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Old 17th December 2008, 01:53 PM   #1
spiral
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Default Unusual Indian Hindu Gods Dagger?

Well heres a strange beast I just picked up, Hollow ground blade could perhaps be European? slight forging fissures visible though so not realy sure, Did Indians make straight daggers?

Handle is mostly Silver, Gilt & gold & possibly a gilded Brass crossguard.{not certan.] It is set with alluvial rubies I think {one missing.} or perhaps just Garnets? decorated with numerous Hindu Gods & Goddess & symbols.Great workmanship.

Any info on the Gods etc. appreciated, also I am curios where this piece is from, South India? I am guessing Coorg or Sri Lanka due to handle, but it so unusual I dont know, Perhaps Malaysia or Indonesia even? Or somewhere else?

Anyone ever seen anything similar? What sort of date is it?

Any info & all opinions & observations welcome.


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Old 17th December 2008, 01:54 PM   #2
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Old 17th December 2008, 01:54 PM   #3
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Old 17th December 2008, 05:33 PM   #4
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SUPERB WORKMANSHIP ON THE HANDLE IN THE THIRD PICTURE THE COLOR OF THE STONES APPEARS TO BE PROPER FOR RUBIES OFTEN USED IN SIRI LANKA, IN OTHER CLOSER PICTURES THEY LOOK MORE LIKE GARNET COLOR. I HAVE SEEN ONE PIECE FROM SIRI LANKA (CEYLON) WITH SILVER AND GOLD WORK OF THIS QUALITY SO THAT QUALITY OF WORK HAS BEEN DONE SO IT IS A POSSIBLE ORIGIN.
THE KNIFE BLADE IS NOT THE USUAL FORM SO PERHAPS IT WAS CUSTOM MADE FOR A FORIGNER OF HIGH RANK BY HIS ORDER OR FOR PRESENTATION.
CONGRADULATIONS ITS A BEAUTY
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Old 17th December 2008, 06:29 PM   #5
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OMG its beautiful. I am speechless. If you ever need a kidney, I will gladly swap you one for it.

The 'face of Glory' Makara, is like the ones on my temple bowl:
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Old 17th December 2008, 07:30 PM   #6
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Never seen a piece like this - it is wonderous. Yes I too think it is Sri Lankan.
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Old 17th December 2008, 08:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Never seen a piece like this - it is wonderous. Yes I too think it is Sri Lankan.


Yes, I meant to add I also agree with the Sri-Lankan origin.
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Old 18th December 2008, 12:21 PM   #8
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The handle kind of reminds me of Burmese or Thai carved ivory handles where all the figures/faces are tightly grouped together.
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Old 18th December 2008, 05:05 PM   #9
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Thank you chaps for your comments & input, I agree it is a wonderous piece & Sri Lanken does seem most likely to me.

I ran throught the same analisis styles I think RSword! Thats what made me wonder about the Archipeligo as well!

But saying that the handle shape,construction & floral work is very phia katta in style I think, I was thrown by the handguard & straight blade though.
I did wonder if blade was later but cant imagine a khanjar type blade with this guard though? Also the condition of handle is near perfect so doesnt imply a blade change would be neccasary for such an obviously cared for piece.

If this handle is that similar to a phia katta I guess for its quality it takes the age range back a very long way?

Vandoo the stones do appear nearest the colour shown in the third photo , { the colour of the red velvet backing is also most accurate in that photo.}although one is darker than the others. The gold ring & floral backing behind the guard appear to be solid gold not gilt. What type of piece did you see that reminds you of this one?

The guard appears to be a light colored brass possibly once gilded. The joined heads & hands feature is gilded, the majority of the handle is silver , the finial appears to be gold but not as pure as the ring.

This piece still posses more questians I think, but either way I am glad I found it! I wonder where its scabbard is today?

Anyone aware of the meaningof the 4 men with interlocked arms?

