Donnerstag, 8. September 2011

Morphology of the German "Jagdnicker"

 I was rummaging through my attic-turned-home to create the illusion of a start of tidying and cleaning up;-) for there has to be one, and I found out I have quite a collection of German hunting knives, the so-called "Jagdnicker". This term is used, for they were traditionally used for killing deer by stabbing in to the nape of the neck and into the skull´s base, the so-called "abnicken" (German hunter´s colloquial language/dialect). It is also a crucial tool for the Bavarian "Brotzeit" (snack, vesper) and worn as a traditional part of Bavarian attire. I grew up with one, and always had an affinity to them, so there is quite a collection after all those years (got my first knife at the age of five). It is a very practical kind of knife for many kinds of work. It dates back to the medieval ages (maybe farther back) and has supposedly developed out of the "Bauernwehr", a peasant´s  all-purpose knife also used (in longer versions) as a fighting knife. From those longer "Bauernwehr" knives the "Langes Messer" developed, a one-edged sword used for hunting and as a weapon.
The shorter versions were preserved in history for the great utility knives they are. Typically, a traditional "Jagdnicker" has a somewhat triangular blade with an integral bolster, the "Kropf", a rat tail tang that reaches halfway into the handle, typically made from staghorn, cowhorn, or wood. There was a secondary bolster out of silver, nickel silver, bronze or brass. Right you can see a Hubertus 1.4034 blade with old fittings, mounted by Mr. Henning Ritter from Hubertus. I love the Art Nouveau fittings, dating back to the 1920s / 1930s. 
 A Weber knife blade with a vine-infested beech handle I found on a flea market.
 Top is a Boker 440C blade with a full tang, Sambar stag scales with red fiber underlay.
Second from top there is a Widder 1.4116 blade with an etching that´s typically 1950s /1960s and depicts a fisherman. Handle´s Sambar stag also.
 A very rare Schlieper knife with a blued blade and a deep etching I like a lot. It depicts a stag in the mountains, and I like the metal-grey effects that give  a kind of liveliness to the etching. Blade´s 1.4110, handle is European red deer antler.
 A detail of the etching.
 On this blade I trained my psychoteleportation skills a bit for the photo. It´s quite practical, being able to do telekinetics, for you have both hands to keep the camera steady. Could not keep it up for long, though,  but long enough to shoot the photo;-). Pakistan damascus out of 15 N 20 and 1095, and, as you can see by the sloppy mounting, poodled together by yours truly...;-)
 I like the pattern....
The "Kropf".

Oh, and the topmost photo shows (top to bottom:

David Everts, 1.4034 steel, ebony handle
Hubertus, C 45 carbon steel, Sambar stag handle,
Boker, 440C, Sambar stag
Widder, 1.4116, Sambar stag
Weberknives, 1.4034,  beech,
Hubertus, 1.4034, Sambar stag with Art Nouveau fittings,
Historical supposedly Wüsthoff (ca. 1914), crucible carbon steel, blackened and carved bone to achieve a stag likeness.

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