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Old 16th August 2014, 12:25 PM   #30
ariel
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
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Oliver,
No argument here: Central-Asian origins, actual manufacture 14-16 century Persia or Mughal India. My only hesitation is with your mention of its potential Mamluk origin. Perhaps, we did not understand each other's intentions. But so be it, end of disagreement.
The Staricky's dagger still is a subject of vicious, murderous arguments on some Russian Forums. I do not have to tell you about the nationalistic currents in the Russian history of everything: who invented radio, airplane, steam engine and shashka, the Fourth Rome etc. The prevailing view there is that Staricky's dagger is an example of pure Russian origin and tradition, although some brave souls try to tie it to the Vikings' skramasaxes( well, Vikings were part and parcel of Kievan Rus etc, but Asians did not leave any imprint on the pristine body of Russian culture :-)). I tried to draw their attention to the very same features that you have mentioned, but was summarily shot as a secret agent of the Mongolian Horde:-)

And still.... The enigma of that dagger is in its inscription: pure and unadulterated gibberish, but imitating Arabic script. To me it suggests that the dagger might, -just might! - have been made by a Russian master who tried to advertise it as a genuine "Eastern" object.

There are very few 16-17th centuries iconographic evidences of its presence in the suit of arms of Russian nobility and even fewer actual examples. But they do exist, just like St. Peter's dagger..... I think they might be reasonably close cousins.
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