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-   -   Stirling silver or German silver (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=26147)

rockelk 28th July 2020 02:32 AM

Stirling silver or German silver
 
5 Attachment(s)
I have recently been given a number of knives. Some have niello on them, some not. I feel safe to assume that the items with niello are somewhat equivalent to sterling even if they don't have a hallmark or numbers such as 925. However, two of the knives I question. Short of a destructive test I don't know of a technique to discern the difference. Attached are pictures of what I think are a Dha and a Qama. Are these tourist pieces or not? With Regards

A. G. Maisey 28th July 2020 04:55 AM

To test if something is silver or not silver we use a fluid silver test.

It can be bought in very small bottles from a jewelers supply store, it lasts for years, and it is very cheap.

You only use a drop at a time, it will not tell you if something is sterling or not, but it turns the material being tested red if it is silver, and the intensity of colour indicates the purity of the silver.

Ian 28th July 2020 10:15 AM

Hello rockelk.

The Burmese dha (top one) is of a style that developed in the late 19th/early 20th C and deteriorated over time up to the mid-20th C. Some people refer to these as "story dha" because of the koftgari work on the blade, which usually relates one of the traditional Burmese tales of heroism.

All of the scabbards and hilts of this style of dha that I have seen were made of repoussed brass. Yours looks to be brass also. The koftgari work on the blade is usually done with silver wire, often of low purity. Please don't try doing any cutting with one of these as the blades are untempered and very soft. The earliest versions are the best quality and have decent sharp blades with fine koftgari work and high grades of silver--these are hard to find but their quality is readily appreciated next to those made after about 1900–1910. The example you show could be as old as the 1920s/1930s. The scoring for the koftgari on your blade is uneven and more widely spaced compared to higher class examples. The brass fittings on these swords can be well done, although remnants of abrasive polish, such as Brasso® applied by previous owners, are all too common and hard to remove.

Ian.

Battara 28th July 2020 10:59 PM

I can see what you mean Ian. The quality of the repousse on the dha is of very low quality.

You can also go to a jeweler and have them test the metals.

ariel 29th July 2020 04:13 PM

What we call " German silver" was massively manufactured in Europe since 18 century. Prior to that, it was made in China for centuries (" paktong") and exported far and wide. It is an alloy of copper and nickel, often containing zinc as well.

German jewelers figured out the formula and started making it on their own.

Battara is correct: any local jeweler will be able to give you 100% correct answer, but just by looking at the Dha I suspect a cheap alloy: paktong.

I am not certain about the kindjal, but it is quite modern.

rockelk 29th July 2020 04:33 PM

Silver test
 
The lot, (40+ pieces) Varies quite a bit. These two, I put in the category of nice tourist pieces, but not true antiquities. Some of these are old but still tourist, some are nice collectables. I would like to post the four Kris's and seek opinions as I am still learning and have qualms as to what are collectables. Everyone thank you for your time.

fernando 29th July 2020 04:36 PM

We call it ALPACA over here; a term of obscure origin.

Battara 31st July 2020 02:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
We call it ALPACA over here

........and is it woolly like a llama? :D

fernando 31st July 2020 03:22 PM

That would be a different material, José ;) .

kronckew 31st July 2020 04:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
........and is it woolly like a llama? :D


You couldn't let it lie. You forced me into this. It's all your fault....

"In other words, is it the Alpacalypse or the Llamageddon?"

I know Fernando has a related photo he could PM you to settle this. ... :D

Rick 31st July 2020 06:27 PM

A thread died for this..

fernando 31st July 2020 06:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
A thread died for this..

Ditto !

kronckew 31st July 2020 06:44 PM

Requiescat in pace.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4q6eaLn2mY

Battara 31st July 2020 07:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
You couldn't let it lie. You forced me into this. It's all your fault....

"In other words, is it the Alpacalypse or the Llamageddon?"

I know Fernando has a related photo he could PM you to settle this. ... :D

Oh thank you, thank you! That was also horrible! Nothing like good PUN-ishment! :D

Battara 31st July 2020 07:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
A thread died for this..

Ah but it was a good death. :D


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