Broad bladed example with horn hilt and engraved blade.
Iron, deer antler
19th - early 20th century
From an American collection
Anything similar for sale?
The pocket knife of the Ainu was traditionally the makiri, a small curved single-edged knife with the edge on the outside curve.
Here is a miniature version of such a knife. The blade follows the typical design of these, and its forte is chiseled with two characters, most likely a maker's mark.
The marks found on Ainu knives, whenever they appear, are quite unusual and do not correspond to Japanese maker's marks as I know them. It has long been believed that the Ainu did not work metal themselves, but this is far from true, see my article Knives and swords of the Ainu.
The hilt is carved out of a piece of stag antler. It is very well carved actually, for Ainu work, especially when you consider its small size:
The mini-makiri on my hand.
(Yes, signs of manual labor on the hand! I don't just sit around all day you know.)
The decoration consists of a flower in a cartouche on either side and a band of stylized waves.
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I might be interested in buying it.Contact me
A robust and heavy example, crafted with care.
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