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Old 26th July 2006, 08:30 PM   #1
katana
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Default Sudanese (?) crocodile sheathed triple dagger set with Arabic script

Recently acquired a set of triple daggers , tempered steel blades with Arabic (Thuluth ?) script. The handles seem to be horn and the set have definate age....but how old ..I have no idea.

Straight dagger... 15cms blade...26cms overall
curved daggers.. approx 19cms blade.....approx 30 cms overall.

It would be very much appreciated if someone could translate the script for me....pretty please...However, the script isn't to clear in the photos and will try to enhance the script so it can be more easily read, and will post later.

I would also like to repair the missing 'tails' of the scabbard, any suggestions? or should I leave it 'as is' ?

Please comments, suggestions etc gratefully received, thankyou
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Last edited by katana; 26th July 2006 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 27th July 2006, 05:04 PM   #2
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A NICE SET THERE IS A OLD POST IN THE ARCHIVES ON THIS TYPE OF ITEM WHICH DOES GIVE A TIME FRAME OF WHEN THEY WERE MADE. UNFORTUNATELY I DON'T REMEMBER WHAT WAS SAID OR WHAT THE TOPIC WAS. PERHAPS A SEARCH UNDER 3 DAGGER SET AND CROCODILE MIGHT TURN IT UP. THE SCABBARD TIP WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO REPAIR AS RAW CROCODILE SKIN WILL BE DIFFICULT TO COME ACROSS, YOU CAN SOMETIMES FIND A OLD PURSE OR SHOES AT A THRIFT STORE OR ESTATE SALE TO CUT UP AND USE BUT THAT LEATHER IS TANNED AND WILL NOT MATCH. SEARCH ON EBAY UNDER TAXIDERMY, CROCODILE ECT YOU NIGHT TURN UP SOMETHING. YOUR EXAMPLE IS INTERESTING IN THAT IT MAY HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN USED NOT JUST SOLD TO A TOURIST, IF THE REPAIR TO THE MIDDLE DAGGER HANDLE IS A NATIVE REPAIR IT MAY HAVE BEEN CARRIED AT SOME TIME. IT ALSO APPEARS ONE HANDLE HAD TO BE REPLACED AS IT DOSEN'T MATCH THE OTHER TWO.
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Old 27th July 2006, 11:22 PM   #3
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Thankyou Vandoo,
I have posted a triple dagger set before....
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ight=crocodile

However, I sold that set to fund the purchase of a sword. This set is superior in quality, and I was very lucky to find them. Thankyou for your comments and have to agree that using some '2nd hand' crocodile skin is .....perhaps the only way to repair the sheath.
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Old 2nd August 2006, 05:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
YOUR EXAMPLE IS INTERESTING IN THAT IT MAY HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN USED NOT JUST SOLD TO A TOURIST, IF THE REPAIR TO THE MIDDLE DAGGER HANDLE IS A NATIVE REPAIR IT MAY HAVE BEEN CARRIED AT SOME TIME. IT ALSO APPEARS ONE HANDLE HAD TO BE REPLACED AS IT DOSEN'T MATCH THE OTHER TWO.

By what I can tell, the repair is very old and definately looks 'native'. The knives are sturdy and still fairly sharp, doubled edged on the straight dagger and single on the curved versions. The Islamic script is 'worn' which suggests that the knives have been removed/replaced in the sheath on many , many occasions.. They 'feel' used....the handle of one is slightly larger, interestingly the blade in this one is lose, ....suggesting replacement?
How can I identify the handle material i.e bone or horn?
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Old 3rd August 2006, 09:23 AM   #5
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I have posted one before, also.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...gger+crocodile
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Old 3rd August 2006, 04:54 PM   #6
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ALL THOSE I HAVE SEEN HAVE HAD BONE HANDLES LIKE YOURS. NOTE THE WEDGE DRIVEN IN BY THE BLADE OF THE DAMAGED HANDLE, THE BLADE MAY HAVE BEEN LOOSE AND DRIVING IN THE WEDGE TO TIGHTEN IT MAY HAVE CAUSED THE SPLIT WHICH IN TURN HAD TO BE FIXED WITH THE WIRE. OR THE SPLIT MIGHT HAVE OCCURED FIRST, THE BEST WAY TO FIX A LOOSE BLADE IS WITH SOME PITCH OR EVEN A FOLDED PIECE OF PAPER NOT A HARD WEDGE.
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Old 3rd August 2006, 05:17 PM   #7
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Hi Bill,
yes I remember the thread, very nice daggers....I love the hilts. Do you think the blades on yours are functional?
I appreciate the discussion that these were ritualistic, I'm not so sure that ALL the examples seen are. I am quite certain that mine are not tourist....and looking at yours I sense that they are not either. Finding information on these examples has been very difficult, there seems to be little documentation as to their use or function. A sign of status or position seems likely, but the fact that some of them seem functional tends to suggest their use is more than ceremonial.
My straight dagger seems the 'most' used and has had a repair, is it noticeable that your straight dagger shows signs of being used more than the curved? It could be significant if that is the case.

