King of Nepal Presentation khukri

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I have been meaning to post this for a long time. I have some close up pics on my other computer. I asked if I could photograph them, but I had to hand them back the next day. A friend of mine (deceased) Peter Prentice was a customer at my Inn and was a major in the Gurkhas. He served in French Indo China, now Vietnam fighting the Japanese right through until 1946. The khukri in the picture was presented to him by the King of Nepal. He has a second one, presented at another time. The second one has a silver 1/2 Rupee coin in a mount on a braided silver rope. The kuks and the silver soldier are now in the Ghurkha Museum in the UK. I do have his 'service' khukri that was a gift from his men and was left to me in his will. Officers don't normally carry kuks, but then Peter was no ordinary guy. He also carried a Thompson sub-machine gun, because they didn't jam like the sten gun. He swapped coffee and bully beef for .45 rounds for it when he met US troops. I also have a Japanese surrender sword from him and a Japanese prayer flag, plus his dress sword and his father's dress sword. His father was a also 'army' and a V.C. recipient. He was a cantankerous old B, but I liked him a lot. He received an M.B.E from the queen for his services to industry working for Ford Motor Company, but between fighting and civvy street he was in charge of the government's nuclear and biological warfare division before it was a 'fashionable' name. He also wrote contingency plans so if there was an uprising in any British dependency or part of the British Empire, you just pulled one of his dossiers off the shelf and started at page one and worked through to the last page.

KukriCloseup.jpg


Just thought, is this off-topic for here? If so please move to Cantina.
 
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Just my humble opinion, but this is what the topic revolves around - The Real Thing:thumbup:

Please post more pics, and thank you.
 
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Andrew what a stroke of fate that you got to know this gentleman and were friends with him.
I would very much like to see a pic of his service khukuri and the swords he left to you as well.
This is very much on topic but thank you for being concerned about it.
 
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What wonderful history. Thanks so much for posting, and please post more pics if possible.
Thanks,
Steve
 

Fiddleback

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That is a great story. Please post more pics, and some of the swords too. This is a great thread. Don't be shy, post the pics. This is the kinda stuff we soak up like a sponge around here.
 
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Thanks. Pleased you liked seeing them. In my folder I have a picture of the other khukri and his service kuk, plus a very large, old silver hilted khukri that I purchased from a militaria antique shop. I also have the kuk that started me on them, which is a huge Indian made tourist item. I sold that at auction before I left the UK. I'll post them over the next week or so. Our best friend in Canada died on Saturday. He was 75 so had a good innings, but we are involved in helping his widow with general support, organising the visitation, funeral and the reception. Moreso the reception as it is what I do for a living. Anyway, I will get round to it I promise.

Here is a better picture of the khukri in the picture above. You will notice that the major cleans his knives with a pumice stone! I have left the second picture at full scale to show detail, so apologies if you are on dial up. I had forgotten that this one has a coin on the reverse.

KukriPresSmall1.JPG


KukriPresSmall2.JPG


Although I have seen them, handled them and photographed them, I really know little about them. If anyone has any information, please share.
 
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Mr. Taylor,
Beautiful kukri, with a fascinating history. Thank you for sharing the pictures and the memories of your friend with us. A little excerpt from an article by forumite John Powell, written for Arms Collecting:
Carried by kings and prime ministers, high ranking Nepalese soldiers and owners of the huge tea plantations that dot the landscape of northern India, this is about some of the most attractive kukris made: the kothimora. They have served as gifts or presentation pieces to officers of Gurkha Regiments, or to important business contacts and even heads of state - people who might be of influence or who truly deserved an honorarium.... Kothimora is a Nepali term. The word is formed from two nouns, namely kothi meaning in this context "ornamented tip" and hence the ornamented chape (tip) of a scabbard, and muhuda meaning face. But the word is used now as an adjective - and please note that strictly speaking the term is applied to the decorated scabbard, and only indirectly (by transference) to the kukri which it contains.... Wound around or hanging in a loop are different types of surrounding sangli (a woven silver chain) and may have a...rupee holding it together. The dates on the rupees mean nothing as both the Nepalese and Indian smiths utilize them as inexpensive and attractive pieces of silver The rupees are referred to as kampani as they were originally minted by the British East India Company.... If you are lucky to find an authentic kothimora it will usually be...a fine example of the armourer's and silversmith's art.
Copyright 2002, John Powell.
As has been said, we'd love to see pictures of the service kukri.
Regards,
Berkley
 
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Thanks. I knew it was a kothimora from my readings here and on the HI website, but all the other details are very interesting especially about the coin and woven chain. Also nice to see confirmation that they were presented to Ghurka Regiment officers.

I will get the service kukhri pictures up soon. I was looking at them last night.
 
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Andrew I meant to tell you just how beautiful your Kothimora is, both the scabbard and the khukuri and the miniature blades.:cool: :D :thumbup:

The handles almost look like horn but I'm not sure, can you tell us what they are made of? The finish looks to shiny and smooth to be wood but one never knows unless one asks.;)
The handles on the miniatures look to be almost translucent in a couple of places and to me appear much like the antique green horn that used to be seen a lot more often than it is in these times.
 
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Thank you for sharing the pics and the story. Very interesting to see some 'fancy' type khuks.
 
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Yvsa said:
Andrew I meant to tell you just how beautiful your Kothimora is, both the scabbard and the khukuri and the miniature blades.:cool: :D :thumbup:

The handles almost look like horn but I'm not sure, can you tell us what they are made of? The finish looks to shiny and smooth to be wood but one never knows unless one asks.;)
The handles on the miniatures look to be almost translucent in a couple of places and to me appear much like the antique green horn that used to be seen a lot more often than it is in these times.

Yes sir. All made of horn which did have a green hue. When the major was ill, and I asked if I could photograph them, I did offer to clean up the blades, handle and silver fittings, but he declined. I guess he wanted to be sure of getting them back before he went :)

I will post details of the service khukri next, but the other kothimora has an engraved blade. That blade was also cleaned with a pumice stone :eek:
 

not2sharp

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A very pretty knife; simple, yet with very elegant lines. You look at knives like this and instinctively like them. I think we subconsciously register and appreciate the good ergonomics; although, we usually express ourselves in terms of beauty.

n2s
 
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Andrew Taylor said:
Yes sir. All made of horn which did have a green hue. When the major was ill, and I asked if I could photograph them, I did offer to clean up the blades, handle and silver fittings, but he declined. I guess he wanted to be sure of getting them back before he went :)

I will post details of the service khukri next, but the other kothimora has an engraved blade. That blade was also cleaned with a pumice stone :eek:

Thanks for the confirmation Andrew. I love that old green hued horn but it isn't seen much anymore regretfully.
And it seems that regardless of how sound a piece of horn is it is always the black that is the absolute strongest.
This example of the green horn looks as if it is in perfect shape but I've seen a lot of it that had started fraying for lack of a better word.
Horn and hoofs are the same as our very own fingernails and can dry out badly and then start breaking apart.
At its worst it comes off in little slivers and I don't know that it can be salvaged after reaching that point.

And actually cleaning a khukuri or any large knife blade with a pumice stone makes perfect sense if sandpaper or other finer abrasives aren't available.
The pumice stone should leave a very toothy and sharp edge on almost any large knife, good for combat situations if for nothing else.:thumbup:
 
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