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Old 14th July 2021, 07:20 PM   #1
Cerjak
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Default need help with an all-steel Chopper.

I would appreciate help from a forum member to identify what appears to be a weapon rather than a tool.
There is some paint residue on the pommel as well as traces of copper. In Stone's book I haven't really found a similar example, so I'm leaning towards an Indian origin.
Weight: 2254 g ; Overall length: 65.5 cm ; Blade length: 41.7cm
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Old 14th July 2021, 07:23 PM   #2
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Old 14th July 2021, 07:32 PM   #3
Ian
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Hi Cerjak,

Your item is (somewhat) reminiscent of a Moplah chopper from the Malabar coast of India.

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Old 14th July 2021, 07:44 PM   #4
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Hi Iain

I am well aware that dating this type of weapon is difficult.
but do you have any idea of the age?
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Old 14th July 2021, 10:20 PM   #5
David R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerjak View Post
Hi Iain

I am well aware that dating this type of weapon is difficult.
but do you have any idea of the age?
Well it looks to be engraved or chiselled rather than etched, so I think it's earlier rather than later.
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Old 15th July 2021, 03:37 AM   #6
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Hi Cerjak,


I have another small example with engraved designs that was discussed here. As far as age, I think your example is older than mine. I thought mine may have been second half of the 19th C, so I would say your chopper could be early 19th C, or even 18th C. As you note, the dating of such pieces is very difficult based on appearance, and any estimate of age must be very tentative.


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Old 16th July 2021, 08:14 AM   #7
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the blade is a Cambodians a shape of billhook for sure. .. you see these in places that were ethnically populated with cambodians... southern vietnam and parts of laos and eastern thailand.. and.. cambodia... normally with a 1 foot to 3 foot handle... i have never seen ones with an iron handle.. which looks very indian indeed. it is very curious.. unless there is an identical oddly shaped billhook style like that in some part of india that ive never seen.. normally indian bills dont take that backset blade.. (rightly so.. its VERY akward to use)
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Old 16th July 2021, 08:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ausjulius View Post
the blade is a Cambodians a shape of billhook for sure. .. you see these in places that were ethnically populated with cambodians... southern vietnam and parts of laos and eastern thailand.. and.. cambodia... normally with a 1 foot to 3 foot handle... i have never seen ones with an iron handle.. which looks very indian indeed. it is very curious.. unless there is an identical oddly shaped billhook style like that in some part of india that ive never seen.. normally indian bills dont take that backset blade.. (rightly so.. its VERY akward to use)
an here i eat my words.. for afew rupees one could be yous
https://m.indiamart.com/proddetail/b...418540648.html

exactly as the cambodian billhooks.. southern india it is. interesting akward shap isnt it.. i have several cambotian ones and a vietnames one and they really.. ARE NOT great to use when compared with other bills..
this one is definatly meant as some sort of weapon..

i wounder then if this odd shape was introduced to cambodia from india.. as it is a very distinct shape
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Old 18th July 2021, 11:53 AM   #9
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ausjulius,

There is a style of short-handled mak that resembles a billhook and found in Cambodia, Laos, highlands of Vietnam. These are distinctly tools and rather crude in manufacture. They differ from their long-handled brothers in the sickle shape of the blade, while the long-handled ones usually have straighter blades. There is a long-handled similar version in Thailand called a prah but has a somewhat different blade style. It too is an agricultural tool.

Here is a short-handled form from Laos.

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Old 29th July 2021, 10:55 PM   #10
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I have to support the "South Indian chopper" attribution. It matches known examples in both blade style and decoration. One thing to note about that, however, is that if this was merely a machete/farming tool (in my opinion anyways) it wouldn't be so highly decorated. Why add so much carving to something that's just going to get covered in "plant guts" anyways? Thus, I would propose a ceremonial/sacrificial use for this item. Something sort of like the South Indian equivalent of the northern Ram Dao.

In terms of dating, an 18th/19th C dating is appropriate, as items not cared for very well in South India do indeed tend to rust up pretty fast.
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Old 30th July 2021, 12:51 AM   #11
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My mak axe/pra: It's razor sharp on the inside of the curve, and is a rather awkward weapon. The blade is quite thick. They also appear on temple carvings with longer poles, wielders on elephants, etc. There are a couple threads here on them.
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Old 30th July 2021, 03:53 AM   #12
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Here is a mak from eastern Cambodia along Vietnam border. This one has has shortened blade, most have a more complete arc to the blade, resembling Ian's example from Laos. Note that the blade arc begins in line with handle while the OP chopper example the blade extends out perpendicular to the line of the handle before curving into the hook. They seem like they would handle very differently with the perpendicularly offset example being more difficult to control and less suitable as a general purpose tool. I would not be surprised if they are not related at all.
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