I have researched the significance of the number 3 within the Islamic faith, to see if there is a possible link with the three daggers and found this:

Meaning of Dreams in Islam

Dreams are broken into three parts according to the Sunnah:

Ru'yaa - good visions (dreams)

Hulum - bad dreams

Dreams from one's self

Abu Hurayrah narrated Muhammad (S) said, "There are three types of dreams: a righteous dream which is glad tidings from Allah, the dream which causes sadness is from Shaitan, and a dream from the ramblings of the mind." (Sahih Muslim)



Also there are 3 pillars to a binding contract

CONDITIONS AND PILLARS OF THE NIKAH CONTRACT:
The pillars of every contract, including the marriage contract, in Islam are three:
1. Al-Aqidaan: The two parties: who must both be mature, sane and there must be no preventions or prohibitions .

2. Seighat ul-Aqd: The deal i.e. the offer (Al-Ijaab) and (Al-Qaboul) acceptance. There must be no ambiguity over what is offered and accepted between the parties.

3. Al-Maqoud Alayh: The subject matter: Again the subject matter must be without any prohibitions or preventions.

I feel that ....if the symbolic significance of these daggers is the fact that there are three then, perhaps the 'contract' idea is a great possibility.
You could speculate that an individual's 'contract' to an Islamic cause or leader was symbolised by the three daggers bound by one scabbard. That poccession of these daggers showed your allegiance and loyalty.
Perhaps the totemic properties of the crocodile sheaths was its power to strenghened or protect that contract and the three pillars (daggers) it contained.

I Know I maybe well 'off-base' .....just want to throw this idea in and see what response it gets.........don't be too hard on me
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Old 3rd August 2006, 06:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
Hi Bill,
yes I remember the thread, very nice daggers....I love the hilts. Do you think the blades on yours are functional?
It is possible, I don't know. They are slightly sharp, but you couldn't shave with them.

I got them from a collector of Ethiopian and Sudanese artifacts.
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Old 3rd August 2006, 07:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
ALL THOSE I HAVE SEEN HAVE HAD BONE HANDLES LIKE YOURS. NOTE THE WEDGE DRIVEN IN BY THE BLADE OF THE DAMAGED HANDLE, THE BLADE MAY HAVE BEEN LOOSE AND DRIVING IN THE WEDGE TO TIGHTEN IT MAY HAVE CAUSED THE SPLIT WHICH IN TURN HAD TO BE FIXED WITH THE WIRE. OR THE SPLIT MIGHT HAVE OCCURED FIRST, THE BEST WAY TO FIX A LOOSE BLADE IS WITH SOME PITCH OR EVEN A FOLDED PIECE OF PAPER NOT A HARD WEDGE.

You are right, the wooden wedges are an old repair and not consistant with the curved daggers which seem to have pitch or resin to secure the blades.
I am wondering whether the bone is from a crocodile...perhaps from the leg.
Failing that I suppose it could be camel, goat or cow.... without DNA anaylasis I suspect I will never know.......
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Old 9th August 2006, 10:55 PM   #10
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Recently finished eBay auction.... a curved dagger almost identical in style and construction as the daggers posted....also note...that this particular dagger is sharp .....a 'user' rather than ceremonial ????

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1
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