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Old 10th November 2020, 11:44 PM   #1
Jerseyman's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 45
Default Bao An Utility Knife

This is a recent auction acquisition. I've not had a chance yet to give it a clean, though I'm not sure it needs too much work.

It seems to be a real working knife - comfortingly solid in the hand. It's sharp and has been ground down through use. The tip has a very slight lateral bend - it looks as though it's been used as a pry bar at some time in its life! The blade is quite deeply hollow ground except at the point where it actually swells out putting some mass right behind the tip.

It's lost a hollow circular copper pin on the right side of the hilt. It has a most attractive layering of horn and different alloy plates, filed into a wave or scalloped form to create a flared butt cap.

The right side of the blade carries a dot-punch image of a hand - termed 'wriggle-work' by the auctioneer. The left side has a form of script I'm unfamiliar with - four characters in a cloud outline.

I'd suggest a Bao An attribution based on these two previous threads:


(A side note on measurements. I realise I'm out of step with most forumites when I include such detailed measurements. There are two reasons I do so - partly it's early career training, but mostly it's because the community has created such an amazing resource and archive with this forum that I can imagine that a small demographic of practical and academic researchers might find it useful to have precise measurements to further their studies).

Length - 27cm
Hilt length - 12.5cm
Hilt depth (@ blade) - 2.7cm
Hilt depth (@ flare) - 3.4cm
Hilt width - 2cm
Blade length - 14.5cm
Blade width (at hilt) - 2.5cm
Blade width (@ clip point) - 1.8cm
Spine width (at hilt) - 0.6cm
Spine width (@ clip point) - 0.2cm
Blade thickness (@clip point) - 0.4cm
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Old 10th November 2020, 11:49 PM   #2
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Not long after I received this I happened to see a beautiful example on Artzi's website. These following pictures are used courtesy of Oriental-Arms.

It's great to see how this knife might have looked when first purchased or given.
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Old 11th November 2020, 02:18 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 953

Thanks for posting these interesting knives. If you will note the trefoil rondels embellishing the chatelaine on Artzi's example, this symbol (gan-shi) can also be seen on the suspension fittings of a Tibetan long sword which is the feature of another recent thread, "Tibetan Sword", initiated by Bill M.
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