military knives

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by bossyboots, May 16, 2008.

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  1. Mr Bossy has some very old knives which are kept in a locked box in the garage.

    The knives belonged to his grandfather who died around 4 years ago aged 94. One of the knives is a samurai type sword ( not a manufactured ornamental thing ) complete with sheath. Some of the others are apparantly Ghurka and Burmese type knives.

    I was wondering if any buffs out there could tell me something about their value and / or perhaps just what type of knife they are and what they would have been used for.

    Or just any general info with regards to old military knives.

    As soon as i am able to take and upload pictures i will do ( however i am a complete mong at putting pics on the PC so please bear with me )

    Many thanks to Part_ time _Pongo for his help so far.
  2. Just generally, sounds like service souvenirs from the Far East? If so, chances are sword, Katana, may be standard issue mass produced for Japanese Army officers – but I don’t think cavalry? Part of their uniform so to speak and to do with Samurai tradition. However, possible those who came from a Samurai family might carry an ancestors sword in a regulation scabbard/trim. British who served out there have told me they were not too hard to come by, if for no other reason than the Chinese made souvenir copies. A big problem apparently, could be the UK Customs men taking them off you when you returned. Never found out why they had a problem with these? The Ghurka, presume Khukri, knife may be service issue, but that style is a common utility style in that part of the world and used widely outside the military.

  3. Thank you for your informative replies so far :)

    T-T i'm unsure just how old the sword is, apart from it is quite old and a bit knocked about. Its not damaged, it just needs a good clean probably.

    As soon as i can get pics i will put them on here.
  4. DO NOT CLEAN IT!! At least not until you have taken further advice.

    From what little I know of old coins, prospective purchasers prefer them in their "original" condition with a patina that confirms their age/antiquity/authenticity.
  5. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    Check the sword very carefully and do a lot of research. You may have just a bog standard service issue blade but as has already been said many Family blades were taken down and rebuilt with a service handle and put into a service sheath, some of these blades are priceless (literally) and irreplaceable if you have one of those you are very lucky.
  6. If it's a "knife" and not a sword, it may be a wakizashi, which is the shorter sword worn as a pair with a katana.

    On the other hand, it could be a bazaar sword, made to look like a wakizashi, but foir sale to tourists.

    If the hilt is held together by a wooden/bamboo peg, then it's more likely to be the former type.

    As pointed out above, don't clean them under any circumstances. There are ways to do this without damaging the patina but conserving the blade at the same time (Renaissance Wax from the British Museum)

    Let's wait for the photos - if you can't post them, any of the experts here might be able to help!

    PS Edited to add: get them out of the damp garage and into somewhere warm and dry, you don't want them getting rusty...
  7. I have just measured the sword / knife

    The entire length is 28 inches.

    The blade length is 19 inches.

    The blade is straight but is shaped on a diagnol at the tip.

    There is a brass? handguard which is ornately carved with flowers and leaves.

    There is approx a 5 inch length engraving on the blade near the handguard

    The blade is 1 inch wide.

    The casing is metal with some sort of covering, possibly thin leather and has a brass tip at the blade end and a brass loop type thing 5.5 inches from the sheath open end.

    The handle has a brass end and is bound with some sort of material.

    It weighs quite heavy, although just how much i do not know.

    I wont clean it.
  8. I handled some genuine swords when in Japan. Don't know what it was but just holding them, one felt quality.
  9. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    Picture please.
  10. Biscuits, please check your PM's. :)
  11. Bossy, check PM's

    ORC, know what you mean, handled a Japanese Officers sword at the Militaria market in Warsaw some 14 years ago, bet that had a story to tell!

    The balance was superb, it felt like an extension of your arm, it just felt 'right'

    Bossy, wear marigolds to handle the blades ;)
  12. If you can try and contact the British To-Ken Society. They specailse (spelling) in Japanesse weapons of all types. If you get in touch and can supply pics, or maybe even go and see somebody they will be able to give you far more information than a jobbing antiques bloke. Just google To-ken for them.

    Be carefull as new laws being passed at the mo will make owning swords of this type illigal quite soon, unless it is old (over 100 years I think). The To-ken society can help you registar and document it should the need arise. They also know about good places for repair and general servicing.
  13. First images of knives

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