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Old 4th November 2020, 03:05 PM   #1
thomas hauschild
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Default Machete ? Agricultural tool ?

Don‘t know what this (20€)-find could be. 64 cm length, very thin (2 mm) and flexible blade.
-The back of the blade is nearly sharp with a convex shape. Maybe to swing forwards and backwards ?
- A tang that I never saw before. ( grip is loose and only fragments left)
- a forging mark
- raffinated steel, more hardened at the front ( black etch)

Any comments welcome and Admins feel free to move the post.

Best Thomas
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Old 4th November 2020, 06:29 PM   #2
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Could this be an example of the proverbial "sword beaten into plowshare"?
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Old 4th November 2020, 08:02 PM   #3
DhaDha
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The blade reminds me of a SE Asian Mak.
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Old 4th November 2020, 10:54 PM   #4
David R
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The thing to remember is that in some cultures at some points in time, every blade is made from a nice (to us) laminated steel/iron whatever the status of the item. That's just how a blade was made.
And worth admiration for the skill and natural beauty involved anyway.
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Old 5th November 2020, 12:51 AM   #5
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I agree with David due to the fact that some areas that don't have a lot of quality steel.
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Old 5th November 2020, 01:13 PM   #6
Peter Dekker
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Interesting piece!

While I agree that laminated steel is seen on pretty much all pre-industrially made Asian edged tools, from chisels to scissors to knives and swords of all types and all qualities.. what we see here is a rather deliberate effect. Especially the combination of straight lines in the middle and wavy lines near the edge is something that doesn't generally appear without some very intentional effort put into it.

It reminds strongly of the horse tooth patterned swords made among others in Yunnan. To get that wavy effect near the edge, the smith forges the edge a little thicker than necessary and then bends sections of the edge up and down. He then grinds the edge flat again, so what you get is that you look deeper into the layers at each wave. (If this method is used, then each wave on one side should be in the middle of two on the other.)

The effect on the Chinese swords I know of is a little more outspoken and neater, but due to the structure of the steel these effects water down somewhat after repeated sharpening, as the effects get less pronounced closer to the core of the piece. That might be what we are seeing here.

I add some photos of a pretty little duandao I used to own that was made like this. It is also seen on a North Vietnamese sword of the late 17th century that was once owned by Czar Peter the Great, now held in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.
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Old 7th November 2020, 09:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DhaDha
The blade reminds me of a SE Asian Mak.
Me too! Especially the 'weaponised' ones...
See http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=6204

My more mundain villager Mak:
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Old 7th November 2020, 05:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dekker
Interesting piece!

While I agree that laminated steel is seen on pretty much all pre-industrially made Asian edged tools, from chisels to scissors to knives and swords of all types and all qualities.. what we see here is a rather deliberate effect..
So true, and remarkable considering the twist-core pattern welding on many keris blades of the southern Philippines is similar to that on some Anglo-Saxon and Viking swords.

Collectors often forget that that lamellar forging has been a hallmark of European blade craft for much longer than the so called "Dark Ages" and has even persisted after the start of the Industrial Era (for quality cutlery). Take a look at this, from Alan Williams' The Sword and the Crucible: A History of the Metallurgy of European Swords up to the 16th Cent. -- the caption introduces us to the what and how, and in the rest of the book he explains the why
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Old 7th November 2020, 06:08 PM   #9
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Default an earlier example of the technique

Here is another excerpt from Williams' book ( p 238 ) showing photomicrographs of a section sawn from a (heavily corroded and damaged) European rapier blade, 16th-17th cent. The layering is very fine and well-controlled, especially considering that the operations were performed with water-powered triphammers, finishing with hand hammering on anvils. It's quite ludicrous hearing the gun show and auction pundits go on and on about how only the Japanese managed to master this, and that early European swords were just hammered out of single pieces of steel.
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