Join Date: Jun 2013
Definition of a Greek yataghan?
I wasn't sure to open this thread and then today I decided that it might be useful for collectors.
According to what I read previously on this forum a Greek yataghan is a silver dressed yataghan with niello work... This statment is mainly a copy and paste of assumptions from dealers and it is not supported by litterature. This idea behind is mainly supported by the fact that niello work should be connected to Orthodox Christians (from Greece to Russia). Of course this idea is a nonsense, first because Muslims, Christians and non-Muslim were doing niello work such as the Jews in Morocco or Yemen. Second because this niello art work found his origins in the Byzantine empire and of course the Ottoman (Turkish) unherited of this technique and the skilled craftmen in the empire.
1/ As I explained previously using Elgood.
There is no Greek yataghan as such.
In his chapter on yataghans - and in fact in his whole book - Elgood shows very clearly that Greek arms and armour were Ottoman arms made in the Balkans, mainly Montenegro, Albania and Bosnia... plus of course Turkey.
Greeks used Ottoman weapons. It's the reason why in his chapter on Greek yataghan Elgood shows many kind of yataghans from the classic walrus ivory ones to the silver dressed. Choosing only one silver dressed yataghan pictured by Elgood is not accurate to demonstrate something. The forum members can have a look at this chapter to see the variety of yataghans depicted.
2/ Nevertheless sometimes you can find some proper Greek yataghans as the ones pictured in this thread.
For me a Greek yataghan is a yataghan produced for a Greek customer (sometimes done by Greek craftmen but not always).
You can see here that the niello work is different from the Turkish niello work as such as the iconography: with characters, churches...