Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
I still cannot see the patterns of chasing: tutta? markharai?
The blade is likely from Amuzgi, THE blade center of the Caucasus at that time.
The niello at the back of the scabbard is of the so-called " Moskov-Nakysh" pattern: floral bouquet . This is a very late development: Daghestani masters following tastes of Russian buyers. At the end of 19 century military significance of shashkas went down the drain. They became almost purely decorative implements: expensive, made of rich materials, with more silver than steel :-)
National/ ethnic motives were lost: manufacture concentrated in several towns ( Vladikavkaz, Tbilisi etc), in workshops employing many masters of different ethnicities. Styles got mixed, and totally foreign elements were added. Many shashkas and kindjals were bought as pure souvenirs, often signed in niello " Memories of Kavkaz". This continued till at least 1950, with rich souvenir silver handles and scabbards, containing low quality blades, being manufactured by the State-controlled workshops in limited quantities as gifts to the Communist Party bonzas ....
The above shashka has a feature that puzzles me ( right away: I may be wrong because of its photographic presentation!!!). There were 2 classic forms: "caucasian" with the the handle inserted into the scabbard down to the very pommel, and "asian" with the base of the handle being flush with the top of the scabbard. This one seems to be not here and not there. This is why I cannot exclude its more recent origin.