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Freitag, 29. August 2014

Most interesting flea market find from way back then

 I had been in a cleaning up and tidying frenzy, and in the progress came across this knife I had had lying around in some forgotten drawer for ages. I remember once having purchased it years ago from "Khalil", one of my favourite liars;-) on the Schwelm flea market. It is presumeably of Kurdish, Turkish, Greek or Syrian provenience. The shape is common to Crete or Greece. I got it cheap, can´t exactly say for how much now, I remember 15€, but maybe even less. It had been dulled. Now, when I was tidying up I took it out and thought, okay, where´s the harm, gotta do something different to refresh, and took out the old diamond hone and the strop. It apparently was very hard in the edge, but the first real eye-opener came, when I took it to the strop and heard a very high ringing sound. It took, if that´s at all possible, a sharpness higher than razor-sharpness. I have never seen a knife split a hair that easily, and when I tested it against the hair of the back of my head, it cut right through them. I was surprised by its flexibility, though. I bent it full circle, and it came out straight.
 Its blade is very thin, and I was cooking some stew and diced some onions, and it made short terms with them. It built up oxide fast, though. It was then that I realized the oxidation showed a strange pattern...
 Like this, see? Readers of my blog might be accustomed to this pattern. It is not your average common welded damascus.
 If you look closely, you can discover something like darker areas, just like carbon islands.
Of course, I cannot say for sure, but overall I have the strong suspicion that this is a genuine Wootz / Pulad blade. And even if it´s not, it is as fierce a cutter as anyone could wish for in a kitchen. Due to its ruggedness it would make an excellent bushcraft knife, too, but alas, it is no legal carry at 190 mm blade length. Maybe I´ll just make a sheath for it no less, maybe with a possibility to put on some locking device to hinder immediate access. Do I love this knife? It´s becoming more of an obsession than a love;-).

And, let me mention this: This is a genuine tribal knife at its best. In its home country, it might have been made by a village smith of the highest skill level. Even if it has ebony scales and a beautiful brass inlay, its finish would not draw any attention to a potential Western collector at all (it escaped mine for years). But its ruggedness is up to par, if not superior to knives four times thicker in the spine. Knives like this are used in their respective home countries for everything, from kitchen tasks to whittling to butchering, cutting food and wood and meat alike. They are a tool for everything, loved, but loved no less for the fact that they see some pretty hard use.

It requires an extraorbitant skill to make. I am only just learning how to quench blades that thin without damage and then having the patience to grind them down even more without overheating the blade. Blades that can do feats like this one does have received the highest concentration in every step of the fabrication process. They are made at the absolute limit of the material properties and stand for a highly developed manufacturing culture. They are not fancy, but great.


  1. Nice looking knife, good blade shape for dressing game. A good find, well done.

  2. And every so often one is reminded of the treasures in his own home....


Now go on, discuss and rant and push my ego;-). As long as it´s a respectful message, every comment is welcome!

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