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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:03 am 
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One of the things I have always liked about collecting firearms is the relative ease with which they can be dated, because of manufacturing records and standardized patterns. My latest foray into kukri-related gun restoration is one of IMA's untouched Nepalese Brunswick-pattern smooth-bore muskets, with accompanying bayonet. Although Nepalese records, especially for this particular weapon, are sparse, it can be fairly well dated. At least 200 of these were recovered from the Lagan Silekhana palace in 2003, along with a variety of earlier and later firearms. This chronological record allows these guns to be dated fairly precisely in the mid-1850s.
The sword bayonet is single-edged, with a decorated iron hilt and knuckle guard. The decoration resembles some kukris I have seen. There is a rounded langet with a fairly crudely inscribed image. All of these iron-hilted bayonets have the same image. John Walter shows it in his Guns of the Gurkhas:Image
IMA's description is "Officer's issue Steel Hilted Sword Bayonet which displays an East India Company Rampart Lion devise on the "longette" of the cross guard." I have been unable to find any emblem associated with the Honourable East India Company that resembles this image. I question why a gun made in Nepal for issue to the Royal Nepalese Army (the Barda Bahadur battalion according to the markings on mine) would be marked with John Company's logo in any case. Since all of the bayonets have the same emblem, it must have some significance, though. Can anyone tell what it is from my admittedly poor pictures?
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Brunswick bayonet.jpg
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:32 pm 
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Nice find Berkley, I agree its not the East India Company Lion, Some bayonets & kukri display the symbol in a more detailed form & from them it appears to be a versian of the Royal Nepalese lion symbol,

Here is an example. {from http://flagspot.net/flags/np.html}

Image

Here one on an old Nepelese chupri bayonet dated 1826 I used to have.

Image

When inscribed on weapons the lion usualy seem to hold the double penant rather than square flag.

I recall Runjeet posted a kukri with perhaps a similar motif on this forum some years ago, sadley the search engine doesnt let me search that far back. I recall we thought it was Hanuman at the time. Ahh just found it by justing going to first page when forum started.


Image


http://www.ikrhs.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=30


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:50 pm 
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Spiral,
Thanks very much. Your chupri bayonet especially does seem to have a similar symbol, although I have to say that the quality of the design on these Brunswick bayonets appears to be from the "pig head" school of semi-abstract art :lol: .
Berk

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:13 pm 
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Slow day on the forum, so thought I'd show off the bayonet mounted on the newly cleaned Brunswick musket. (Also for comparison, Nepalese Francotte pattern Martini, c. 1880, and Nepalese Snider pattern short rifle, c. 1870).
Attachment:
3 Gurkha guns.jpg
3 Gurkha guns.jpg [ 663.53 KiB | Viewed 13778 times ]

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:31 pm 
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Looking great, thanks for alerting us to this forum.


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 Post subject: Nepalese bayonets
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:07 am 
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Glad to have you on the forum!
Here's an interesting shot of a group of 2d Gurkhas at Dehra Dun in 1886. These British Gurkhas were still using British-made Snider short rifles over a decade after the Martini-Henry became standard issue to regular British troops. The Nepalese-made Snider rifles probably saw service with the RNA until WWI.
Attachment:
2d Gurkhas  Sniders 88sm.jpg
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:59 pm 
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Good picture Berk! My only dissapointment when I first saw it was no kukris shown. :roll: :lol:

Some things get used for a long time in Nepal, a few years ago in Kathmandu I saw a para military police man still carrying a single shot Martini Enfield. {The rest of his particular little unit had a bolt action .22 long rifle., numerous FN Fals & of course Lee Enfields as I recall.}

Apparently some maoist militia even used Flint locks ...

Image

I think there slighty sporterised brown bess or similar? but I may be mistaken. They also often carried/used Nepal army long leaves & bhojpurekukri as well as village made peices.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:28 pm 
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Great info & neat photos. Re: antiquated guns still in use, it's not uncommon to see muzzle-loaders still being carried in the hinterlands of Nepal and India. I've seen them in Nepal, the Indian Himalayas and also in the rural areas of central India. In Nepalese speaking areas they usually seem to be called 'khadua' or 'khaduwa,' which literally means to ram/shove/pack, probably referring to the ramming action of the loading process of these muzzle-loaders. These are mostly made by local gunsmiths and traditionally used for hunting. Of course, when matters take a more violent turn (as seems to be the case with what I'm guessing are Maoist women in Nepal in the photo above), these are quickly commandered for "conflict-resolution" issues, atleast until the user can grab a more modern firearm.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:28 pm 
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Great pics..thank you all...Berk these symbols and variations seem to appear on a lot of Nepalese weaponry.Rod


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:16 pm 
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Going through some old files a couple of days ago I came across these which I thought may be of intrest. Sadley I didnt record where they came from.

They appear to be a Brunswick bayonet & a spike Socket Bayonet for a Brown bess I would guess?

Both feature the Nepali lion.

Spiral



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:07 am 
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Spiral, thanks - mention of old files caused me to remember this example of the Nepalese lion. A souvenir of the only time I was foolish enough to bid against JP on eBay - he got the kukri, I kept the picture :lol: .
Attachment:
JPs lion kukri.jpg
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:14 am 
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A Nepalese Lion Karda and Chakmak handle in Ivory...Rod


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:20 pm 
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Nice kukri Rod, I thought you i ended up with it in the end anyway?

I expect you bid against JP a lot more than you realised, he definatly had more than one ebay identity. :shock:

Nice kardas what do they look like with the blades?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:56 am 
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At last I found a pic of one of these Brunswick bayonets in which the design actually looks like a rampant lion. After turning mine 180 degrees and comparing it with the more artfully drawn version, I can just recognize the circular head surrounded by a mane in the middle, the bent knee, and the tail. :idea:
Attachment:
Nepal Brunswick 2 bayo lions.jpg
Nepal Brunswick 2 bayo lions.jpg [ 318.47 KiB | Viewed 12456 times ]

John Walter has an astute observation on related designs applied to Nepalese flintlocks:
Quote:
Each interpretation is different, though clearly intended to follow the same pattern. However, crudity hinders the interpretation of the design, which has the appearance of European arms executed by an engraver with no grasp of the principles of heraldry.

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