Antiques & Collectables

Hari Kari knife

Collect the past, enjoy your finds and invest for your future.

Another interesting month. We have spent much of our time preparing for our Antique and Collectables Auction. I spent ages taking things out of boxes, which I look at and put back in the box because I can’t bear to part with it, just yet. But, I am getting better because the realisation that my kids are not impressed with inheriting “treasure” looms large.

Jen and I volunteer, on Tuesdays, at the Manning Valley Historical Societies’ Museum, at Wingham. It is great fun and a good group of people to work with. Neale Greenaway (President) and his team continue to make improvements making OUR Museum one of the best regional museums in the state. If you haven’t been lately, take some friends or relatives and be amazed.

The Museum is always looking for items of significance to be donated for our displays. New items go before the Acquisitions Committee. Some items go straight to display, some items go to storage for later display, some items are offered to other local Museums (Tinonee, Cundletown) because they may be more significant to their displays and some items just don’t fit and can’t be stored indefinitely so they are offered for auction sale with ALL proceeds going to the Museum for maintenance and upkeep. 

All donors are asked if they would like their goods returned if the Museum can’t use them. It is a good system and works well. The Museum benefits and continues to function well from the goodwill of the Manning community. Remember our Museum is TOTALLY funded and manned by community members. Your ongoing support is needed and appreciated. New recruits, who can volunteer their time for a big variety of tasks, are always welcomed.

I was lucky enough to receive a phone call from a local lady who had an interesting knife she wished to gather some information about. We arranged a meeting and she brought out this original slender box housing a beautifully carved bone handled knife and scabbard that had been brought back to Australia after WWII by a serving member of the family. The soldier had brought it back from Borneo. 

The knife is Japanese in origin with fine detailed carving of the bone. Knives of this size and shape were often used for Hari-Kari, which is a Japanese form of ritualised suicide. This was often practised when the owner “lost face” – (hadn’t achieved goals set by themselves or superiors).

Hari-Kari is also known as Seppuku (“cutting [the] belly”). It was originally reserved for Samurai and also practiced by other Japanese soldiers to restore honour for themselves or for their family. A samurai practice, seppuku was used either voluntarily by samurai to die with honour rather than fall into the hands of their enemies or as a form of capital punishment for samurai who had committed serious offenses, or performed because they had brought shame to themselves.

I will have to do some more research to authenticate this knife and find more of its origins, but, as always it is great to find such interesting pieces.

Happy hunting for the month!

I recommend collecting to all. Find a category that suits your interests and take the plunge and collect a variety of unique and interesting treasures or limit yourself to just one area. It is always fun.

If you have items you are not sure of, I may be able to help with information, appraisals and/or sales. I love the history and stories of old and  interesting items. 

Phone Rex – 0427 880 546.

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