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Old 23rd November 2023, 02:41 PM   #1
Lee
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Default Clearly tools, but for what purpose?

A friend recently acquired this trio of sharp, pointy things at an upstate New York auction of a large ethnographic collection. I believe that these started out as files and have been modified to their present shapes. Leatherworking tools or what?
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Old 1st December 2023, 03:18 PM   #2
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Hi Lee. Here a few unrelated and probably unhelpful thoughts. How sharp are they? The handles remind me of soldering irons. Could they have been used for seating something in a grove?
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Old 9th December 2023, 01:06 PM   #3
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My friend advises that they "come to a point but you'll never cut yourself on them." Perhaps they are the opposite of caulking chisels and used to remove old oakum from joints?
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Old 10th December 2023, 07:22 PM   #4
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Doubtful that those are caulking irons, Lee.
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Old 11th December 2023, 06:16 PM   #5
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It's often a problem with "homemade" tools, sometimes they are homemade not for economic reasons but because a tool doesn't exist.
The best I can offer is Burnishers for leather or Bookbinding seeing as they aren't sharp.
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Old 25th February 2024, 05:06 AM   #6
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Though normally not as crude as these, the shape is reminiscent of the "puntilla toros" used in bull fighting.
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Old 26th February 2024, 01:55 AM   #7
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Thumbs up puntilla toros

Thank you C4RL, after doing an image search, I think that puntilla toros is a very good suggestion. I happened to be at their owner's place earlier today and took another look. The tips thin out quite a bit and I suspect could pierce hide.
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Old 26th February 2024, 02:05 AM   #8
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Yes, thought I haven't seen any as rustic as those the shape is very remanisant of what some use to torture Bulls for entertainment.
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Old 26th February 2024, 11:53 AM   #9
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Most likely for harness/saddle making
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Old 26th February 2024, 01:12 PM   #10
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Default Failsafe

I did some further reading after repeating the internet search and find descriptions (roughly translated from Spanish) that the puntilla toros is a essentially a slaughterhouse implement used in bullfighting to quickly execute the bull when insertion of the rapier fails to quickly kill the bull.

Graphic animation of use of the puntilla toros (NOT for the sensitive).
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Old 26th February 2024, 06:35 PM   #11
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The analogy is correct in that these things are, or were, basically used for taking down cattle in slaughterhouses. Most probably such was the purpose of the posted examples, as they are a trio and not an isolated unit.
Still their resemblance with Spanish 'puntillas de descabello' can not be ignored; unless the (auction) seller wants to raise the value of his rustic example by 'enhancing' its purpose !



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Old 26th February 2024, 11:04 PM   #12
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Great to eventually identify the use of them. 👍
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Old 4th March 2024, 01:18 PM   #13
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I did wonder when I first saw these if they could be slaughterman's or knacker's wands or rods.

Stop now if you're squeamish.

The idea was to push through the wound caused by stunning or the poleaxe and scrabble the brain. This was thought to prevent any post stunning neuromuscular spasms.

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