First thought: guy stuff. Keep it in the man cave.
Second thought: useful tool. Where would civilization be without sharp-edged tools for cutting, chopping, slicing, carving, etc.?
Third thought: power object. This gallery of Jim’s collection shows knives, daggers, and swords that are as beautiful as they are useful. They are the product of centuries of metallurgy to make them technically effective. But they are also the product of an artisan’s hand, incorporating all the symbolism a hero needs to bolster his or her bravery. Some, like the kerises from Sumatra and Java, boast great powers of their own and are passed down in families for generations.
Art, especially high craftsmanship, makes a weapon (or any power object)
astonishing to behold. It confers status and confidence, which is often interpreted as magic. Think about that.
(Click on the images below for a slideshow. Some of the captions don’t show up — my superpowers have failed me — but you get the idea.)
#655. TIBET. Silver-inlaid steel, floral design. Handle is feline head. Abt 12″ #656. TIBET. Decorated handle and sheath with coral and turquoise insets. Leather tie. Brass belt hook. Abt 11″ #653. THAILAND. Knife in silver-clad sheath with silver-clad hilt, worked with wire/granulation. Abt 12″ #654. THAILAND. Slightly curved knife in silver-clad sheath, worked with wire/granulation. Bone handle. Abt 12-1/2″ #651. Short CHINESE knife with decorated silver handle and wood/silver sheath. Small coral cabachons. Motifs: dragons, fish. Red tie and tassles with Chinese knots. Silver ring. Sig or inscription etched into blade. Abt 10-1/2″ #652. DAYAK knife. Short steel blade, plain wood handle; bone sheath, curved, decorated with cut-outs and scratched-in drawings, leather at top. #622. JAVA Kerambit, possibly Java. Claw-shaped dagger “lawi ayam,” heavily-carved wood on handle and sheath. Curved blade. Abt 9″ #643. JAVANESE keris. Rencong style with carved wood handle (dark), wavy damascene blade (corroded); wood and brass scabbard. 19″ #644. SUMATRA(Rencong) keris. Horn, with silver bands. Straight blade. Abt 12″ #645. JAVANESE keris. Silver and brass banded wood sheath; parrot head w brass eye #647. JAVAnese keris. Rencong style with carved wood handle, wavy damascene blade; wood and brass scabbard. 19″ #648. SUMATRA keris. Rencong style with carved wood handle, straight damascene blade; wood and brass scabbard (broken). 19″ #650. SUMATRA keris. Smooth wood, with silver bands. Straight blade. Abt 13-1/2″ #646. SUMATRA keris. Intricately carved bone handle and sheath, with snake motif and two heads with fangs. Straight blade. Abt 14″ #649. Keris, possibly SUMATRA. Lady’s “badik”: wooden handle and (dark) sheath, with human figures (seated with knees drawn and hands together). Straight blade. 15-1/2″ #1839. AFRICA? Knife with leather-covered handle. Sheath wrapped in leather with white binding and tassle and belt loop. About 10 in long. #1840. North AFRICA or Mideast dagger, with sheath, both of leather and brass. Abt. 12 in. #430. AFRICA (Dogan). Knife with wooden handle (carved, female) and decorated blade in a leather sheath, with fringe #1845. North African (?) sword, in decorated leather and brass sheath, with shoulder strap. Abt 39 in. #1844. THAILAND. Slightly curved Thai sword, in silver-clad sheath, sheath and handle worked with wire/granulation. Abt 34 in. #1843. Kukri knife set from INDIA, used by Gurkha soldiers of India and Nepal. Curved blade, with hardwood handle; leather sheath with pockets containing two secondary utility knives. “1944 India” scratched into handle. Sheathed abt 18 in. #1837. BRAZIL. Eberle INOX 20th c. gaucho knife with engraved figural scenes on stainless steel blade and silver scabbard. Sheath measures 7.5 inches long. The blade measures 6.26 in. #1844. JAPANESE “tanto” (knife) with sheath, disguised as a fan, made ca. 1875-1899. Abt. 12 in. long. #1842. SCANDAVIA. Knife with bone handle, in leather sheath. Blade inscribed. Sheath stamped with sled and reindeer design. Abt. 8-1/2 in.