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Identifying this item

Article about: I am trying to identify this item and I really don't know where to start besides just showing people and seeing if they recognise what it might be. I'm hoping someone here can help! This 3-e

  1. #1
    Jalith
    ?

    Default Identifying this item

    I am trying to identify this item and I really don't know where to start besides just showing people and seeing if they recognise what it might be. I'm hoping someone here can help!

    This 3-edged dagger/point has a flame design on each surface.
    There is a partial skull with hair extending upward. The hand is grasping the hair. The hand is held in the "sign of the horns" position.
    Above the hand is a dragon head with mouth open - and to be honest, looks like it might make a good bottle opener...

    Most people who have looked at this item think that it has been removed from a larger piece, the point of severance being the hand at the wrist. It seems that something was also affixed to the back, possibly a mount as there is a small round spot of what feels like a different metal on the back of the blade section.

    Even if this item is not military in origin, could someone please suggest where to try next? My thought would be that it is some sort of ritual object.

    Thanks for any response!
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Identifying this item

    I reckon it is either Hindu or Buddhist from India/Nepal/Tibet. Maybe others can narrow it down from there.

  4. #3
    ?

    Default Re: Identifying this item

    Could this be one of the hands from a statue of Kali the indian deity worshipped by the Thuggee cult?, or just an ornate bottle opener?

  5. #4
    Jalith
    ?

    Default Re: Identifying this item

    Quote by shinyemon View Post
    I reckon it is either Hindu or Buddhist from India/Nepal/Tibet. Maybe others can narrow it down from there.
    Thanks for the tip shinyemon - looks like Buddhist/Tibet is the key I was missing to identify it. I believe it to be a Phurba or Kila with a Snow Lion (not a dragon head) - it seems to be a ritual tool used in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism.

    Thank you for the lead!

    J

  6. #5
    dunkster
    ?

    Default Re: Identifying this item

    Hi jalith - I have one of these, exactly the same as yours! I have been trying to identify mine as well. What i have so far is: It is a Nepalese or Tibetan, cast-iron Phurba, which is a pre-bhuddist ritual dagger used in banishment of evil ceremonies. (They say that Phurbas have the power to banish or change evil without absorbing any of it.)
    I doubt they are broken off anything, especially now that i have seen yours. The fact that yours and mine are identical suggests that they were not made by the "lost wax method" of casting, but rather these items were produced repeatedly from a single, high quality mould.
    I am also intrigued by the "horned god" pose of the hand gripping the dagger. I had thought that hand gesture was pagan/celtic in origin. Rather bizarrely, the swastika symbol originates in Tibet - so why not the horns gesture? I now wonder what the Tibetan meaning of this hand gesture is?
    I have googled Phurbas and searched the images (that was how i found yours) and i notice that most almost all Phurba's do NOT have hands gripping them at all...let alone with weird hand gestures. I am more curious than ever now!
    Now - the next question i have is..."how old are they?"
    I hope someone out there can tell us more!

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