Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
I hate to disagree with Buttin, but my gut is telling me that his dating was overly optimistic: I think that 17 or more likely 18 century at the latest would be more realistic. And again, finding even 16 century blade on a shashka does not mean that the entire "saber" was made as such in the 16 century.
Genoese colonies in Crimea and Abkhazia existed since 12-13 centuries. Documented import of blades was recorded in the 17-18 centuries.
What were the 17 century blades exported to Circassia used for? I do not know. And nobody does. Everybody would love to say " for shashkas", but there is not a single example of a shashka reliably or even tentatively attributed by the handle to anything earlier than the very end of 18 century. Caucasus was in the throes of uninterrupted wars for centuries; weapons were broken, lost, parts used and reused, combined and recombined.... One cannot find neither heads nor tails.