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sabertasche 2nd October 2021 07:48 PM

Recent Shamshir Auction Win
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Hi all, I just won this at auction. I was able to see in in person and make the decision to bid based on a hint of what lay beneath the crusted patina. It appears to have a decent blade and pattern. Any ideas on how to treat the horn grips? They appear very dry and I'd like to gently clean and enjoy this sword again.

Philip 2nd October 2021 10:12 PM

The gripscales are of rhino horn. I like to use artist's turpentine on a piece of old towel to clean off accumulated gunk. An old toothbrush works fine for crevices. The fibrous structure can be nourished by gentle rubbing with a 2:1 blend of boiled linseed oil / turpentine. Note that the turpentine I'm referring to is distilled from tree gum, it's not a petrochemical paint thinner. Several applications over successive days, wiping the excess off after each. The trick is to avoid leaving enough to create a sticky layer since this is a subsurface treatment, not something like shellac or varnish. You can finish with a coat of Renaissance wax to create a mellow and attractive sheen. This is the method I've used on antique gunstocks for years, and it works well with these horn grips as well.

Saracen 3rd October 2021 12:22 AM

Congratulations. Excellent Ottoman Shamshir, but Persian (IMHO) crossguard introduces a slight dissonance. To restore the grips, you can also apply lanolin. An ideal remedy for dried organic matter.

kronckew 3rd October 2021 04:34 AM

I use 'hooflex', (or equivalent), a natural oil formulation to nourish dry (live) horse hoofs, which are also made of keratin.

Ferguson 3rd October 2021 01:07 PM

Iíve also used Hooflex on many horn hilts over the years as well including rhino. A google search shows that it is available at The Carrington Shoppe in Vancouver.

However, Philip is the premier restorer of fabulously expensive antique swords. You will never go wrong following his guidance.

Beautiful sword!


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