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My First Historical Khukuri-Long leaf Victorian

Discussion in 'H.I. Cantina' started by ndoghouse, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    I recently acquired my first historical Long Leaf Khukuri and here’s what I have learned about it so far. It originated from a 2003 purchase of the Royal Nepalese Arsenal located at the palace of Lagan Silekhana in Katmandu, Nepal. The purchase included a considerable number of military issue Kukris. This is one of them.
    It is Victorian in age and was manufactured some time before 1890 but dont know how much older than that?
    The length is 19.25”, width at belly 2 5/8”, thickness at the cho is 7/16”. I have not weighed it yet.

    [​IMG]
    This one was packed in grease and supposedly been that way for over a hundred years. I removed some grease from the blade but decided to take a few pics before I cleaned it fully.

    This is one heavy duty blade and has seen plenty of use.


    [​IMG]

    The handle is shorter than the modern HI Khukuris I am used to and it really feels nice on my short fat hands. The grip feels really secure.

    [​IMG]
    There are some chips in the wood as expected for a hundred plus years of age. I haven’t put it to work but feels like it would have no problem at a hard days work. Bolster feels tight and everything feels solid.

    [​IMG]
    It is a partial tang so no buttplate or keeper.

    [​IMG]
    The Negari script on the spine tells what the manufacture date is if you can read Negari script. I think it looks really cool! Anyone know how to read the date on this? There are a few characters that appear to be abraded off or worn down.

    [​IMG]
    Here she is after all the grease is cleaned off and handle wiped clean. I may leave it just like it is but somehow i think I will eventually have to touch up the edge on it and play with it. There are many dings along the length of the spine where it was used for hammering or pounding who knows what. Even the side of the blade has some small dings from use. There are a few slight bends at the edge on the recurved part but nothing that would prevent putting a good edge on it. There are the natural pits and forging marks expected in a handmade piece of this age. Overall it seems like this blade is still solid and would be perfectly useable if you wished to do so. If anyone knows more about these blades feel free to enlighten me!
     
    Beastchopper likes this.
  2. Bawanna

    Bawanna Moderator Moderator

    Dec 19, 2012
    How cool is that! Thats a pretty neat blade. Kind of wish it could talk. I bet it could tell a few good stories.
     
  3. Berkley

    Berkley

    May 5, 1999
    A great deal has been learned about the Nepalese military kukris since the Atlanta Cutlery/IMA catalog and website information was written ten years ago. An excellent summary of current knowledge is to be found in Benjamin Judkins' article Identifying and Collecting the Nepalese Military Kukri.
    Your Classic Gurkha Army Kukri (AKA "longleaf") was made (or at least marked into inventory) during the reign of "Sri 3 Chandra" - Prime Minister Chandra Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana, who ruled Nepal from 1901-1929. For information on further deciphering the spine inscriptions, see forumite Beoram's "Thrice Honoured Moon": The Mystery of the Nepalese Inscribed Khukuris and KHUKURI LIPI DATABASE OF INSCRIBED KHUKURIS.
    Those resources will get you started on the study of these fascinating old weapons.:thumbup:[​IMG]
     
    Beastchopper likes this.
  4. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Yeah kinda wonder where all its been and who carried it. I would like to know what the script means. But I have a hard enough time with my own language :D
     
  5. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Wow! Thats the same khuk! Thanks Berk! Theres a pot of coffee worth of info for the morning! Mine did not come with the scabbard or Karda and Chak but I would like to find them to make a set. Yours is really nice! Thanks for posting. Whats the little pouch for? Fire tinder?
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  6. Berkley

    Berkley

    May 5, 1999
    The bottom scabbard shows all the accessory pouches, including the small one for flint and tinder.[​IMG]
     
  7. Gehazi

    Gehazi

    Jun 30, 2013
    berk you have the most enviable and classy collection ever, love the knife ndog , you got a really clean one !
     
  8. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Thanks Karda! And thanks Berk for the translation info. I think Ill leave it for the History books and not use it. Just by handling it I can tell it was made for serious business. I may even pick up a few more. I get the feeling that there are not many of these left in good condition. Even hand selected ones are pretty beat up. Ten years since the cash was found so thats to be expected. They should have declared this an archeological find. Amazing history there. The Muskets are very interesting as well.
     
  9. Gehazi

    Gehazi

    Jun 30, 2013
    yeah I really wished I was paying attention when they first started unloading them :( i would have bought a lot more , and im definitely going to try and get at least 3 before they are gone ( the long leaf victorians with no scabbards) they also have a bhojpur with scabbard
     
  10. Bawanna

    Bawanna Moderator Moderator

    Dec 19, 2012
    I hate you guys. I just spent a few moments perusing IMA and Atlanta Cutlery. I'm a devout HI fan without question but I gotta have an original long leave now.
    Why do you guys keep bringing this stuff up to torture me. This is worse than drug addiction. Intervention needed here.

    Champagne taste on a water budget ya know...............................
     
