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Old 14th October 2021, 01:17 AM   #1
Montino Bourbon
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I got this recently here in Marin CA. Burly blade, central ridge, and a beautiful handle. I'm not sure what the handle material is. The sheath is wood, covered with what seems to be aluminum. Silver polish does not seem to work on it or the metal on the handle. Any information would be appreciated.
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Old 14th October 2021, 08:36 AM   #2
kai
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Hello Montino,

Nice ensemble! I'm attaching your overview pic for easier access.

There seems to be quite some corrosion on the metal parts (the fittings more so than the blade which is unusual).

I'd guess that the fittings are a (nickel-based) alloy in the white brass category; aluminium is considerably softer.

The pommel is typical bunti/banati burl of high quality.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 14th October 2021, 06:19 PM   #3
Montino Bourbon
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Thank you! I was wondering what the metal was. Do you have any idea of the date?
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Old 15th October 2021, 01:33 AM   #4
Battara
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This may be Maranao based on the okir on the scabbard. Great okir work too.
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Old 15th October 2021, 02:09 PM   #5
Ian
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Agree completely with battara on the okir.

As far as the type of metal on the hilt, white brass usually polishes easily (much the same as yellow brass)—one form of white brass was referred to as "German silver." From the residual white deposit on the hilt, however, I'm inclined to think this might be an alloy with some zinc or even tin in it. The metal on the scabbard seems different, and judging from the pictures it has polished more like white brass.

As far as a date of manufacture, I'd say 20th C but pre-WWII. Probably 1930s or a little earlier. The overall quality is good and better than much of what came later. Congratulations on finding such a nice piece in California.
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Old 15th October 2021, 06:59 PM   #6
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I think this is related in style. The ferule on the handle is almost identical. The banding on the sheath is similar. Notice the punch work on both around where the blade joins the guard.

The differences are of course the beautiful okir work and burl on the original example. Montino's has a hollow ground blade as well as far as I can tell. Oddly in mine there is a half circle cut out of the sheet metal where it joins the throat. There are a couple of letters partially visible where I used a piece of paper wrapped around the wood to tighten the fit of the blade and the boards inside the sheath with the outer metal shell. It will get a foil patch at some time. I only mention it as an interesting note in the construction methods used. To me it makes the piece feel more modern.

There was a bad repair where the blade was poorly re-fixed to the handle using epoxy by a previous owner. I got this piece as a project to learn how to loosen the blade and to reattach it with traditional cutlers resin.

Could we assume a similar age and origin or is mine a later copy?

Montino, have you tried using a silver polishing cloth? It cleaned mine up nicely. These pictures are taken after several months of oxidation. I cleaned up some silver fittings at the same time as an experiment. It has been interesting to watch several alloys tarnish differently.
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Old 15th October 2021, 07:34 PM   #7
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Hello Montino,

You are very correct, the fittings are made from aluminium, I am pretty sure, as well the piece from IP. When you want to polish aluminium use 000 steel wool with metal polish, it will become very shiny and nice, see mine.
Agree with Ian about the age, around 1930. Very nice piece, congrats!

Regards,
Detlef
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