AUD $140.00

Old Flint Striker.

An old iron flint striker (Tib: “Mechag”) from Turkestan (somewhere) with an iron striker and leather flap incorporating a pocket to contain dry finely shreaded tinder.(there’s still some in there.)

In a world of lighters and matches, batteries, cell phones and gps’s it’s hard to appreciate the difference, being able to light a fire makes.
It’s life or death in almost any wilderness survival situation, especially in places like the Himalayas.
Your only hope of warmth or boiled drinking water.
The Tibetans wear similar ones to this suspended from their belts, one of the necessities.
Although so far I haven’t been able to place this piece accurately, so I’m saying Turkestan which was the name for most of Central Asia well into the 19th century.
(I’m leaning towards Nuristan or Kaffiristan, maybe the Swat Valley, but please don’t quote me.)

Decorated on the front with almost unrecognizable cut out iron motifs, that might represent lions or dragons (maybe even “simurghs.”)
These are not just decorative but are there to protect the owner and his wellbeing.
The reverse has three matching motifs, possibly representing flowers.

There’s a lovely magical darkness to this piece with its patches of oxidation and dark metal, it’s in good condition but looks very old, as befits it.

The suspension ring or handle is probably an old replacement using available copper wire. (It could be original, it is old old, but I think it wouldn’t have lasted as long as the iron.)

At a pinch you could wear it as a pendant, but only on a fine cord as the suspension rings are small, about 3 mm but also accommodating the copper wire.

But it’s nice just as it is, a key to a distant past.

Age: Late 19th/Early 20th Century.

Size: W 85 mm x H 45 mm.

Weight: 52 grams.