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alex8765 14th April 2020 07:21 PM

Persian Qama.
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Hi gents,

Please help me to identify this qama dagger.
My research show that it's Iranian. Most likely made in Shiraz, around 1880. But it could be Turkish or Caucasian. Any ideas?


Kubur 14th April 2020 08:35 PM

If it is Persian it should be a qaddara.
What i understood is the Persians bought their blades to Caucasians.
How do you know if it is from Shiraz???

mariusgmioc 14th April 2020 09:52 PM


Originally Posted by Kubur
If it is Persian it should be a qaddara.
What i understood is the Persians bought their blades to Caucasians.
How do you know if it is from Shiraz???

Nope! Qaddara is curved and is single edged.

From what I see in the photos, this looks like a clasic example of 19th century Persian qama... and a very nice one.

The koftgari on the blade is also quite typical Persian.

alex8765 14th April 2020 10:49 PM

Thank you!
I’ve been told by fellow collector, that blade most likely is from Shiraz. Because it looks typical for that area. No other info, unfortunately.

Kubur 14th April 2020 11:24 PM


Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Nope! Qaddara is curved and is single edged.

from a forum, Khorasani said

1) Qamma refers to a double-edged straight short sword. Persian qammas have normally an off-centered fuller (although there are exceptions to the rule). There is a wide-spread belief that this type of weapon was introduced into Iran via northern parts of Iran (which were lost to Russia during Qajar period Iranian-Russian wars). This view is also supported in publications of some Iranian scholars (in Farsi) such as Yahya Zoka who states that some units of Safavid Iran came from the north and favored this type of double-edged straight swords. An amazing feature is that qamma is not depicted in period illustraions (miniatures) of Safavid period, although examples of them are clearly depicted in Afsharid, Zand and especially Qajar period. Please note that the search for Safavid miniatures is not completed yet, my research team in Iran has been working on this very hard. The question why qammas were not depicted very often, if at all, in Persian miniatures might trace back to the fact that Iranian painters were following an artistic tradition which was already en vogue and in force during Timurid period Iran. The very fact that Timurid shamshirs have deep curves and a 90 degree angle and a pommel act (two shamshirs of Timur) clearly shows that the miniaturists were not depicting the exact shape of weapons but following an artistic tradition (more on this later . . .). I believe Qamma is also used in the Caucasus region>
Back to the Qammas, you should note that they were clearly made and sold in Isfahan during Safavid period. You can also read about their prices back then next to shamshirs, kards, and Khanjars in “Persian Steel” by Allan and Gilmour (an excellent and very well-researched book).

2) Quaddara:
this sword is described in English and French publications (such as Lebednyski) and even in Arab publications (such as Zakey) as a Persian sword which is straight and basically a Qamma on steroids, a big one. Lebedynski states that Quaddara was a double edged straight long sword with downward quillons ending in dragon heads which was used in Ottoman Turkey (please note that he provides a picture of this in his book as well. As far as my memory serves, he also states Quaddaras became so popular that a certain Ottoman Sultan (I do not remember his name) prohibited the production and use of it! Further, he states that this sword was introduced into Caucasus region and went through a stylistic change in design and hence took the shape of the local Qamma / Kindjal and lost its downward quillons, thus the handle started to resemble the shape of a local Qamma. A basic field research in Iran shows that Quaddaras are not used to describe the big oversized double-edged qammas, but they refer to the single-edged ones with the handle shape of a qamma. Maybe this weapon went through a semantic shift in Iran. Fact is that this weapon is used to describe the single-edged sword. I have checked many Persian lexicons and historical texts and found amazing information (later I will go in detail here).

3) Kindjal
is the word used to describe the double-edged daggers and short swords in the Caucasus region. They have their own stylistic features and have a marvellous range of styles. I believe the word Kindjal derives from the word “Khanjar.”

alex8765 14th April 2020 11:39 PM

Very interesting info. Thanks!

ariel 15th April 2020 04:26 AM

As per Kirill Rivkin, kaddara is a single-edged medium size weapon. The handle is typically that of a garden variety Caucasian kindjal. I am unaware of down-turned quillons.
Rivkin states that this variety of weapons was introduces to Iran from Azerbaijan and became popular there as a self- mutilating instrument during Ashura processions. Khorasani mentioned in passing that it was used by village constables.

There is yet another weapon in that area: Sabarkali from Kakheti ( Eastern Georgia, next to Iran). This is an analog of Khevsurian Dashna, also a Kaddara- like weapon, made out of repurposed broken blades.

Quite some times ago I have shown here a very old Sabarkali, likely 17-18 century Palash blade. Just search for Sabarkali and Dashna

Thus, time-wise I cannot be sure whether Iranian Kaddara derives from Azerbaijan or Kakheti .

alex8765 15th April 2020 02:29 PM

Thank you Ariel. I was able to find the post that you are referring to. Very informative!
Couple of collectors, from another forum, suggested that this dagger could be Transcaucasian (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) in origin. But I believe it's Iranian.
The identification of these weapons it's not an easy task 😊

OsobistGB 15th April 2020 09:56 PM

You identified your kindjal absolutely correctly.Its origin is Pressian/Iranian.

alex8765 15th April 2020 10:38 PM

Thank you.

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