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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 1:42 pm 
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Hello one and all I have just received a new kukri from down west. I was given the heads up on an auction sale for this kukri by one of our own here; Josh sent me a link as he is still on the look out for kukri just not buying and knew I would fancy it.
After leaving a commission bid and a nervous afternoon I found out that I had indeed won it.
Here are a few photos and first impressions straight from the box.
It is in overall good condition with a little active rust which I will sort out straight away. The blade has a very enjoyable feel and look. It has 2 fullers leading from the steel bolster to half way from drop to belly where it merges into one down to about 50mm from the tip. There are no grooves to the spine as is more normal. The fuller’s lead towards the spine to produce a pronounced T. it has a low bevel and a very keen edge, just a couple of minor nicks. The kaudi is very well cut with a Stupa centre.
The handle is wood and the fore piece is a fair size offering great grip, there is a raised band leading to the mid ring behind which is a flair section. The end of the handle has no but plate and is ridged there is a square nut like metal item on the end. (Can’t see the round tang end though)
The scabbard is in great condition with dark brown leather and a brass chape. There is a pouch on what would be the front of the scabbard. The pouch has 3 sections separated buy stitching. This looks very military in its construction. There is a raised collar round towards the mouth of the scabbard. There looks like “CLAbI” scratched into the leather.

I am not sure as to it’s age or origin but to me it shares some of the MkI’s features, Blade shape, nut and Kaudi. But it is has those fullers or fuller depending on your point of view. The scabbard is interesting too. My guess is that it has a military origin from about the first quarter of the 20th C. That’s my take on it but would very much like to hear the views of you all as I am a bit confused about it.
Many thanks in advance.

Captain.

Specs are;
Overall 460mm
Blade 350mm
Handle 110mm
Arc 365mm
Belly 60mm
Drop 85mm
Spine @ricasso 10mm
Spine @belly 6.5mm
Weight 500g

Image

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Edit; As I was cleaning the handle I noticed that it has a "4" stamped on it the mystery thickens.

Image

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Last edited by Captain on Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ID Help please.
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 2:16 pm 
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Absolutely fascinating kukri Captain, well done on snagging it :wink:

It has a very similar handle to this kukri in the Gurkha Museum that Goorkhali labeled a MKI with field repair to the butt. (Photo's are Goorkhali's, so credits to Simon Hengle)

Image
Image
Image

very similar kukri, just missing the fullers.

In fact it was looking at the third pic that made me think that this was also a MKI:
Image

but it tuned out to be something even nicer :D :
Image

Yours looks like something halfway between the two. I wonder if there's a nut like that under my bone butt plate rather than a MKI style sunken nut? Would you guess the nut on yours is also field repair? Or could it be that they were made that way from the start?

Very interesting piece!


Last edited by Paul W on Fri May 30, 2014 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ID Help please.
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 4:29 pm 
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Excellent Captain! I should have looked more closely at the auction image!

The kukri may be a repair but I think more likely just a makers variant ,similar to the mk.1.

The scabbard is very rare, it is shown in some paintings of Gurkhas in WW1 but Ive never seen or heard of anyone lucky enough to have found the scabbard. Indeed years ago it was suggested the artist got the detail of front pockets wrong.

I cant recall the artist name off hand. I think some of his painting feature in the Osprey men at war series.

If someone's got the book to hand it might help pin the scabbard kukri type to a particular regiment.

Spiral


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 Post subject: Re: ID Help please.
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 5:20 pm 
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Here's a tiny picture, With the artists name could probably find a larger one....

spiral


Attachments:
cap scabbard.PNG
cap scabbard.PNG [ 41.78 KiB | Viewed 1415 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: ID Help please.
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 5:45 pm 
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Full picture, with caption - from The Gurkha Rifles by Nicholson, Men-at-Arms series:
Attachment:
Gurkhas by Woodville.jpg
Gurkhas by Woodville.jpg [ 676.87 KiB | Viewed 1413 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: ID Help please.
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 6:42 pm 
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Great stuff Berk!

Caton Woodville of course!

The scabbard in the art work is not Identical to Captains, but is probably/possibly the design it is based upon.

Also interesting to see the Havilader major with both sword & kukri, good for close range & directing men but makes an easy target to spot for a sniper/marksman.

Spiral


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 Post subject: Re: ID Help please.
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 8:56 pm 
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In the painting, the two riflemen on the right are wearing their kukris with the handles curving outwards to the right i.e. from spine to hip. In most photos, kukris are worn with the handle curving inwards to the left, from hip to spine.

Nigel.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: ID Help please.
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 10:11 pm 
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Well spotted Nigel!

