Originally Posted by ariel
What was meant there by “ highly decorated?
There are many ways besides wall-to-wall etching to decorate a blade.
How different in heft and sturdiness were these swords?
The Qajar era Revival swords usually had thin flat blades without even a T, resembling sheet metal ( no fullers, no midrib). Many ( like this one) imitated Ottoman Palas without being graciously contoured.
"Highly-decorated" was my expression. To avoid any further ambiguity, I am posting herewith a photo of the last of the two pages discussing these swords. Two pages out of about 750...
I have handled several of these swords but didn't keep any as I judged them to be purely touristy crap (exactly as described by Ariel, with flat blades like cut from sheet steel, with no - or very poorly shaped - cutting edge and fairly poorly executed etching).
So, in my uneducated oppinion (based on personal observation), many, if not most of the "Qajar revival" swords are purely decorative and probably don't even belong to the Qajar period but are much later (20th century).
I also believe the text in the book refers strictly to the genuine Qajar period straight swords and not to the vast majoity of touristy crap that invaded the markets in the 20th century.