The Mummy (1932), Karloff / Ardeth Bey's Dagger (has anyone here tried tackling this prop?)

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Odin82

Well-Known Member
I've been meaning to tackle this project for a while, as it seems pretty straightforward and a nice short-term project to use up some of the materials I have laying around, and would go great with the Karloff bust I have and the Scroll of Thoth prop (where there is JamesM242's scroll) and here is the (BritishMuseum.org scan). Thought I'd ask here first if anyone has tackled this already, before I dived into it myself. (Or if anyone has pics of the original, if it hasn't been lost to time)

I'll either try carving it full from wood first, or else I'll sculpt the dagger with some fast-setting Fix-it sculpt, and after molding it, cast in some smooth-on resin with bronze powder / gunmetal powder tests.

Mummy Dagger.jpg


I stumbled across this old site of someone that tackled it. How to make the dagger prop from : The Mummy :staring Boris Karloff (part 1)

The pictures from that site are pretty low quality, but are a good guide nonetheless.

mummy1.jpg mummy3.jpg mummy4.jpg mummy6.jpg mummy5.jpg

hand.jpg mumsketch.jpg

mummydag.gif knifecombo.jpg

daggerboxcast.jpg


Will definitely have to get some Hi-Res screen caps of these pics before diving into it.


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Another prop from The Mummy that would be fun to tackle also, would be the pendant / necklace:

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Odin82

Well-Known Member
Sadly, I have no information for you - but would love to see your progress as you go!
Will definitely take lots of photos as I progress. (Will definitely have one for you as a gift for the help with the Scroll of Thoth) Managed to extract -"dezoomify" - the full scan from the Britishmuseum.org website also. Included a link to the 38mb Imgur version above, but the original dezoomified version I downloaded is over 200mbs.

Really looking forward to replicating the knapping marks on the dagger.
 
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JamesM242

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Odin82 - Wow! That is very kind of you! And thanks for the nice tip on the dezoomify tool and for posting the 38mb version! I recently picked up a Paul Mann poster for the film and have it framed. I'll post a quick pic of it, but dont want to derail the thread - so let me know your pref and I can send it directly if that is better.
 

Odin82

Well-Known Member
Would love to see the poster! I'm in love with the Laurent Durieux one and have always regretted not purchasing one when it was released for like 70 dollars. Now they sell on ebay for like 500 - 600.

It's such a fantastic film, and kinda gets forgotten about amongst the other Universal characters. Durieux' poster even has the oil lamps exact as to what were used in the film (something I'd like to track down also as a display piece)
 

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RobertMuldoon

Sr Member
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Interesting pseudo-hieroglyphs on the sides of the knife, and also interesting that they chose to make it look like a flint/stone knife!

The pendant looks like generic tourist souvenir type junk. I can't immeiately think of any goddess who would have a lunar disc crown/headdress, but I wonder if it's meant to represent Isis and it's just not super accurate. So maybe try searching for Isis pendants?
 

Odin82

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing as to why they gave the dagger a flint/stone knapping finish, but shiny like metal. I'm guessing it may have something to do with Tutankhamun's iron dagger, which had been found in 1925, and had meteoric origins, so may have went for what they thought an iron meteor would look like as a blade or something.

As regards the pendant, I think it was something made for the production, and you are right, it is meant to be Isis, but looks terribly done. The character in the movie says he mint it for the guy's father, so I'm guessing it probably was't meant to be professionally looking.
 

Dr Jones Sr

Well-Known Member
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Tutankhamun's iron dagger, which had been found in 1925, and had meteoric origins...
Many people aren't aware that all iron that early men encountered and used had meteoric origins, in fact the original meaning of the word "iron" was "holy" or "sacred" because it came from the heavens.
 

JamesM242

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This is the Mann poster I mentioned... the background, color image is the standard, I went with the sepia variant edition as I found it more evocative of the movie...

mummy448_n.jpg
 

Odin82

Well-Known Member
You made a great choice on going for the variant of the poster!

There used to be a guy that did kickass body art replicas of the Kirk Hammett "It comes to life" Mummy guitar. I had been in talks with him to do one if I sent him the ESP KH, but never got around to it. Sadly, he passed away about a year later. The guys was an incredible artist and his replica art was magnificent on the guitars. It's pretty awesome that the movie still inspires some awesome artists and their creations.
 

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RobertMuldoon

Sr Member
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Yeah, I was thinking the same thing as to why they gave the dagger a flint/stone knapping finish, but shiny like metal. I'm guessing it may have something to do with Tutankhamun's iron dagger, which had been found in 1925, and had meteoric origins, so may have went for what they thought an iron meteor would look like as a blade or something.

As regards the pendant, I think it was something made for the production, and you are right, it is meant to be Isis, but looks terribly done. The character in the movie says he mint it for the guy's father, so I'm guessing it probably was't meant to be professionally looking.
Some stones could be quote shiny, flint can have quite a sheen and obsidian has been found too (Obsidian in Ancient Egypt | Request PDF). Some stone knives were used for the 'opening of the mouth' ceremony to 'activate' mummies and statues, thought to be based on knives origainally used for cutting the umbiical cord of babies, so I wonder if the advisors suggested something similar here.

