Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
OK, final summary.
1. We have already established that the sword in question is an Afghani khyber.
2. It has a deep etching in Farsi, and the dating in Jalali puts it somewhere in the third quarter of 19th century.
The remaining questions were:
a). Meaning of the inscription
b). Uncertainty whether Persian technique of deep etching was used on Afghani swords.
Parents of my other informer ( both former professors of Persian literature and linguistics respectively) were able to read only part of the inscription due to imperfections of the etching technique. It is in ancient Farsi.
Not unexpectedly, just like in my other khyber ( inscription was done using gold wire unlay and easily readable), this is just an unrelated verse.
On the khyber in question is a quote from Sa'adi's Golestan.
"A king placed his son in a school,
Putting in his lap a silver tablet
Wrote on it in golden letters:
The hard work of a teacher is better than the love of a father."
As expected, nothing about the sword itself, just some morality verse.
As to the technique, I am attaching pics of an Afghani pseudo-shashka with deep etching on both sides along the entire length of the blade. Did not even ask to translate it: everybody is free to choose his favourite Sa'adi's verse:-)
But the bottom line, deep etching can be found on other examples of typical Afghani weapons. They might be infrequent, but they do exist.
So, my conclusion: Afghani Khyber mid-late 19th century, with deep-etching decoration in Farsi, quoting almost sacred Farsi poetry, intended for a Persianized Afghani.