to these weapon terms.
Around here....always learning ....that's a good thing.


my early exposure to spanish was of course flavoured by the colonial version spoken south of the border, in my years in texas and california. also flavoured by liberal internal applications of the above mentioned tequilla (in margharitas). what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

surprise! when i got to valencia on a summer training cruise, they all lithp their S's! apparently, one of the royals way back had a lisp, so rather than embarrass him and lose their heads, everyone around him always lisped too. it became fashionable, and the custom perpetuates to this day, but never made it to the new world. so for a few days i was called by the local female wildlife as 'that crazy mexican'. the portugese also seems to have resisted the lisp.
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Old 29th September 2017, 08:12 PM   #25
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LOL!!!!! Can't believe my Thread started all this !!! But interesting.

Rick
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Old 30th September 2017, 07:02 PM   #26
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That's how things are here, Rick; wild .
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