Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Dima thank you for this information and clarification! I truly did not know of these Khyber swords being made in India, but I can understand that there must have been Indian craftsmen in Afghan regions who might make them.
As you well note, the idea of these often very large bladed Khyber swords being made in Persia seems very unlikely, just as the idea of Persian craftsmen in Afghanistan seems remote.
It seems well established of course that artisans of regions often move to other areas, and in doing so take their skills and styling character with them of course. It makes sense that obviously these styles, techniques and character would in degree become melded together in the examples they produced.
I think the objective of recognizing the possibility of this particular Khyber being one of these hybrids, or accounting for its unusual decoration is well at hand here. As far as I can see however, is that this example in the original post is of the commonly seen versions produced in the typical manner in Khyber regions, rather than one produced in these other areas noted.
We return to the very crudely applied acid etched decoration. We know that this technique was used in Persia, and by its craftsmen. It is possible that this technique, which became it seems more widely practiced in latter part of 19th c. (thinking of the Sudanese thuluth case) may have been carried into many regions by craftsmen relocating.
I think its crudely applied character of the decoration here, which has been the primary point of contention, pretty much renders the possibility of being done by a skilled craftsman unlikely, particularly Persian. The likelihood of the scenario proposed by Ed, a copied theme added by a tribal artisan representing local traditions or events is far more plausible.