In truth though, the havilader majors & the buglers kukris are also negative image... which also does explain why they don't match Captains!

The only true from manufacture reverse scabbards Ive seen, are those made in Afghanistan & one Indian mutiny era piece.

Spiral


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 Post subject: Re: ID Help please.
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 10:13 pm 
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Thank you gentlemen for your many replies.
This one does share many similarities with the GM's ones handle Pal especially the nut arrangement it also has the ridge and lines carved in. Mine has a raised band just in front of the midring just like yours and all three have the same kaudi. Both yours and mine have the distinct fullers although they are a bit different and both are slimmer than the GM one.
The scabbard is the big surprise it seems. I didn't know about the front pocket arrangement but did think it strange, I'm pleased that Spiral knew about such things. (I did not see this in the auction piccies) We now have one to study. Is it known what goes in the slots? I guess Karda and Chakmak as normal but what is the third piece? Great pictures too I bet Canon is looking down saying " I told you the pocket was on the front" :lol: :lol:
I could bring it along to the GM visit if you would like Spiral?
As for whether these are repairs my guess would be that mine was made like this, the handle is already longer that a native hand would require. So I would suggest that it could be a Mk1 variant. It would be good to put all three together for comparison. Would you be prepared to bring yours Paul?
Is there any markings on the pictures to identify regiments or units?
I am going to contact the auction house and see if I can glean any information regarding its origins.
I will take more detailed photos of the scabbard tomorrow if it stops raining.
Thanks again gents.

Captain

PS if this a stupid question please excuse and humour me. If right handed would it not make sense to have the kuki on the left hip and cross draw? (Hilt forward) The picture shows kukri mounted on the left hip with hilt forward (for lefties)

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 Post subject: Re: ID Help please.
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 10:52 pm 
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Captain wrote:

PS if this a stupid question please excuse and humour me. If right handed would it not make sense to have the kuki on the left hip and cross draw? (Hilt forward) The picture shows kukri mounted on the left hip with hilt forward (for lefties)

Captain - Not stupid at all. I have often wondered why military kukris were worn behind the right kidney with the grip curving towards the wearer's spine. The only answer I can think of is that the wearer is assumed to be carrying his rifle in his right hand and that the kukri is drawn behind the back with the left hand. Seems very awkward to me.

Nigel.


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 Post subject: Re: ID Help please.
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 11:17 pm 
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If I understand Spiral's comments regarding "negative image" correctly, Woodville's sketch shows all of the kukris reversed, that is, pictured being worn with the rear of the scabbard facing out?
Attachment:
Woodville w kukri rear.jpg
Woodville w kukri rear.jpg [ 249.74 KiB | Viewed 1388 times ]
I

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 Post subject: Re: ID Help please.
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 7:23 am 
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That would be good Captain! Is the stiching the same type as rear of scabbard seam?

Interesting point Berk! One to ponder!

I can draw right handed when wearing kukri behind left hip... seems natural to me? Horses for courses perhaps! Or practice?

Spiral


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 Post subject: Re: ID Help please.
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 12:47 pm 
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Wonderful new addition Capt., that pup just oozes character and a WWI mentality. Great thread going here.

Robert


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:51 pm 
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Hello again back from a great weekend of Vintage cars, hot rods and rock and roll stuff.
Thanks again for all the input on this little gem, I have taken some more pictures of the scabbard and hopefully it will help answer some of the questions it has thrown up. Thank for the images of the illustration from Canton Woodville they definitely have front pouches.
The stitching is different from the seam but the pouch would have been stitched to the leather prior to the seam was done up.
The pouch has 3 shaped pockets they all seem to have been used as they still hold the shape.

Scabbard full length front.

Image

Scabbard full length rear.

Image

Pouch open.

Image

Pouch closed.

Image

Chape front.

Image

Chape rear.

Image

Pouch button.

Image

The contents of the 3 sections would have had 60mm blades and then about 70mm handles so they would have been substantial items, I guess we are talking Karda and Chakmak or would it have been a patch knife? are there any photos of what they might have been like? and does anyone know what the 3rd item would have been?

On a different feature, with the lack of any other markings are there any best guesses as to what the "4" may have stood for on the handle?

Many thanks gentlemen.

Captain.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:13 am 
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What a lovely & historically important scabbard, & as you say clearly Original.

They would have been Karda & chakmak. Ones of such sizes are quite common on old kukris. The 3rd item could be another karda, but often on kukris one finds a whittled piece of timber as well, used for cleaning food from ones teeth, on 2 other occasions Ive found small hand made scissors. But unless the shape in the leather gives the answer at the time being it would be just guesswork.

Spiral


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