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Old 22nd December 2008, 01:07 AM   #10
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Sorry, I just wanted another look and thought it deserves a BUMP.

I've asked Santa if he can find one like it for me......

Cant be much help on the ornamentation, but the 'face of glory' Makara mask is an interesting field of study on its own.
I really love the bowl I have so delved into the image a little and found an interesting site whre a chap has traced the 'Greem Man' image back through history and has conjectured a link to the Makara image (which seems lieky IMHO). Have alook at the page, or at least the one that covers the 'green man' in India. Searching on the Makara image might be a starting point for the other parts of the design, google face of glory, makara etc and see if you come acropss any other designs that show similarities?

green man/makara page
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Old 22nd December 2008, 04:21 AM   #11
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THE SWORD I SAW WAS A KASTANCE AND THE EYES OF THE MONSTERS WERE RUBYS AND THE HANDLE SOLID SILVER. THE BLADE WAS BLACK WITH STABLE RUST AND UNFORTUNATELY THERE WAS NO SCABBARD. THE QUALITY OF WORKMANSHIP WAS ON A LEVEL WITH YOUR DAGGER BUT THE DESIGN WAS PURE CEYLON (SIRI LANKA) STYLE LIKE ALL KASTANCE SWORDS I HAVE SEEN. I SAW IT AT A GUN SHOW IN THE MID 1970'S BUT DIDN'T HAVE THE MONEY AND COULD NOT INTEREST THE DEALER IN TRADING FOR CIVIL WAR SWORDS.
JUST TO MAKE SOME GUESSES ON THE DESIGN OF YOUR DAGGER. IT IS POSSIBLE THE TOP LARGE MALE FACE IS LORD RAMA AND THE FEMALE BELOW HIM WITH THE CROWN IS HIS WIFE SITA. PERHAPS THE 4 MALE FIGURES ENTANGLED ARE MEN, MONKEYS AND DEAMONS FIGHTING. THE FEMALE FIGURE BELOW THAT DOES NOT HAVE A CROWN AND DOSEN'T LOOK LIKE A DEAMON SO I CAN'T EVEN GUESS AS TO WHO SHE MIGHT BE. THESE CARACTERS COME FROM THE RAMAYANA STORYS AND DO VARY IN DIFFERENT AREAS WHERE THE HINDU RELIGION IS OR HAS BEEN.
IN BALI THERE IS A LION BARONG WHICH IS THE KING OF THE SPIRITS AND ALWAYS FIGHTS ON THE SIDE OF GOOD AGAINST EVIL. PERHAPS THE LION LIKE FACE AT THE TOP REPRESENTS THE BARONG. THEY DO EXCELLENT QUALITY METAL WORK IN BALI AND THE HANDLE SHAPE ON YOUR KNIFE REMINDS ME MORE OF A KERIS THAN A PHIA. SO BALI IS ANOTHER POSSIBILITY AS I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL SOLID SILVER KERIS THERE AND SIMULAR STONES SET IN THE TOP QUALITY ITEMS. I HAVE EVEN SEEN 2 KERIS THAT HAD SOLID SILVER BLADES AS WELL.
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Old 6th January 2009, 06:27 PM   #12
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Sorry chaps , been rather busy over the festive period!

Thankyou Atlantia, for bump & input.

Cheers Vandoo! Great input, Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

So all though Sri Lanka seems the popular choice, we still cant rule out Bali it seems. Fascinating!

Do he workman in Bali build out of many sections put together ? the gold ring holding the stones is separate but beutifully fitted over part of the silver & gilt handle, but other pieces show silver & one gold pin heads apparently holding evrything onto an inner core? Ive seen such work on many Piha kattas but have only ever handled 3 keris, so its not in my minds knowledge base.

Has anyone examples of similar keris handles? Could the cast guard & dagger blades be later editions to a keris handle perhaps? Although the guard appears exactly made for this piece it doesnt rule out the adaption of a Keris handle with a custom made guard Euro blade perhaps?

All input welcome!

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