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Old 8th February 2023, 01:44 PM   #1
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Default Spike dagger. Japanese?

I just acquired this interesting spike dagger. Due to markings on the blade, I am thinking this could be Japanese in origin but am open to opinions or comments. Overall, it is around 24 inches long. The sheath and handle are covered in leather (possibly eel skin?) and have very nice and fine stitching along the seams. The leather has what is left of a glossy finish, possibly lacquer. The sheath has a wood core, and probably the handle. The blade is four sided, and is obviously handmade. One two sides are three markings, which look Asian in origin.

Being a spike dagger, this was most likely a weapon. Not much use for it otherwise unless to spike a cannon! There are two brass nails located at the top of the sheath, and I believe these may have held some piece that would allow the sheath to be connected to a belt, or what ever. The piece seems to have some age to it. Again, any comments or opinions are appreciated!
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Old 8th February 2023, 02:13 PM   #2
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Interesting item,
I would not have taught Japanese by the look of it, either in style or in writing.
My guess would be Indian Raj period as a officers command baton.
Any back story
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Old 9th February 2023, 02:00 PM   #3
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Ken, you are spot on with your opinion of this spike dagger. It is a swagger stick sword, and most likely made in India for a British customer. I believe there is a brass collar missing from the mouth of the scabbard, and the two remaining brass nails secured it. I did not get a back story with the item, bought it at antique mall from a dealer who mostly sells vintage black powder guns. He probably got it in a trade or from an estate.

I'm still interested in finding out the meaning of the markings on the blade. Japanese was a bad guess. I've been to Japan twice but that doesn't make me an expert on Kanji!


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Old 9th February 2023, 04:25 PM   #4
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I think this is an West African bodkin.
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Old 9th February 2023, 10:12 PM   #5
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The item looks too long and thin to be a weapon. Could be a veterinary device (called a torcar) to puncture cow or sheep (rumens) stomach to relieve bloat (gas buildup). Of course I could be way off, but form does in fact follow function and there were cows and sheep and vets in the Raj.


Last edited by Edster; 9th February 2023 at 10:14 PM. Reason: added trocar link
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Old 10th February 2023, 08:18 AM   #6
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the torcar is essentially a needle , a tube with a point, it has to be made that way because it is left in situ to deflate the stomach until it has (I studied agricultural science and have handled a couple of these) , so no, this isn't one.

Also the supposed " Kanji" ( in Japan they use 3 different writing system and if anything this looks like katakana , the other one being hiragana ) isn't not.

Il looks like a 01

I concur with a swagger stick of some sort with a blade, probably anglo-indian and I don't think it is very old.

These are often reproduced to look like weapons made in the raj period but they aren't.

We see some in the NL but because the trade of concealed blades is forbidden in the NL not as many as elsewhere.

they look like this
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Last edited by milandro; 10th February 2023 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 11th February 2023, 02:32 AM   #7
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its a north african or indian made swagger stick, some were made in egypt or the sudan others in india for british troops in the 19th and 20th century. .
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Old 13th February 2023, 06:45 AM   #8
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I think ausjulius has nailed it. Swagger stick for a colonial Brit.
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