    Beastchopper likes this.
  11. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Well Bawanna Its kinda like finding your roots. Can you imagine finding one of these with Negari script indicating it was of those knifes used against the British! They are still packaged from over a hundred years ago and you dont know what you get till you open it. Kind of like scratching a lotery ticket but either way you win. I do want one of the Bhojpur's with the sheath. Also would like to find a sheath and tools like Berk has. No fear HI I got an order coming soon. Yall are the ones that got me into this Khukri mess anyway:thumbup: BTW: What would be HI's equivalent of this Gurkha Army Kukri. The M43 im supposing since it is updated MKII?
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
    Glenn Jones likes this.
  12. Gehazi

    Gehazi

    Jun 30, 2013
    only the no sheath victorian leaf blades are forge marked, keep that in mind , the bhopuri are unmarked-- IMA will not have these much longer, if you are a collector I would get one nowish.
     
  13. Jens Schuetz

    Jens Schuetz

    Jun 24, 2013
    Which one is better
    Ima or Atlanta cutlery?
    I'm sure Gehazi has bought a dozen from each ;) and can tell which one has better blades on avg.
    thank you.
     
  14. Gehazi

    Gehazi

    Jun 30, 2013
    they are actually exactly the same -- but i want to point out the authentic stag horn patch knives at atlanta cutlery -- I want everyone to get a pair for your victorian long leaf :D and I have just bought my first blades from atlanta i have bought 2 victorians from IMA and they have great service and no nonsense, IMA is a great company for ww1 and ww2 stuff especially rare, and they have great muskets

    from what I saw at atlanta cutlery though they have some things long ago sold out at IMA , like the patch knives, they really wont have those much longer, im trying to buy about 8 or 10 before they are all gone , a couple of officer ones too -- then anytime in the future you find an old fabulous khuk without a sheath you can have one made then add some authentic knives from the late 1800s !!

    Those patch knives are over 100 years old and have as new stag horn grips on them, would look great in a HI khukuri ! only 60 dollars for 2 , so over all a pretty fair price for such rare antiques and once they are gone they are gone forever.
    In short no difference in the atlanta and IMA-- they split the royal nepalese armory im sure these chucklers have the sweet stuff in their office ;p
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  15. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    [​IMG]
    From what I can decode from all the links from Karda and what Berkely has already told me this is what I got. I cannot find the Battalion or regiment yet but im still looking. I will register with the other forums and post my pics there as well.
    It seems this cache of "obsolete" weapons was pilfered and sold off to the highest bidder and only about half the money actually got accounted for. Really sad as this was national treasures of Nepal and rightfully belongs to the people of Nepal. Unfortunately no way to get it back 10 years later. 400 and something tons of National antiques shipped to the US without scrutiny! Kind of makes me feel bad about buying this stuff but If we Khuk nuts dont who will. I know i will do my part to preserve it best I know how. All of this should have stayed in Nepal period! Makes me have that more respect for how HI runs their business!
    Hey Berkley! I just noticed we are neighbors! PM me sometime. We should go have a steak and tater lunch. Bring your fav steak knife:D
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  16. davidf99

    davidf99 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    Thanks, guys.

    I just ordered a Long Leaf Khukuri from the Atlanta Cutlery web site.

    I paid $10 extra for "hand select," but I imagine that by this time the best blades have been pretty well picked over. I just hope they don't send me a plastic bag containing two pounds of rust and some wood pulp for the handle.

    I'll be happy if I get one in the same condition as ndoghouse's photos above.

    My birthday was recently so I can easily justify the purchase .... to myself at least.
     
  17. Gehazi

    Gehazi

    Jun 30, 2013
    fact is even the old ones that have been picked over are still pretty high quality , just like ndog's -- it will be over 100 years old but its good steel and a rare collectors item even if they are all over the market now, in another 100 years there will be people looking for the old nepalese armory collection-- and lots of people will misuse or abuse them, so keep em safe!

    it is definitely a crime how the nepalese royal armory was stolen, but I still wish i was paying attention back then to get the best knives lol

    but yeah guys, we are collectors, and we will treasure these things, and the crime is long committed , so there really is no bad mojo picking one up 10 years later when they are almost gone :(
     
  18. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    The hand select would be the way to go. I can only imagine what the others look like. These are unique because they can be traced back to the battalion and even the individual weapon no. for that battalion. I suppose if there were paper records tying each weapon number to the individual they were isuued to would be ultimate. This may have existed but the way this stuff was pilfered we may never know. Im really impressed with the cataloging system they used for the time. Each Gurkha would know that knife was his. For ex. This is my batallion and i was issued weapon no. 46. Makes you wonder if such documents did exist? You could actually return the knife to the family of the rightful owners. In some cases i would think they were issued and reissued again? Im thinking of getting another and leaving it in the packaging just like I got it. I dont think I could ignore the script tho:D
    Happy Birthday David! Great B-day present! I gave myself a 25" Sirupate for fathers day. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! Pic when your comes in.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  19. Gehazi

    Gehazi

    Jun 30, 2013
    also another point I realized about the royal armory and the significance of those knives and the steel in them-- many thousand spears and kora were reforged into fighting khukuri's after nepal joined with british empire , the armory knives with the devangari are most likely reforged steel from old spears and kora that were already a few hundred years old-- these knives are treasures ! -- and ndog my script looks totally different ,its in my photo bucket but i cant find any symbol other than ( 7)
     

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