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Old 26th June 2017, 07:08 AM   #1
motan
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Default Koummiya for comments

Hello all. I bought this Koummiya recently and just got it. It is out of my area of collection, but it was and opportunity. It is a fairly standard piece, I think, 42cm (16.5") with some condition issues, like pitting on the blade and some details of the silver decoration are worn. The blade is thinner than I expected, only about 2mm max, hollow forged, sharp and seems of reasonable quality. It is authentic because you can see it has been carried and used.
My question is about the age. Is this a 20th or 19th c. piece? Is it possible to tell at all?
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Old 26th June 2017, 07:17 PM   #2
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motan
Hello all. I bought this Koummiya recently and just got it. It is out of my area of collection, but it was and opportunity. It is a fairly standard piece, I think, 42cm (16.5") with some condition issues, like pitting on the blade and some details of the silver decoration are worn. The blade is thinner than I expected, only about 2mm max, hollow forged, sharp and seems of reasonable quality. It is authentic because you can see it has been carried and used.
My question is about the age. Is this a 20th or 19th c. piece? Is it possible to tell at all?



Salaams motan,

See http://www.vikingsword.com/ethsword/koummya/index.html for an excellent report on these Moroccan weapons.

and http://nimcha.fr/koummya.htm where all the different forms are illustrated.


Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 26th June 2017, 08:38 PM   #3
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Thanks Ibrahiim, and i'd sai'd,
I read both of these articles in the last thread about koummyas (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=Koummya) and I was looking for more specific information. But thanks for reponding. I did not expect this post to raise too many responses, but having none at all is like batting a "duck" in cricket
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Old 26th June 2017, 09:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motan
Thanks Ibrahiim, and i'd sai'd,
I read both of these articles in the last thread about koummyas (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=Koummya) and I was looking for more specific information. But thanks for reponding. I did not expect this post to raise too many responses, but having none at all is like batting a "duck" in cricket



Salaams motan ~ I realise that you may have read these as you appear on one of those threads but there are loads of members who will not have seen those... so it is my way of making the references visible to all ...I was top scorer at school in cricket... 6 runs !!

I wouldn't be bothered if response is slow and with your obvious enthusiasm for Moroccan Koumiya it will attract more... The pictures are top quality and it can be seen that this is a good example and your note that the silver is slightly worn...oh and the zig zag surface decoration I have seen on other similar weapons at Library..I would only guess at the age based on this wear and suggest a mid 20thC as probable. I would be happy (like in cricket) to accept a half century !!

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Old 26th June 2017, 11:16 PM   #5
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Thanks Ibrahiim,
I was hoping it was older, about a century old, but you may well be right. At least it is not a tourist piece and I will probably sell it after I have enjoyed it and buy something closer to home, like perhaps a Hejazi shybriya for the money.
As for the pictures, the secret is good light. I ususally take pictures at night and if you don't have studio lighting, it is very difficult. However, in my country, like in yours, the sun is blinding and there is plenty of indirect light in the shade during the day.
Regards, Eytan
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Old 27th June 2017, 09:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motan
Hello all. I bought this Koummiya recently and just got it. It is out of my area of collection, but it was and opportunity. It is a fairly standard piece, I think, 42cm (16.5") with some condition issues, like pitting on the blade and some details of the silver decoration are worn. The blade is thinner than I expected, only about 2mm max, hollow forged, sharp and seems of reasonable quality. It is authentic because you can see it has been carried and used.
My question is about the age. Is this a 20th or 19th c. piece? Is it possible to tell at all?


I have seen many of these koummiya / koummya / Khoumiya type jambiya and for the most part they have just not caught my interest, they seem to be more of a form of cultural identification and that the related genoui / janwi dagger was more of a serious fighting weapon.

Your example is quite nice and looks at least not to be brand as many I have seen lately are. I personally do not consider signs of use and age to be "condition issues", this is expected and something I always look for.

As for age, I rarely see one that appears to be really old, I have trouble trying to set some kind of age, hopefully someone here has some more knowledge of these types.

Nice photographs by the way!
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Last edited by estcrh : 27th June 2017 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 27th June 2017, 10:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
I have seen many of these koummiya / koummya / Khoumiya type jambiya and for the most part they have just not caught my interest, they seem to be more of a form of cultural identification and that the related genoui / janwi dagger was more of a serious fighting weapon.

Your example is quite nice and looks at least not to be brand as many I have seen lately are. I personally do not consider signs of use and age to be "condition issues", this is expected and something I always look for.

As for age, I rarely see one that appears to be really old, I have trouble trying to set some kind of age, hopefully someone here has some more knowledge of these types.



I confirm mid to end of 19th c.
Nothing to do with the 20th c. koummiya.
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Old 27th June 2017, 10:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
I confirm mid to end of 19th c.
Nothing to do with the 20th c. koummiya.
Any tips on what to look for as far as dating these go?
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Old 27th June 2017, 11:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Any tips on what to look for as far as dating these go?


Pffff a lot

the quality of the silver work and brass work, the design, the end of the sheat, the blade...

