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Old 7th December 2020, 10:07 PM   #2
Yvain's Avatar
Join Date: May 2017
Location: France
Posts: 116

Now for the technical part (and more pictures !) : this knife is most likely from the beginning of the 20th century. The blade is locally made and very finely forged, with two deep fullers on each sides rejoining in a central ridge before the point. It exhibits the classic asymmetrical shape of the Afar gile, although shorter than most example, and is still very sharp. This is a stiff blade, with a pronounced diamond section at the tip. The tang is full length, and pinned at the end of the pommel.

The hilt is made of simple dark horn, most likely buffalo. The “guard plate” is made of brass, as is the spacer separating the two parts of the hilt, and the three pronged pommel. The pommel was most likely cast, then finely filed and polished (notice the octagonal central prong); surprisingly, it bears a simple but carefully incised cross on one side of the pommel, though I have no idea what it signification might be. The end of the central prong bears a thick copper washer, on which the tang is pinned. The hilt, with its three pronged pommel, is of a very classical Somali design found on many billao from the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th century. The grip thickens progressively towards the pommel, making it very ergonomical and easy to maneuver.

This is a very simple but finely crafted knife, that was obviously made to be used, and still feels very effective in the hand ; the slight inward curve would allow for very efficient cuts, and the shape of the blade permits effortless thrust, as there is no need to bend the wrist to do so. There is some very minor blade damages in some areas, suggesting that this blade was effectively used against another blade.

Weight : 152 grams

Total length : 30,7cm

Hilt length (pommel included) : 12,7cm

Hilt length (pommel excluded) : 10cm
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