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Some interesting bone arrow points / leather and horn items.

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  • mmagnusol
    I visited a pair of itinerant dealers in our local huge flea market this weekend and bought a few bone arrowheads. Very, very OLD arrowheads from Inner
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 8, 2007
      I visited a pair of itinerant dealers in our
      local huge flea market this
      weekend and bought a few bone arrowheads. Very,
      very OLD arrowheads
      from Inner Mongolia, or the Chinese portion they
      are Sinicizing.
      They just returned from there on a buying trip.
      They sometimes
      show up here, but are not from this area so I
      don't know if I will
      see them again. I stupidly failed to obtain an
      address. Googling
      Timothy & Brad in several variations didn't turn
      them up.
      This was on their Chinese export labels for customs.
      Dealers often drive 12 hours each way to sell here
      so we have
      a wide variety of items coming up and down the
      eastern US area to us.

      Two had points roughly like armor-piercing
      crossbow bolts,
      rather diamond shaped in cross-section. About 3
      3/8ths and
      4 1/4 inches in length. The thickness is about
      5/16ths inch on both
      and the width of them 9/16ths on the short one
      and 7/16ths inch
      on the long one. The arrow end of the heads had
      rather flat wedges to
      fix in the arrow. One of them, the long one,
      appears to me to
      have insect nibbled grooves all over the thing.
      Some of us have
      seen similar tracks in horns, from moths I expect,
      before or after
      we have finished working them. In this case it is
      rather neatly
      uniform.

      The third one I bought actually has a somewhat
      hollow shaft end
      formed from the end of a bone socket. One portion
      of the cone
      was open. Being a worker in bone I was rather
      amazed to see a
      socketed bone arrowhead. I am not sure what kind
      of animal it
      came from as the socket was obviously from a
      fairly small bone.
      The socket was somewhat tapered but obviously the
      bone had an
      inside cavity of less than 3/8ths of an inch at
      that end. This one
      is about 2 1/4" long. The point was triangular
      like many asian
      and roman points. The facets on the triangularly
      cross-sectioned
      end are all 3/8ths of an inch wide.

      All three were very well faceted and I suspect
      they might have
      been honed with a sandstone or something similar
      originally.
      There is no doubt in my mind they are very old and
      original pieces.

      There was a bit of calcareous [spongey] internal
      tissue on nearly
      all the 20 or so arrowheads I went through. I
      picked the best
      three and talked the guy down from $25 each to $60
      for the three.
      ..........................
      I also picked up a folding Mongol razor and a
      small socketed iron
      spearhead [rather generic] from them to add to the
      artefacts collection.
      It could be wear patterns in the rust or it could
      be a decorative
      forging/etching but I think perhaps I see a long
      dragon on one side of the head.

      I have had several knives that were in really
      rusty condition of about
      20 ancient to renaissance knives I have that I
      honed the rust off of
      and have found an etched pattern in old Greek or
      Cyrillic letters & triangles
      on both sides of one and three yellow dots from a
      through rivet on
      the other. In this case I might see what might be
      on the small spearhead.
      Overall I guess it is around eight inches long.
      It is very well used and
      slightly bowed in the blade area being slightly
      concave on one side.
      I rather doubt if this one exceeds a few centuries
      in age.
      ........................
      Finally I picked out two 3/8ths inch cubical dice
      out of a fairly
      large selection. Each had conical holes of about
      1/8ths inch size
      and had black infill in most of the holes. I have
      no idea what the
      binder is but the stuff in the holes that survived
      is of fair depth.
      The only other thing I noticed about the dice dots
      is the 3 set at
      a diagonal angle in the side almost always joined
      the holes together.
      .......................
      The dealers also had some weaving shuttles that
      had horn ends that
      were slotted on either side to receive bamboo
      outward bowed sides
      in the ends, very masterfully made. The ends of
      the bamboo
      sides were rabbeted on the outside about an inch
      to fit smoothly
      into the slots in the horn and were glued and
      pinned in place.
      Used enough the shuttles were very smooth.
      Holes in the inner parts of the horn for the
      bobbin and holes
      in the bamboo sides - probably to guide the thread
      through.
      They were nicely bowed in all directions but were
      not that far
      from normal shuttle shapes.
      ..........................
      They also had horn double and single ended
      charging bottles for
      blackpowder guns on bandoliers, a curious black
      leather belt with
      what appeared to me to be mostly teeth studded
      dots contained in
      holes cut like cabochon metal rims between the
      two layers of leather.
      I say teeth because they were well worn with a
      visible set of layers
      like tree rings on a few of them. They didn't
      appear to be cowrie
      shells at all. Rather round. But one was close
      to 7/8ths of an inch
      while the rest averaged 5/16th's +/- in diameter.
      This was hardened with age but looked like it
      would fit a large dog or
      possibly be a shaman's device. Mongolian shamans
      have a huge
      range of very odd items they use and wear.
      ...........................
      One of the odd metal items was obviously modern
      steel, a tapered
      square rod with a hole in the small end for a long
      cord. The large
      end was around an inch and the small end, filed
      octagonal for a short
      distance of around 2" was maybe 1/2" in cross
      section. Eight or so
      inches long and said to be a Dog Killer. I
      suppose if your mutts get
      into a vicious fight getting smacked with this
      thing on a long cord
      might be a safer way to end it.
      ...........................
      They also had a number of largish leather powder
      horns - most of which were
      conical with horn ends, and one of which was
      stitched on the lower end with
      a baseball-like tongue to make a ball bottom that
      necked at the top
      near the horn spout end. This was all one piece
      of leather, the tongue
      for the baseball like rounded end being on one
      side of the piece of leather.
      Very bottle like and unusual. I first saw it from
      the end and thought I
      was looking at a ball for playing. Appeared to me
      to be sewn with sinew.
      Imagine a gourd with a 4" ball end, a 2" wide neck
      and about 8" long.
      I didn't see any plugs but I did see some cords of
      colored wool on some of
      them.
      ...........................
      Some Monglian double hooked belt claps/ends of
      some sort, an eating kit with
      the knife and case but missing the chopsticks in
      their slot. Some horse
      head harness with decorative niellloed plates with
      lattice style patterns.
      A few not too old swords and daggers from the WWII
      period backwards.
      These I didn't buy.
      .........................
      There were a few 3-4" bone pins, none sharp, with
      plain cut off ends at the
      other end and one with a simple cap-like end for
      the head that could
      pass for a 3" european bone pin from the Roman
      through early medieval
      periods.
      .......................
      Hiding in the bottom of the box was a short ear
      scoop/spoon with a
      3/16ths inch head set at about a 45° angle which
      had been drilled for the scoop bowl.
      This was rather short in my opinion, not being all
      that long for reaching
      into the ears, probably 2 1/4 inches long with a
      simple thin round shaft -
      slightly tapered.
      ........................
      I just bought it but have not had time to learn to
      use it but I picked up
      a smaller 5mp camera I intend to take on my
      adventures. I wish I had
      had it with me on Saturday so I could post some
      pictures. I bought it for
      that purpose. My other is 2.5mp and is a Sony
      Mavica which saves to
      mini-disc, holds 450 pictures and has to be
      initialized and finalized to
      load into the computer, so not so practical as a
      memory stick when I
      want to post something soon. When I get good
      with it I will begin
      showing some more unusual works with my postings.

      Magnus, OL
      Great Barony of Windmasters' Hill [SCA], Manx,
      Adria, Great Dark Horde,
      Archer-Antiquaries.
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