19th-Century Kukri Knife with Plaque

Value (2006) | $3,000 Retail

APPRAISER:
This kind of a single-edged, curved-bladed weapon is the national weapon of Nepal and it's called a Kukri, and it's a fairly average one, but it does have a plaque that's on there.

GUEST:
It does, yes.

APPRAISER:
And you know a little information about that plaque.

GUEST:
Supposedly this is a war souvenir from the Sepoy Rebellion that occurred like 1857 to 1859, and, um, when a major rebel of that battle was taken captive, the major who obtained this Kukri then presented it to the first viceroy of India, presented as, uh... proof, I guess, that the battle was over.

APPRAISER:
Well, you know, that information is all true. This was the first major revolt for Indian independence. They talk about Nana here. He's a character called Nana Sahib, and Nana Sahib was a Maratha leader from Central India. And he was disenfranchised by the British. And the British basically took his state away from him.

GUEST:
He was very upset, I guess.

APPRAISER:
Exactly, and he sent a character named Azimullah Khan to England to try to get his rights restored, and Azimullah Khan came back from England and he said to Nana Sahib, he said, "How can a country that's as poor and as desolate as England rule India?"

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
And he talked Nana Sahib into a major revolt. And one of the generals here was this Tantia Tope, and in 1858 he was driven into Nepal, where he probably captured this weapon, and then in 1859 he was captured and killed by this Meade who is on here also.

GUEST:
Right, yeah, executed, yeah.

APPRAISER:
It's the kind of thing, if you look at it, you know, it's not much to speak of, but that inscription makes this thing and makes it actually pretty much a national treasure for someone of Indian origins.

GUEST:
Oh, dear, yeah?

APPRAISER:
In fact, they've hunted tigers with these things.

GUEST:
Oh, did they? They got that close with that small of a knife?

APPRAISER:
Yep, yeah, yeah. The Gurkhas were fearless people. And... You had purchased it?

GUEST:
Yes, we purchased it in Colorado about ten years ago at a regular antique mall.

APPRAISER:
Really? Wow.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
And what did you pay for it?

GUEST:
$300.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, I think that was very reasonable. I think it, conservatively, is worth a retail value of probably around $3,000.

GUEST:
That's very good.

APPRAISER:
Yeah.

GUEST:
My husband will be really happy.

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2006)
$3,000 Retail
Event
Milwaukee, WI (July 29, 2006)
Period
19th Century

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