Item:
ON1300

Original Victorian Era Nepalese Kukri Fighting Knife with Gold Inlaid Tulwar Style Handle

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind. The Gurkha Kukri is possibly the most recognizable and famous fighting knife ever developed. Indigenous to the mountain Kingdom of Nepal, home of the Gurkhas who were "absorbed" into the British sphere of influence with the Treaty of Seguli in 1816. These ferocious fighters were infamous for their valor and for using the kukri an amazing "Tool of Death". It is a forward leaning leaf shaped blade, which provided the user with leveraged striking power. The kukri was became an everyday tool as much as it was a deadly weapon. Introduced long before the British arrived in the early 19th century, the Kukri became standard equipment for Gurkha Regiments serving in the British Army. Ironically the earliest Kukris are the largest, which seems improbable as improvements in nutrition and health care has resulted in mankind in general being much larger today than in 1800, yet with Kukris it is the exact reverse.

From our 2003 purchase of the Palace Arsenal of Lagan Silikanna mixed in with 15,000 standard style Kukhri Fighting knives we found a very few of this style. The hilt appears similar to an Indian Tulwar war sword of India and that of the Nepalese Kora Battle Axe also. The handle appears to at one point have been inlaid with gold around the entire edge in an ornate design, though much has worn off over time. There is also gold inland around the ornate pommel cap. See "Stone's GLOSSARY" pages 397-399.

Blade measures almost 15" and about 19" overall, and is in very good condition, and solid. There is what we understand is a Regimental inscription along the back of the blade in local Devanagari script. Most unusual and very rare, ready to display.

History of the Kukri-

The kukri (alternatively spelled khukri or khukuri) is a Nepalese knife with an inwardly curved edge, used as both a tool and as a weapon.

The kukri was, and in many cases still is, the basic and traditional utility knife of the Nepalese people. It is a symbolic weapon of the Nepalese Army, and of all Gurkha regiments throughout the world. It is a part of the regimental weaponry and heraldry of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, and is used in many traditional rituals among different ethnic groups of Nepal, including one where the groom wears one during the wedding ceremony. It is known to many people as simply the "Gurkha blade" or "Gurkha knife".

The pronunciation "kukri" is of Western origin, as the Nepalese people to whom this weapon belongs pronounce it with three syllables - "khukuri."

The oldest known kukris are in the National Museum in Kathmandu, Nepal that belonged to Drabya Shah, circa 1559. The kukri came to be known to the Western world when the East India Company came into conflict with the growing Gurkha Empire, culminating in the Gurkha War of 1814-1816. It gained literary attention in the 1897 novel Dracula by Irish author Bram Stoker. Despite the popular image of Dracula having a stake driven through his heart at the conclusion of a climactic battle between Dracula's bodyguards and the heroes, Mina's narrative describes his throat being sliced through by Jonathan Harker's kukri and his heart pierced by Quincey Morris' Bowie knife.

All Gurkha troops are issued with a kukri; in modern times members of the Brigade of Gurkhas receive training in its use. The kukri gained fame in the Gurkha War for its effectiveness. Its continued use through both World War I and World War II enhanced its reputation among both Allied troops and enemy forces. Its acclaim was demonstrated in North Africa by one unit's situation report. It reads: "Enemy losses: ten killed, ours nil. Ammunition expenditure nil." Elsewhere during the Second World War, the kukri was purchased and used by other British, Commonwealth and US troops training in India, including the Chindits and Merrill's Marauders. The notion of the Gurkha with his kukri carried on through to the Falklands War.

On September 2, 2010, Bishnu Shrestha, a retired Indian Army Gorkha soldier, alone and armed only with a kukri, defeated 40 bandits who attacked a passenger train he was on in India. He killed three of the bandits, wounded eight more and forced the rest of the band to flee.

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