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Old 17th January 2023, 10:38 PM   #1
DaveA
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Question Identification help please

Here is one of my mystery knives. The seller thought it might be from Chile. I do see the Spanish influence, for example in the stacked hilt and quilions. I know next to nothing about Chilean knives. After searching the forum, the only examples I had found are quite different.

I donít have exact measurements since the knife is currently in storage after a move. I can give you this description:
  • Hilt: Stacked bone, iron/nickel and stone of various thickness in overall hexagonal shape
  • Hilt: circular insets in thicker stacks are metal, unidentified
  • Hilt is fully hand sized, nearly barrel shaped but not as pronounced as one finds in other daggers and knive
  • Blade: well forged, diamond cross-section, wedge sharpening on both sides.
  • Overall: hilt and blade appear similar in wear and tear. This is not a novelty or tourist knife. It is built to be useful.

Any ideas?

Dave A.
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Old 19th January 2023, 10:28 PM   #2
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Question Chilean(?) mystery dagger

Wow, 118 views on the first post and no ideas? Letís try again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveA View Post
Here is one of my mystery knives. The seller thought it might be from Chile. I do see the Spanish influence, for example in the stacked hilt and quilions. I know next to nothing about Chilean knives. After searching the forum, the only examples I had found are quite different.

I donít have exact measurements since the knife is currently in storage after a move. I can give you this description:
  • Hilt: Stacked bone, iron/nickel and stone of various thickness in overall hexagonal shape
  • Hilt: circular insets in thicker stacks are metal, unidentified
  • Hilt is fully hand sized, nearly barrel shaped but not as pronounced as one finds in other daggers and knive
  • Blade: well forged, diamond cross-section, wedge sharpening on both sides.
  • Overall: hilt and blade appear similar in wear and tear. This is not a novelty or tourist knife. It is built to be useful.

Any ideas?

Dave A.
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Old 19th January 2023, 11:56 PM   #3
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The problem here is that it rings too many bells, a nice dagger but so many places it could be from.
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Old 21st January 2023, 01:56 AM   #4
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The little V-shaped protrusion from the blade adjacent to the guard is reminiscent of older Chilean corvos. Similarly the stacked hilt is consistent with some Chilean knives. I can see why the seller thought it was from Chile. But, as David R says, it rings bells for elsewhere also.


Interesting knife.
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Old 21st January 2023, 02:45 AM   #5
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I think we are trying too hard. Certainly, it COULD be from lots of places, but IF I had only one choice, I'd bet its 1940s(mebbe30s) American machine shop craft. It remind me of some of the high end WWII stuff done by aircraft maintenance guys, but this is WAY over the top.
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Old 21st January 2023, 09:27 PM   #6
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Default Chilean stacked hilts

Ian,

Thanks for your comments. I have been searching online for more examples of Chilean knives other than corvo. Stacked hilts especially. I did a Google image search just on the hilt that came back with basically nothing. Can you point me towards straight Chilean knives or any similar stacked hilt patterns?

I agree the the protrusion (name?) from hilt over the forte of blade is distinctive. It seems as much functional as decorative, that is, to oppose fracture of the blade if forced sideways. I think Iíve seen this on older Spanish and/or Italian weapons but the source eludes me. Again, if anyone sees examples of something similar please point it out.

Dave A.
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Old 21st January 2023, 10:18 PM   #7
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Default Machine shop craft? I doubt it.

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I think we are trying too hard. Certainly, it COULD be from lots of places, but IF I had only one choice, I'd bet its 1940s(mebbe30s) American machine shop craft. It remind me of some of the high end WWII stuff done by aircraft maintenance guys, but this is WAY over the top.
PBleed
This is fascinating. I have never heard of such a thing.

I have the knife in front of me now. Arguing against your machine-shop thesis is the mis-alignment of the dots on the middle red stack alone, and all the dots in a line from pommel to guard. These are clearly eyeballed, not precision drilled.

The layers are also not squared. The hilt has smooth, curved transitions between adjacent layers to achieve the overall shape.

