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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > New knife, odd design, help appreciated Reply to topic
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Sat 12 Jul, 2014 2:02 am    Post subject: New knife, odd design, help appreciated         Reply with quote

Hi guys
recently i picked up this knife at a vintage/ antique shop but the design is really odd
and if anything else i cant get much of a bead on where the design is from

the blade kinda resembles a sterotypical eastern scimitar, deeply curved , with a clip point of sorts

https://www.flickr.com/photos/64955660@N08/14606436143/

the most notable feature is the presence of a row of teeth running from the tip downwards in the section of the clip point.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/64955660@N08/14399927267/

in addition, as youll see from the photos, i cant see any obvious place where the blade is fastned to the handle, no peen, no noticable rivet through the side to affix the tang that way however there are 2 rows of metal pins around the middle of the handle in a circle

https://www.flickr.com/photos/64955660@N08/14563250386/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/64955660@N08/14582979621/

the two biggest clues i have are the design of the pommel, and the fact its made of some kind of horn, possibly buffalo, and the geometric designs on the scabbard (ive tapped it, and it is INDEED a scabbard since i can tell it has a wooden core

https://www.flickr.com/photos/64955660@N08/14586335255/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/64955660@N08/14399747719/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/64955660@N08/14584456464/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/64955660@N08/14585612472/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/64955660@N08/14585612472/

on the flip side, the guard feels like a thouroughly western design.

theres no makers mark, and the source was apparently from a ex serviceman who had been on a few tours, and at the very least fought in the korean war.

based on the scabbard design with itsgeometrical lines as decoration keep making me think its african however the guard and scimiar like blade make me think its either philipno, east indies or south american.

any help would be appreciated at all.
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,494

PostPosted: Sat 12 Jul, 2014 4:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd guess it to be Indian, copying somewhat the style of Western "Rambo" knives. The scabbard, guard, and grip are all plausibly Indian, and the scabbard is very Indian in style (one sees, e.g., north Indian kukri scabbards in a very similar style). The guard is not traditional Indian in style, but is seen on Indian-made Western knives, and Indian tourist knives (e.g., knife and fork carving sets). The blade is imitating a Western survival/"Rambo" knife, so doesn't provide a clue as to origin.
"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Sat 12 Jul, 2014 4:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

as mentioned i couldnt see any sign of a peen at the end, or a noticably sized rivet or pin

one other thing that wasnt captured in the photos is that the grip is NOT on line with the blade, it's rotated slightly.
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Sat 12 Jul, 2014 4:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:
I'd guess it to be Indian, copying somewhat the style of Western "Rambo" knives. The scabbard, guard, and grip are all plausibly Indian, and the scabbard is very Indian in style (one sees, e.g., north Indian kukri scabbards in a very similar style). The guard is not traditional Indian in style, but is seen on Indian-made Western knives, and Indian tourist knives (e.g., knife and fork carving sets). The blade is imitating a Western survival/"Rambo" knife, so doesn't provide a clue as to origin.


thats a shame.. also the person i boghught it from sad that the person who sold it to her was a soldier who had fought in the korean war at least i believe (hiscap was also for sale at the shop) so i thought it could possibly be an actual antique... especially for 60 bucks.

either way im gonna sharpen it up, maybe file down the teeth and replace it with a proper false edge into the clip point section, maybe eve sharpen it the whole way round..
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David Hohl




Location: Oregon
Joined: 07 Feb 2011

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Sat 12 Jul, 2014 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think it'd be a shame to get rid of the teeth. I'm by no means an expert, but from looking at it it seems as though it could come from anywhere between India and China. I do know that South Asia has a stunning variety of really odd-looking knives, and I've never seen one quite like that before. Seems like a unique and interesting piece all on its own, whether it's some kind of recently made mashup or not.

Also at a wild guess I'd say there's a tang that goes through and is attached to what looks like a brass bar across the pommel.
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Sat 12 Jul, 2014 7:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

the entire handle is horn except for the brass guard, the copper throat just below it, and those silvery pins,

tit might look like brass because of the fact the horn is perhaps thin enough to be properly lit up by the sunlight,

but yeah i can assure you it isnt brass, itshorn like the rest of the grip.. now that i think of it, the design may be based of a chinese sword, since the recurved grip and the wide blade is something chinese dao VERY often have. excet with VERY different furniture.
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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Posts: 1,494

PostPosted: Sat 12 Jul, 2014 4:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It isn't based on a Chinese sword. Just call it a fantasy design.

Perhaps it's possible to turn it into a usable knife. Depends on two things: tang and how it's fitted to the hilt, and the steel and heat treatment. Sometimes these have very short glued-in tangs (sometimes with fake rivets on the grip), and sometimes these are very soft steel.

Just because it's a decorative/tourist knife doesn't mean it can't be an antique; India has an old tradition (though the 19th century ones were usually made in a different style).. In this case, I'd guess late 20th century, rather than antique (assuming one follows the 100 year rule for "antique"), perhaps 1980s. Sawteeth on civilian knives only really became popular in the 1970s (and hit the big time with the movie "Rambo").

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 983

PostPosted: Sun 13 Jul, 2014 3:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's a tourist piece from India, Nepal or Pakistan, a fantasy design resembling no traditional blade form I can think of (apart from a very superficial resemblance to Chinese sabers). If I had to guess I'd say Nepal, based on the decoration on the scabbard and grip, which is almost identical to the Nepalese souvenir kukhri I own and have seen. Note that this doesn't necessarily say anything about its age or quality, though, just that it was made for the tourist market sometime in the last century or so.

The blade is probably fixed by glueing the tang inside the grip, like traditional kukhri. It's a perfectly good construction method if done right.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Sun 13 Jul, 2014 7:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

unfortunately, as i think i mentioned earlier, the handle is misaligned, in other words, if you were look down the grip, youd see te handle pointing at 12:00 then the blade would be at 12:03-12:05.. you get the idea. it means the edge alignment is gonna inherently be off when i swing this thing, assuming i dont, for example use my thumb on the blade flat to help keep it in line or something.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 983

PostPosted: Sun 13 Jul, 2014 8:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, if the construction is still solid, that actually shouldn't be much of an issue, functionally speaking, aside from having to get used to the slightly irregular grip shape. If it's loose enough to let the blade twist around and that's why it's offset, that would be a problem.

Either way, it's a neat little curiosity, but nothing particularly valuable. Nothing to worry too much about if you do want to try tweaking it. Come to think of it, with some care you might actually be able to undo the assembly with zero damage to the components, depending on exactly what kind of adhesive they used... (Although, personally, I'd be inclined to keep it as is, for no real pragmatic reason. Happy)

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Mon 14 Jul, 2014 12:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mikko Kuusirati wrote:
Well, if the construction is still solid, that actually shouldn't be much of an issue, functionally speaking, aside from having to get used to the slightly irregular grip shape. If it's loose enough to let the blade twist around and that's why it's offset, that would be a problem.

Either way, it's a neat little curiosity, but nothing particularly valuable. Nothing to worry too much about if you do want to try tweaking it. Come to think of it, with some care you might actually be able to undo the assembly with zero damage to the components, depending on exactly what kind of adhesive they used... (Although, personally, I'd be inclined to keep it as is, for no real pragmatic reason. Happy)


the only thing thats loose is that the guard slides back and forth, but everything else feels quite solid, i am gonna leave it alone in terms of the assembly because i personally don't know how to approach a blade like this without wrecking it.
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