“I’ve got a couple of things you’ll want to see,” said my favourite antique dealer, as he brought two kukris out from under the counter. One was a lion’s head kukri with a filigree pattern metal handle and the other was a wooden-handled kukri in dark brown leather sheath complete with military-type frog (belt hanger).
The wooden-handled kukri was the more attractive of the two, even though it was so recently arrived that the antique dealer hadn’t even had time to clean the blade.
What did I buy? In short, a typically Mk.3-profile (WW2 and later) kukri with a non-Mk.3-style handle. A Mk.3 would have a full-tang handle (where the handle consists of two wooden scales riveted either side of a wide, flat tang), whereas my new acquisition had a thin, rat-tail tang running through the centre of the handle and peened over at the butt. The bolster and butt cap are white brass.
The blade has the typical MK.3 ‘dogleg’ halfway along the spine, which is 7mm thick at the bolster and 5mm over the ‘belly’ of the blade – just the dimensions I like. The belly itself is modest at 6cm, giving a very slim and light appearance.
The kukri, I am told, is not an official issue pattern, but is an unofficial design made in Dehradun in the 1950s and issued to the Gurkhas alongside the official Mk.3 and Mk.4 kukris.
Since I was inquisitive, I teased out some of the tinder from the tinder pouch. It turns out to be compressed cotton bolls, and the tiny hard inclusions are cotton seeds.If you have enjoyed this post, please drop me a note or subscribe to this blog using the Subscribe function on the Home Page. Thanks!