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Old 3rd February 2017, 10:12 AM   #1
thinreadline
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Default a strange antler gripped sword

The blade length is 57 cm and the scabbard is wooden . Everything about it appears old and well made , but I have never seen anything like it. Have any members encountered similar ? Is it some kind of religious or ceremonial artefact or just a fantasy piece ( though certainly not recent ) ? I am intrigued to know more .
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Old 3rd February 2017, 12:39 PM   #2
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The only knives I have seen with similar antler handles, were from the Sami people in northern Finland, I believe. But with much shorter blades than this piece.

Not really a practical weapon, so maybe an item of display/parade costume ??
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Old 3rd February 2017, 02:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colin henshaw
The only knives I have seen with similar antler handles, were from the Sami people in northern Finland, I believe. But with much shorter blades than this piece.

Not really a practical weapon, so maybe an item of display/parade costume ??


Yes I was thinking Lappland and you are right it could be ritual / traditional ceremonial piece, it does appear to have some age .
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Old 7th February 2017, 05:23 PM   #4
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THE ANTLER LOOKS LIKE REINDEER (CARIBOU) HORN THE BLADE FROM SOME SORT OF CALVARY SWORD. DOES IT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN TOGETHER FOR A LONG TIME OR DOES IT LOOK LIKE A RECENT CREATION.? A INTERESTING ITEM IN ANY CASE.
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Old 8th February 2017, 04:00 AM   #5
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Hi, definitely not Finnish Same-people item. They do have long knives which can almost have the lenght of the sword but they look like a giant "puukko" and are called "leuku".
Never seen anything like this before.Nice item though!
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Old 10th February 2017, 10:39 AM   #6
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I found this example in the Oldman Catalogue of Ethnographical Specimens, reprint, December 1904 no. 21 issue. Apologies for blurred images.

In the Oldman knife shown, the antler forms the sheath, not the handle, however the concept is very similar.
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Old 10th February 2017, 05:25 PM   #7
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I'm guessing someone had a blade and a piece of antler and thought they would look cool together, they where right it does look cool, but not very practical.
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Old 10th February 2017, 10:20 PM   #8
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Beautifully caught Colin!!!
It seems too seldom that we have references from the venerable Oldman, catalog, which was very much the backbone of Stones monumental work in 1934.
I am so glad to see this most unusual ethnographic piece.

Actually the use of antlers in many ethnic groups seems to be largely ceremonial and status oriented. In the American Indian tribes from the plains, antler knives are well known, and it seems these were often to represent power in the case of the shaman , medicine man or chief.
With many of the ethnic groups of the north which fall loosely into the Eskimo or Northern Indian tribes, various antler use is known in the material culture.

It does seem quite possible for such connotation to be seen here in the ethnic groups in Lapland and Finland. In similar manner, swords in the Ainu people, though not with antlers, are not weapons but deeply imbued with symbolic character.
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