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Alcoso navy dagger w/ ivory grip

Article about: Hi guys, here is one of my navy daggers with a beautiful ivory grip. It's by Alcoso and has all the typical Alcoso details like the scabbard rings, the pommel and the diamond shape on the ba

  1. #11
    ?

    Default Re: Alcoso navy dagger w/ ivory grip

    I suppose given the Germans had several colonies in Africa, Tanganyika, now Tanzania and the South West, now Namibia and both if these places supported large herds of elephant it is entirely reasonable to suppose the ivory in these handles came from elephant rather than other species. There could've been stores of ivory left over from this period in time.

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  3. #12

    Default Re: Alcoso navy dagger w/ ivory grip

    Truly gorgeous piece. I'd be proud to own it. Thanks!

  4. #13

    Default Re: Alcoso navy dagger w/ ivory grip

    A lovely dagger, the ivory certainly makes it a special piece.
    Virtually all ivory used on period production cutlery will be elephant tusk. It was available, but even at the time expensive. Elephant tusks consist of clear (white) ivory all the way to the core. It could be cut to provide maximum yield. It can be identified by the Schreger lines when looking at the end cut. All other ivory sources are too difficult for production use. for example:
    Mammoth and Mastodon ivory was scarce during the period. Radial cracking during the drying process produces huge amounts of waste.
    Narwhale ivory has a deep core, and very deep surface texture. It is also very prone to cracking. Only the very tips of the tusk would have been useful.
    Walruss tusk has a large core of "cracked ice" ivory. Only the very tip would have been useful for a dagger handle.
    Hippo tooth has a very tough outer core of dentin which has to be removed. The core of soft ivory is relatively small and prone to cracking with only minor humidity changes.
    Whales teeth of sufficient size were just too scarce for production use, and present a problem due to the large hollow core.
    Warthog tusks are simply too small and odd shaped for use in shaped dagger handles.

    It is also interesting to note that ivory grips on navy daggers are usually more discoloured than those on army or luft daggers. This is caused by the copper component in the brass used for the fittings. Exposure to copper/brass will turn the ivory a yellow to brown colour. Depending length of storage, and environment, this can be dramatic.

    Wolfgang

  5. #14

    Default Re: Alcoso navy dagger w/ ivory grip

    wow a wealth of knowledge in this thread!!! good stuff!

  6. #15
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    Default Re: Alcoso navy dagger w/ ivory grip

    Wonderful piece. Thanks for sharing. You guys always surprising me. I enter to see a dagger and suddenly I am learning a lot about ivory... Scary.

  7. #16

    Default Re: Alcoso navy dagger w/ ivory grip

    Quote by cart View Post
    Wonderful piece. Thanks for sharing. You guys always surprising me. I enter to see a dagger and suddenly I am learning a lot about ivory... Scary.
    Its all attributed into knowing every detail from beginning to end of the materials used in creating such quality examples. It is discussions such as these that brings to light and helps prepare the next generation of teachers / Collectors of this History. Many would scoff at the idea of threads being so boring as "why would we talk about scabbard screws"...and anything other that just doesnt stand out in beauty................Without those minute details..the dagger or sword would never exist.....nor the authenticity. Every minute part comes into play .....which all it takes is one non period replaced screw..or fitting...and the artifact will be destined for doubt..or degraded worth.

    The great thing about all these forums within the WRF..is we Live Eat and Breathe this stuff...and it drives us..to wanting to know the whole story from the planning stages...to distribution...to the first owner..to the last present owner. Knowing where it came from and where its been is a huge necessity of knowledge..that protects us from the scumbags who rape the opportunity of making a few dollars......and sacrifice history for it.

    I am glad Cart you made the statement you made..thank you for contributing your thoughts to this forum Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  8. #17
    ?

    Default Re: Alcoso navy dagger w/ ivory grip

    hi dr73
    if you want to know that handle material simply heat some nail paperclip or whatever and put it to the handle, if it mellow its synthetic material. if not its organic.

  9. #18

    Default Re: Alcoso navy dagger w/ ivory grip

    Ummm call me silly but I think I will skip the hot nail test on any of my dagger handles lol

  10. #19

    Default Re: Alcoso navy dagger w/ ivory grip

    In an Obscure spot inside the grip if applicable or removable from the blade tang...other than that..I would leave it alone. No telling what will happen once pressure is released from the pommel...will the grip fall apart or is the pommel itself holding it all together after all these years like a jig saw puzzle.

    Mr Bean..."Rowan Atkinson" comes to mind as something like this might happen...by touching something not meant to be messed with...JMO
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  11. #20

    Default Re: Alcoso navy dagger w/ ivory grip

    No need for any testing on the grip, in any case. The age splits in old Ivory are glaringly obvious. A synthetic does not have anything like this appearance to it, no matter how badly cracked up it is. Aged synthetic or celluloid cannot match the appearance of old Ivory. The Alcoso dagger shown is a Beautiful genuine Ivory grip and I would absolutely never worry about it.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

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