The main McGuffin knife in the 2017 Tom Cruise Mummy film also used a very flint-shaped blade but painted silvery metallic colours. I've got one of them and interestingly it's magnetic, so presumably the resin was mixed with steel/iron powder.
 

Jintosh

Master Member
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Interesting pseudo-hieroglyphs on the sides of the knife, and also interesting that they chose to make it look like a flint/stone knife!

The pendant looks like generic tourist souvenir type junk. I can't immediately think of any goddess who would have a lunar disc crown/headdress, but I wonder if it's meant to represent Isis and it's just not super accurate. So maybe try searching for Isis pendants?


Found the style of "lunar disc crown" in Google images. Casually mentioned and depicted, but described as male.

Maybe the prop department liked the image, but said, "Hey, let's change up the pharaoh's headdress, the size of the ANKH he's holding, and make him FEMALE while we're at it........ laugh 2.gif All three depictions in the first picture are of the same god, just drawn differently. The "female" face on the amulet looks like the "male" face in the second depiction. Even the style of THIN ARM is similar to the first pic, and they just extended the DRESS to be longer in the amulet. If you look close, you can even see chest plates on the male figure in pic 1 where breasts would be. They just exaggerated those to be full breasts.

Clearly this god was progressive and had a MTF transition. :love: SHE is now my favorite Egyptian god.
 

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Odin82

Well-Known Member
Great find man! That's some awesome research you have done!

One thing that stands out in the Movie pendant are the breasts, and the right one (left of the pendant) definitely gives it away that they were an addition to whatever they used. Would love to make a replica or acquire one to go with the other stuff that was found. I wonder where all these props are now, and if the person that has them know what they have.

I've seen a few wooden daggers / spearheads be sold online over the years, as props from the original movie, but nowhere in the movie can those props be seen.


As regards the Karloff dagger, I printed out scaled templates last night and double sided taped them to some plywood for an armature before sculpting on top of. Had been hoping to start cutting it out today and the initial sculpture/shape, but unfortunately the day hasn't went the way I had hoped. I hope to make some progress on it tomorrow or on the weekend. Printed it out at 220mm length, but will probably end up 230mm after the sculpting the tip and end of the hilt. I think the original dagger wasn't 271mm in length like the link to a site I gave in the opening post, and more closer to 230mm (two fists and two fingers length going from studying the screen caps).

I think sculpting it with the Fix-It sculpt, and then dremel out the knapping marks would be the way to go first rather than trying to carve wood. Plus, would get to use my engraver that I bought a few years ago and never used, to do the hieroglyphs on the blade.

One thing I noticed about the blade, it has the shape of a kitchen knife, as if some mid sized chef knife or something was used as the base of what it was sculpted upon, with one side of the blade protruding more than the other.
 

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Jintosh

Master Member
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Thanks !

Here's a description I found on likely why they did the sex change :

**********************************************************
Moon in religion and mythology
Many well-known mythologies feature female lunar deities, such as the Greek goddess Selene, the Roman goddess Luna, and the Chinese goddess Chang'e. ... An exception is Hinduism; featuring both male and female aspects of the solar divine.
**********************************************************


Nowhere else is the Lunar god Exclusively MALE. The Hindu one sounds like a combo of male and female.
 

jlckansas

New Member
Do you have any place close with arrowheads or flint knapped tools that you could look at like in a museum or local collector. I know here in Kansas there are lots of people who look for arrowheads and collect them. Museums also have collections of tools that you could get a good idea of what the tool, knife, arrowhead, etc finish looks like.
 

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Odin82

Well-Known Member
Clovis Point spearhead / arrowhead brings up a lot of similar looking results. In earlier life I spent some time as an archaeology student, which is one of the reasons I'm kind of excited about replicating it on the dagger.
 

Jintosh

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This piece would also be a cool item to replicate, the warning before they entered the tomb. The Seal of the Seven Jackals.
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Some people might not know this, but for simple 3D EXTRUSION, it only takes about 10 seconds to turn 2D art into RAISED 2D art.

If someone can make a simple black and white drawing (no shading or greyscale) high rez picture of that inside box and glyphs, then I'll repost it back as a raised STL file for printing. This is literally a minor offer, and yet if someone has art skills and zero modelling skills they might find this offer of value. I believe the four figures at the top are the four Canopic Jar figures.


The Four Sons of Horus & Canopic Jars
The 4 Sons of Horus, Qebehsenuef (hawk head), Hapy (baboon head), Duamutef (jackal head) and Imsety (man-headed) are featured on Canopic Jars. Their roles were so important that each of the four sons of Horus were protected by powerful female gods.​

 

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Jintosh

Master Member
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Jintosh I get the vibe you are good at all this research and stuff!

I've been following your Balkan card search intently, but what you're doing in the Balkan thread is way beyond me.
Most canopic jars look like JARS. The figures I got and posted could literally be substituted for the graphics in a printable STL to make this whole sign printable. I just don't know enough about hieroglyphs to clearly read which glyphs are on the bottom of the warning, and draw them (or paste from google images) into a high rez 2D pic. My modeling skills are better than my art skills.

If someone can even just NAME the hieroglyphs !!!! Then I can get the images and make the sign myself.
 

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