Originally Posted by Andreas
Buttin in his catalogue shows a shashka with a 16th century Genoese blade (No 646 below). He says that these Genoese blades were the most prized in the Caucasus, a fact which led to Syrian forgeries, but of a far lesser quality.
100% correct observation.
But old blades were mounted and remounted over and over again on Caucasian shashkas.
They were indeed highly valuable, and the term "gurda" was related to the Genoese "jaws" mark. Just like "ters maimal" ( screaming, or crazy, ape) defined a blade with the originally German ( (Passau) running wolf. Most were locally made and the variations of either mark fill large illustrations in the book by Astvatsaturyan.
~18th century German blades with elaborate depictions of "man in the moon" and arm with a sword coming from a cloud for some reason were locally called Abbas Mirza. Go figure:-))
Regretfully, there is not a single example of a 16-18 century blade mounted on contemporaneous handle, and the latter is what largely defines a shashka.