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Old 22nd October 2021, 07:52 AM   #1
vantique
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Default Small wavy dagger

Hi guys,

Need your expertise on this wavy dagger. It's small, only 8 7/8 inches long, both blade and handle are almost 4 1/2 inches in length, the widest part of the blade is 5/8th of an inch. It's made of metal.. , brass or bronze. Is it a real dagger? I'm hoping that it's not a letter opener!Thank you so very much.😊
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Old 22nd October 2021, 01:57 PM   #2
Ian
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vantique,

Can you clarify please whether the blade is a copper alloy or iron/steel. It appears to be steel from the pictures. If you are unsure, stick a magnet on the blade--the magnet will not attach to a copper alloy like brass or bronze.

An interesting knife. Look forward to your clarification on the blade.

Ian.
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Old 22nd October 2021, 02:41 PM   #3
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Hi Ian,

Thank you for the swift reply. Much appreciated. The magnet sticks to the blade and pommel but not to the cross guard nor the handle. Also, I want to make 2 corrections : widest part of handle is 5/8 of an inch and the widest part of
the blade is 7/8 of an inch (near crossguard) . Here also is another picture which shows colors more faithful to the actual dagger. Thank you and am really looking forward to your opinion.
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Old 23rd October 2021, 11:01 PM   #4
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Hi vantique.

Thanks for the clarification. You have a small, wavy-bladed steel knife with a full length tang, and brass hilt and guard. That helps narrow the field a bit.

I'm going to stick my neck out here and suggest that this is an old knife from northern or central Luzon in the Philippines. The brass/bronze on the central part of the hilt shows wear from handling, indicating use over a lengthy period. The hilt is in two cast sections, with the lower section cracked longitudinally. The damage looks old judging from wear to the edges of the crack. Banded areas on the brass hilt are decorated with cross hatching, consistent with the geographic areas mentioned above. The guard is elliptical and "lobulated," again consistent with the regions noted. Lastly, the hilt is fixed by a small "knob" attached to the end of the tang, a feature also found in the areas mentioned.

Ethnically, I think this one is likely Ilokano in manufacture and may well date from the 19th C—a small concealable knife that was not used as a letter opener.
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Old 24th October 2021, 08:40 AM   #5
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Hi Ian,

Yippee! I am extremely delighted with your
findings, all of which are supported by your very keen eye and knowledge on its style, materials used, details and condition. The seller said it came from Cebu, Philippines. Am I pressing my luck too much to think that it is an insurrection/ katipunan dagger? I know that these are high hopes for something that days ago I suspected to be a lowly 'letter opener'😊😊. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your effort.
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Old 25th October 2021, 07:11 PM   #6
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Hi vantique,

Your dagger could be from the Insurrection period although there is nothing to suggest that it was tied specifically to the Kattipunan. It is possible too that it is older than the 1890s.

Small knives like this one may also have been carried by women.

Ian
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Old 26th October 2021, 01:50 AM   #7
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Default Similar Hilt

Ian,

Thanks for the information. As you can see, the hilt on my dagger is very similar even though the pommel, cross guard, and blade are very different. I had always thought that my stiletto was from the Philippines but it is good to have that confirmed.

Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 26th October 2021, 02:09 AM   #8
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Hi Rob,

I took the liberty of blowing up the hilt of your dagger and confirmed that it has similar cross hatching on the "bands." There appears to be small nub at the end of the hilt suggesting a full length tang. I think your example is also likely to be Ilokano and from a similar period as the one posted by vantique.

Ian.


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Old 26th October 2021, 04:07 PM   #9
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Thanks Ian, Rob too... confirmation of your dagger is likewise a validation of mine. Mine weighs just under 100 grams. I'm visualizing a woman of the 1890's carrying such a weapon - a lightweight easily concealed on her person, while going about her business during the Spanish occupation in the Philippines.🤔
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Old 26th October 2021, 10:32 PM   #10
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Default Probably A Through Tang

Ian,

I am pretty sure you are correct about the tang. The end of the hilt is simply a brass washer held in place by a steel pin (I used a magnet) so I suspect that the pin is actually the tang because if it were just a pin to hold the washer in place it would more logically be made of brass.

Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 27th October 2021, 12:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobT View Post
... The end of the hilt is simply a brass washer held in place by a steel pin (I used a magnet) so I suspect that the pin is actually the tang because if it were just a pin to hold the washer in place it would more logically be made of brass...
That makes sense. It is a form of hilt attachment seen in northern and central Luzon.
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