You don't have such kind of koummiya in the 20th c.
to the exception of some royal / diplomatic gifts in the 60-80ties
but these koummiya have Spanich blades from Toledo

The early 20th c. koummiya are also a bit different.
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Old 27th June 2017, 06:07 PM   #10
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Salaams Kubur, That is some kind of magical red pen? Perhaps you can give some idea of the different types of Koummya down the ages and how style altered ...for I have not seen a group of different aged Khoummya weapons and a catalog of the styles so as to be precise or even roughly accurate in determining age on these daggers...except as I say the estimate based on wear....

The nut at the end of the scabbard appears on many 19th and 20th C items and blade style seems similar except say on Lions Tooth Style blades and the straight version more like the S'boula and as far as I know and having read at length all the references, I can find no style change across the last couple of centuries in hilt or scabbard since these daggers follow the same essential rule of having not changed ..that being the central trait in Islamic Arms and according to the late Anthony North whose lead in sentence at Islamic Arms and Armour illustrates the point...i.e. They, (ISLAMIC ARMS) didn't change.

It is interesting that the key Forum treatise on these weapons does not lay down a format for determining age...and that if you have a valid system it would be an advantage to have it written up... I would very much be intrigued to know what it is.

In this regard I echo the excellent question set by motan at #1 which was Quote "My question is about the age. Is this a 20th or 19th c. piece? Is it possible to tell at all?" Unquote.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 28th June 2017, 07:36 AM   #11
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These Moroccan daggers are not really my area of interest, but I have seen quite a few and bought and sold a number in the past. From the quality and appearance of the piece in the images, for what its worth, I would guess the age to be in the range 1880 - 1940.
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Old 28th June 2017, 04:14 PM   #12
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Eytan, thank you for the kind compliment, but my entries only seem 'scholarly' because typically in so many cases, as here, it is material I have just researched in order to write. In doing so, as here, it is fascinating to see the weapon being examined in historical depth, and I impart the information in the discussion so that the 'true specialists' can offer their experienced insight.

It seems we have pretty much a consensus here on the probable period or range in which this example will fall, primarily latter 19th c.

I like the 'village' term used in categorizing ethnographic weapons which are traditionally styled and made but for genuine wear by native individuals. This is often overlooked when items are viewed as either vintage souvenier or modern commercial, or 'tourist', a rather pejorative assessment for someone seeking identification of an item or a collector who realizes he has stepped on a trip wire.

As we see here, these koummya are very traditional, and it seems they are essentially developed from the Arab khanjhar, which are of course an essential male accoutrement.
What I noticed on these terms used on these daggers is that the Arab dagger of these Moroccan regions, though styled very similarly to the koummya, has a much thicker hilt, and the fretted silver pommel cap is in polygon shape....while the Berber or tribal style seems to be a smooth curved arc, also in fretted silver.

As Kubur has well noted, the 'peacock' form is quite different, and to me looks like a 'Napoleon' hat (for lack of better comparison) and its form does extend far into antiquity in regions around Luristan. These were of course the 'eared' pommel forms which led to such feature in some other weapons.
As he notes, the similarity to European influences such as the cinquedea is tempting, however not really supportable, despite other Maghrebi forms using terms from such influences, as the genouii dagger (cf. Genoa).
Actually it seems these type koummya pommels are often noted as a 'variant'.

With the 'red pen', I like this technique of highlighting salient points in an illustration of an example, but always yearn for more detail on the significance of the highlighted items or features.

As Ibrahiim has observed, many traditional forms have changed little over often very long periods of time, and I truly wonder just how far back the koummya actually goes as a distinct indigenous form.

Perhaps the 'peacock' pommel actually did come in earlier through various Islamic influences from the Middle East, and the now more familiar fretted silver pommel caps were integrated into the form. The distinct 'tail' or sharply curved scabbard tip of course many equally have derived from Arab influences of the khanjhar (with the 'thum' or cap), but that still would likely have been relatively recent.
I have seen examples of koummya listed as 18th century, but I have yet to see such classification as other than highly optimistic and unsupported.

I wish I could find Louis Pierre's dissertation on Maghrebi daggers!

Attached below are images from our archived threads which may offer some perspective here, and I wish I did have the skill to use the highlighting method, but as follows:

(top photo) one of the hilt styles termed 'khanjhar' note heavy grip and most notably, the beveled or polygon pommel cap, silver fretwork.

(middle) typology from the Cavalliere dissertation.

(bottom) assemblage of variants
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Last edited by Jim McDougall : 28th June 2017 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 28th June 2017, 04:28 PM   #13
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Ibrahiim, we crossed posts!!! Excellent presentation on the 'Napoleon' hat!!
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Old 28th June 2017, 09:46 PM   #14
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The little picture with a list of koummya hilt types and labels, could you post a larger version of that with better resolution piease?

It is a great reference.
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Old 28th June 2017, 11:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
The little picture with a list of koummya hilt types and labels, could you post a larger version of that with better resolution piease?

It is a great reference.

Original French version.
http://nimcha.fr/koummya.htm

Large Englich translation.
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.co...faf6d8f39ce.png
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