Integral Damascus Cuchillo Gaucho with Stag

Product Description for Integral Damascus Cuchillo Gaucho with Stag

Maker: Neels van den Berg, M.S. (click to see more by this maker)
Item num: 99799
*** This is handmade and one-of-a-kind ***
Blade length: 8.00 in.
Cutting edge length: 7.60 in.
Total length: 13.10 in.
Blade height (at heel): 1.25 in.
Blade thickness (near bolster): 0.13 in.
Blade thickness (at midpoint): 0.11 in.
Blade thickness (near tip): 0.04 in.
Item weight: 8.60 oz.
Shipment weight: 13.0 oz.
Blade: Twist pattern damascus forged to shape from carbon steels
Bolster: Textured bronze fittings
Handle: Red stag
Sheath: Hand stitched leather sheath
Description: Visiting Journeyman Smith Neels van den Berg's workshop on a recent trip to South Africa with a real treat. His forge is pretty much in the middle of nowhere -- or at least if you kept driving down the road, that is clearly where it would end. The twisting road travels through veldt populated by zebra and other wild animals. Neels is well known for his war hammers, spike hawks, and highly refined knives.
Cuchillo gaucho is a generic term for a style of knife characteristic of the gauchos, horsemen of the plains of South America -- principally Argentina, of mestizo (mixed Spanish and Indian) heritage. Analogous to the cowboy of the American West and the Mexican vaquero, the gauchos were mounted cattlemen initially living and working in vast undeveloped areas at the fringes of "civilization". Aside from its obvious potential as a weapon in duels, which were to mark rather than kill an adversary the cuchillo gaucho has a reputation as a truly multi-purpose tool and was used for tasks as diverse as slaughtering and skinning cattle, working leather, cutting wood, and making adobe bricks. In the wilderness, the gaucho could listen for distant approaches by sticking his knife into the ground and pressing an ear against its hilt. The knife was the gaucho's primary eating utensil: a large chunk of meat would be placed in the mouth and the excess cut off with an upward stroke of the knife, stopping short of amputation of the nose. Afterwards, it would serve as a toothpick. And, of course, in the gaucho's twilight in the 20th century, its use as a can opener was inevitable.
This elegant Cuchillo Gaucho shows van den Berg's work at its best. The blade and integral bolster were forged from his own twist pattern damascus, beginning with carbon steels. Creating an integral bolster shows tremendous skill at the forge.
The blade collar, ferrule, and pommel are made from textured bronze. These surround a section of natural stag. The surrounding fittings have been carved to match the natural texture of the German red stag.
This knife is accompanied by a hand stitched leather sheath.
Excellent work throughout!

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