I notice now the inlaid red and black dots are some type of crystalline stone. Might be glass, but doesn’t look that translucent under light. The

The pommel does resemble a lug nut somewhat. That argues for recency. The number and arrangement of facets on the pommel, however, does not look like any lug nut I’ve seen. The are redundant and impractical. Looking at it carefully right now, I might be persuaded it is a modified lug nut, with the distal facets added, by hand or machine grinding, for decorative effect.

The blade is inconsistent with the machine shop origin idea. I wager a skilled smith made the blade. The steel is pattern welded. The diamond cross section tapers distally from forte to tip. It is very well made.

This knife was also used, not for show. There are easily observed wear patterns on the hilt where a thumb would be placed. It also feels better in this grip. That takes a fair amount of handling to achieve. Although the blade is sharpened (very sharp) on all sides, it appears that it was re-sharpened over time in a chisel grind oriented towards right hand cutting. The tip is slightly bent and has other signs of wear as well as repair.

It is possible the blade is from a sword, but the wear and age of hilt and blade seem contemporary to each other. It also just ¬ďfeels¬Ē right in the hand and the balance is perfect. I think it is of one piece.

I love a mystery. 😁

Dave A
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Old 22nd January 2023, 07:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveA View Post
Ian,

Thanks for your comments. I have been searching online for more examples of Chilean knives other than corvo. Stacked hilts especially. I did a Google image search just on the hilt that came back with basically nothing. Can you point me towards straight Chilean knives or any similar stacked hilt patterns?

I agree the the protrusion (name?) from hilt over the forte of blade is distinctive. It seems as much functional as decorative, that is, to oppose fracture of the blade if forced sideways. I think I’ve seen this on older Spanish and/or Italian weapons but the source eludes me. Again, if anyone sees examples of something similar please point it out.

Dave A.
Dave, the best place to look for Chilean stacked hilts is on this site. Just enter "corvo" in the search window and you will find at least twenty examples of these hilts. Quite a few have a close resemblance to your hilt. Ian
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Old 22nd January 2023, 11:54 AM   #9
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Hello Dave,
Very nice dagger! And another vote for Chile. The little V-shaped protrusion is like Ian also mentioned for me the giveaway.
But it's not a unique one, I have attached a picture from a recent German auction, I bid as well but they went beyond my maximum bid, sadly! The big one is 30 cm long.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 22nd January 2023, 12:01 PM   #10
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Look also this one taken from this thread: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ighlight=corvo
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Old 22nd January 2023, 12:06 PM   #11
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And here one without guard.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 09:35 PM   #12
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Sajen,

Thank you for the examples! When I think of stacked hilts, these are what comes to mind. What was (and remains) confusing is the thickness and decoration of the layers of the stack. Dots, of course, are a ubiquitous decoration but in my limited experience, seldom found on stacked hilts. The only examples in my collection are from Syria.

The shape of the blade and the triangular piece at the forte are a match. Thanks for finding this one!

Dave A.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 09:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen View Post
Look also this one taken from this thread: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ighlight=corvo
Sadly, the URL is malformed, perhaps because it is too long, and your link goes nowhere. Will you please try again?

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Old 22nd January 2023, 11:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveA View Post
When I think of stacked hilts, these are what comes to mind. What was (and remains) confusing is the thickness and decoration of the layers of the stack. Dots, of course, are a ubiquitous decoration but in my limited experience, seldom found on stacked hilts.
Hello Dave,
Yes, the hilt construction is a little bit unusual.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 22nd January 2023, 11:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveA View Post
Sadly, the URL is malformed, perhaps because it is too long, and your link goes nowhere. Will you please try again?
Don't know what went wrong, here another try: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ighlight=corvo
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Old 1st February 2023, 06:46 AM   #16
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A Chilean corvo that shows the features I mentioned above.


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Old 2nd February 2023, 05:11 PM   #17
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Another one which was recently sold by Hermann Historica together with a Canary Island knife and an Albacete dagger.
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Old 28th May 2023, 09:09 PM   #18
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I was able to acquire one, it's maybe the one shown in post #9.
Here a picture together with my other Chilean knives.
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Old 2nd June 2023, 07:10 PM   #19
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Just adding my meagre Chilean corvo collection to the pile, with octagonal stacked hilts. The Strong V shaped blade reinforcement seems to be fairly diagnostic on the Chilean connection.
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