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Old 28th December 2008, 03:53 AM   #1
trenchwarfare
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Default Northwest Coast Native American (Indian) Knife?

Picked up this knife off ebay a while back, from a seller in Hawaii. Looks Northwest Coast Native American to me. Hilt is Ivory, I assume Walrus. Blade is over 10" long, and looks like it was salvaged from an old dagger, or spear point. Eyes have Abalone inlays. Looks to be very old. Patina doesn't look artificial to me. Any info, much appreciated. M.P.
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Old 28th December 2008, 07:48 AM   #2
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It is very hard to tell anything from these pics too large, not clear and only on side shown. At first glance the blade looks African to me?
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Old 29th December 2008, 02:50 PM   #3
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Default More Pictures

Added some more crappy pictures. Would like a second opinion at least, before this post gets lost to time.
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Old 29th December 2008, 03:31 PM   #4
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Hi Trench.

Doesn't look like it's from the Pacific Northwest to me either. These would look better with the resolution considerably reduced.

Why do you think it's old?

Anyway, I could almost, sort of, believe aleut, but I'm thinking art piece. It's missing the formalisms of PNW work (at least that I can tell). More importantly, all those holes in the hilt mean that it's not designed to stand up to a lot of stress.

My 0.002

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Old 29th December 2008, 04:23 PM   #5
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Sorry about the picture quality. My camera is an antique, and so are my picture taking skills. 40+ years of collecting, and examining edged weapons, makes me think it's old. If it's a patinated repro, or outright fake, it's REALLY good work. So your saying more north towards Alaska? Definently a votive, or ceremonial piece. The beak has been broken, twice. Do you know of any reference to similar knives? Thanks, M.P.
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Old 29th December 2008, 04:26 PM   #6
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Hi All,

I think it was made to be in the style of the Northwest Pacific coast. As Tim stated the blade looks like a Seme blade. It does not appear consistent with the a Pacific coast made blade, or any trade blade. I would try the hot pin test on the hilt it looks like plastic to my eye.

Hoe this helps
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Old 29th December 2008, 04:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff D
Hi All,

I think it was made to be in the style of the Northwest Pacific coast. As Tim stated the blade looks like a Seme blade. It does not appear consistent with the a Pacific coast made blade, or any trade blade. I would try the hot pin test on the hilt it looks like plastic to my eye.

Hoe this helps
Jeff

Blade does look similar to Somali style. Also any number of other daggers, pikes, or whaling inplements. Hilt is ivory, not plastic. As stated, pictures are bad. M.P.
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Old 29th December 2008, 06:36 PM   #8
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The handle looks as if it is possibly bone. I still feel that this is an African blade. I would very much like to be wrong.
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Old 29th December 2008, 07:26 PM   #9
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Hi Tim,

The blade could be African, but it's too short to be a seme (10", right MP?). Trouble is, leaf shaped blades are common from many places. For instance, it could also be a rebuilt spear blade, although I don't think that's likely.

So what do we have? A lanceolate blade with two edges, little or no sign of work wear, pitting consistent with rust near the top of the blade, but it has no makers marks that I see, and the rust and blade have been cleaned so that there's no patina to date it.

The hilt materials are ivory (or bone) and abalone (or MOP) eyes, and it looks like there are leather lashings. The hilt looks sort of like a raven. None of these are unique to the Pacific Northwest.

What I'm not seeing is something that unequivocally says PNW. It could be, but it could be Aleut or possibly Inuit. Or it could be someone trying to mimic the style. In any case, it looks 20th Century, and I'd guess that it was built for art rather than for war or work.
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Old 29th December 2008, 07:53 PM   #10
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Well I never mentioned a "seme" I still think the blade is African. This is hard to say why convincingly through a PC. There are just subtleties to the blade like colour, form, the type of edge, that to me scream Central Africa. As I said I do hope I am wrong.
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Old 29th December 2008, 08:29 PM   #11
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Hi All,

Tim seme was my suggestion, as fearn suggests 10" is too short. I mentioned it only in passing as I have never seen a "leaf blade" on any PNW weapons. The hilt is an attempt at PNW style but without the usual execution. A combo of the posted hilts below. The abalone is a commonly used west coast material. I do not think it is bone as I cannot see any pores (sites of previous blood vessels). It doesn't appear hollow as well. Impossible to tell what it is from the pictures. I suggest plastic as there appears to be a few small bubbles. What does the end where the blade attaches look like? solid? porous?

all the best
Jeff
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Old 29th December 2008, 09:08 PM   #12
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Hilt is solid, where the blade enters it. There are growth rings visible. No open pores, or straight grain, like you see in bone. I don't know the origin of the blade. Looks like it was heavily pitted, before being fitted to the handle. PNW was just a guess, way out of my area. The hilt is however, ivory, not plastic, not bone.
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Old 29th December 2008, 09:18 PM   #13
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Doesn't it remind the "bird-head" dha ( OK, Andrew: Darb!)
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Old 29th December 2008, 09:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Doesn't it remind the "bird-head" dha ( OK, Andrew: Darb!)

Similar, but not quite.

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Old 30th December 2008, 03:48 AM   #15
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You can find some more NW blades for comparison on this thread:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=tlingit
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Old 30th December 2008, 05:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
You can find some more NW blades for comparison on this thread:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=tlingit

Thanks David.
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Old 19th January 2009, 04:00 PM   #17
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Default Unknown Knife

Bumped to top. Any futher comments? New comments? Would really like to find out what this is. Now that I know what it's not. M.P.
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Old 19th January 2009, 10:48 PM   #18
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the knife seems like its in good shape.
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