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Old 8th July 2005, 04:29 AM   #1
45Auto
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Default Bronze Dagger







Any idea of what this bronze dagger might be? I have never seen anything like it.

The owner thinks it is extremely old (1,000 years) but I have no idea.

Another question, language is cast into it?

Thanks,
Greg
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Old 8th July 2005, 09:09 AM   #2
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I dont think bronze was still a material used 1000 years ago by bladesmiths. it had been many decades since the development of much cheaper and stronger iron technology (1000s B.C. perhaps lets say 500 years later in China). So it must be at least 2500 yrs old if original. And it seems too new for that age to me. Not patinated at all, and details fresh . they should have become a bit or more erroded depending on the composition of the soil it has rested in till it was found. Too many Chinese bronze fakes are sold on internet and I am afraid this one seems very much like one of them.
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Old 8th July 2005, 03:30 PM   #3
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The owner says it came home from WWII in a G.I. footlocker, which may indicate that it's at least a 60 year old copy of..... what ? . Good point about the extent of oxidation, etc.

Anyway, is the writing on this item an early form of Chinese?

Thanks,
Greg
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Old 9th July 2005, 03:32 AM   #4
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My guess would be more african ? May be an imitation of ancient egyptian daggers ? The "language" seems like a collection of pictogramms, but they look obviously non-egyptian, so it can be an imitation ?
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Old 9th July 2005, 05:24 AM   #5
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The owner says it came home from WWII in a G.I. footlocker, which may indicate that it's at least a 60 year old copy of..... what ?

It implies that, but he didn't actually say that. If I have a footlooker and throw something in it, does that make it 60 years old?

Chinese antiques are notoriously faked. If you found an intact 2500-3500 year old object; would you toss it in a locker and forget about it? The real ones are usually found in official dig and very well documented. This is not the kind of thing that survives unless it is preserved in a very secure location (like a tomb). From the pictures I would be bothered by the abondance of sharp straight lines; nature hates a straight line and will always do its best to wear it away.

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Old 9th July 2005, 01:08 PM   #6
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Greg:

I'm unclear whether you believe this is a solid bronze dagger or just the hilt is bronze. It is dificult to tell from the pictures, but the blade is definitely a different color, with staining and mild corrosion, and I believe I can see evidence of lamination. That would make the blade steel rather than bronze, would it not?

A steel blade with a bronze hilt suggests something different from what we have been discussing.

Ian.
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Old 9th July 2005, 01:31 PM   #7
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Hi Gregg

Your dagger is a nice copy cast in bronze. These daggers if original would be 2000 yrs old and there are no signs of wear and the patina seems to be applied. Hopefully you did not spend too much on this dagger.


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Old 9th July 2005, 01:36 PM   #8
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I am wiling to bet that this is, how shall I put it, a recent Chinese decorative reproduction of Shang or Zhou dynasty, centuries BC anyway, bronze weapon. Ebay is full of them. A real one would boost your pension fund just a little. Tim
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Old 9th July 2005, 02:14 PM   #9
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I'm with Tim on this one. Those characters look like some version of Chinese, not African characters (hieroglpyhs?)

More importantly, the truly fresh-minted condition of a weapon that (if genuine) would be, oh, 2,000 years old or so, kinda makes me think that it's a bit more recent. It might well have been found in an expedition to EBay country, for instance.

F
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Old 9th July 2005, 02:48 PM   #10
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This is Chinese with copied ancient Chinese script. Ancient Chinese script was more pictographic in nature because it came from pictographs.
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Old 9th July 2005, 03:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
This is Chinese with copied ancient Chinese script. Ancient Chinese script was more pictographic in nature because it came from pictographs.
You mean, like in a cartoon, when someone swears, you see dark clouds, daggers, lightening, sculls and so on.
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Old 10th July 2005, 01:49 PM   #12
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The characters could approximate some ancient Chinese script, but I have a feeling they are just gibberish. Some of the characters just look out of place, like the "hourglass" character.
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Old 12th July 2005, 08:55 PM   #13
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Hi everyone. Sorry I was away from my own post for so long. Thanks for your insight regarding this dagger.

I discussed with the owner your various observations. The owner has some additional information:

The blade and handle are cast of the same metal.

Another collector told the owner that he thought it looked like it came from Tibet. He was told that the writing on the blade may be an early form of Tibetan writing of about 300 + years ago. However, the other collector did not get back with him regardng the writing.

The patina is deaper and does not look applied. There is a sort of blueish oxidation under the bronze oxidation. It appears the dagger was never under the ground, but was more likely kept as a ceramonial item above ground.


Thanks,
Greg

Last edited by 45Auto : 12th July 2005 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 12th July 2005, 10:28 PM   #14
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Hate to say, I have seen Tibetan script and even old Tibetan script - don't think it is Tibetan. I am more inclined with BluErf - Chinese jibberish.

Also, they stick some of these things in the most acidic soil they can find - the fakers I mean - and can get real looking patina for half of the age. I may be wrong, but I am on the side of a copy. Best to take it to a museum or "experts" who can see this thing up close and in person.
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Old 13th July 2005, 12:23 AM   #15
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Here's a general source to help with identifying scripts:

http://www.omniglot.com
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Old 13th July 2005, 12:28 AM   #16
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Question 45

How did you come to purchase this piece .
Friend , ebay , estate sale , antique store , other ?
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Old 13th July 2005, 09:06 AM   #17
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Battara, thats very interesting. i knew an artificial,too fresh kind of green patina is given by chemicals, but never thought that it was possible to give better,more natural looking patina under soil in a short time. do u have any picture of such "naturally" patinated fakes? do they look like real bronze age items after the process? how long time does that kind of patination take?
regards

Last edited by erlikhan : 13th July 2005 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 13th July 2005, 10:53 PM   #18
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It all depends on the soil conditions. Now, under strong magnification, it will be easier to see differences in natural and faked patinas. I would hesitate to give too many details because I don't have the pieces nor pictures with me, and second.....I know (as we on this forum have discussed in earlier posts) there are fakers that peruse this forum to improve their "craft".

I'll just say that I have lost interest in Luristan pieces, for example, because I have seen really good fakes where I could scarcely tell the difference in the green and brown patinas present (probably gave away too much information right there ).
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