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Old 20th October 2015, 06:04 PM   #1
Miguel
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Default Turkish Shamshir

Hi Everyone,
I think that I may have what I believe to be a 19thC Turkish Shamshir and would welcome your confirmation or other wise and any comments you may have.
Thanking you in advance
Miguel
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Old 20th October 2015, 06:13 PM   #2
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Forgot to include Armourers stamp.
Miguel
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Old 20th October 2015, 06:25 PM   #3
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You are correct: definitely Ottoman and 19th century. I do believe this is one of the early military regulation patterns in the Ottoman army. It would appear that officers were allowed to keep heirloom blades and re-hilt them, as I have seen all kinds of blades with this hilt pattern.

Sincerely,
Teodor
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Old 20th October 2015, 07:25 PM   #4
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Yes, it's a beautiful Turkish officer sword, called also Turkish military sword.
I have one too that I'll post later.
But yours is better, with the stamp...
This kind of sword is from 1890-1910...Maybe yours is slightly early from 1870-1890...
I like the old and funny try to fix the guard.
Last point, it's not a shamshir, but a kilij in Turkish or a saif in Arabic.
Best,
Kubur
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Old 21st October 2015, 08:11 AM   #5
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Agree with Teodor, many of these have all kinds of blades, European and/or earlier blades. I saw a few with early wootz blades.

Do you think this blade is Persian, Caucasian, or could be Armenian(?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
... Last point, it's not a shamshir, but a kilij in Turkish or a saif in Arabic.
Best,
Kubur


Kubur, as you know Kilij and Saif mean "sword" or "saber" in their respective languages. in a conventional sense, "Kilij" has more pronounced curve and yelman, and generally wider blade. Miguel's sword is variation of both, but is a shamshir nevertheless.
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Old 21st October 2015, 09:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX
Kubur, as you know Kilij and Saif mean "sword" or "saber" in their respective languages. in a conventional sense, "Kilij" has more pronounced curve and yelman, and generally wider blade. Miguel's sword is variation of both, but is a shamshir nevertheless.

Irrespective of what the different terms mean/meant in different times, countries and cultures "saif" and "kilij" now refers to two different types of swords. Kilij refering to the strictly Ottoman sword with a distintive grip, while saif refers to the sword with the type of grip pictured below, of course people can use whatever term they choose but why use any other term besides kilij for the Ottoman sword with the distinctive kilij grip? If it has a "karabela" grip it is a karabela, if it has a "kilij" grip it is a kilij, if it has a "saif" grip it is a saif.
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Old 21st October 2015, 09:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel
Hi Everyone,
I think that I may have what I believe to be a 19thC Turkish Shamshir and would welcome your confirmation or other wise and any comments you may have.
Thanking you in advance
Miguel

Miguel, nice example, thanks for posting, its hard to tell from the photos but do the fittings have a gold tint?
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Old 21st October 2015, 10:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Irrespective of what the different terms mean/meant in different times, countries and cultures "saif" and "kilij" now refers to two different types of swords. Kilij refering to the strictly Ottoman sword with a distintive grip, while saif refers to the sword with the type of grip pictured below, of course people can use whatever term they choose but why use any other term besides kilij for the Ottoman sword with the distinctive kilij grip? If it has a "karabela" grip it is a karabela, if it has a "kilij" grip it is a kilij, if it has a "saif" grip it is a saif.


Right, that was exactly my point about the Kilij)
Also, the grip alone does not define the type of sword. it's a whole sword that does, and primarily the blade. The grip (and the sword on it) that you pictured above is not saif. Saif is an Arabic word for "sword", and represents Arabian/Bedouin sword type with (usually) straight blade. The one pictured above is Indian.
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Old 21st October 2015, 10:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX
The grip (and the sword on it) that you pictured above is not saif. Saif is an Arabic word for "sword", and represents Arabian/Bedouin sword type with (usually) straight blade. The one pictured above is Indian.
I and many other people would consider it to be a saif, maybe an Indian saif but still a saif, you certainly would not call it a tulwar. As I said, it does not matter what the origin of the term is, how it is used in our times can and does differ from its original meaning. The term "saif" for many people in our times has come to describe swords from many different cultures with this distinctive hilt. As I said people can use terms whatever way they want but when I hear the word "saif" this is what I see in my mind, just like when I hear "kilij" I picture the distinctive Ottoman hilt, while the blades may differ the hilt is a very static item.
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Old 21st October 2015, 10:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX
Kubur, as you know Kilij and Saif mean "sword" or "saber" in their respective languages. in a conventional sense, "Kilij" has more pronounced curve and yelman, and generally wider blade. Miguel's sword is variation of both, but is a shamshir nevertheless.


Hi Alex,
I agree, but to complete your post
Kilij is a sword in Turkish, no more.
"Pronounced curve and yelman", I guess you describe a pala
Best,
Kubur
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Old 21st October 2015, 10:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Kilij is a sword in Turkish, no more.

Maybe in Turkey but not for many English speaking people with an interest in Ottomans swords, the term "kilij" in our times has come to refer to a specific type of hilt on an Ottoman sword.
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Old 21st October 2015, 10:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX
Right, that was exactly my point about the Kilij)
Also, the grip alone does not define the type of sword. it's a whole sword that does, and primarily the blade. The grip (and the sword on it) that you pictured above is not saif. Saif is an Arabic word for "sword", and represents Arabian/Bedouin sword type with (usually) straight blade. The one pictured above is Indian.



I don't agree at ALL.
It's the GRIP who defines the sword.
The blades are traded, captured or whatever.
A kattara or a Kaskara with German blades, are they German swords?
No they are Omani and Sudanese...
To be more precise, the DNA of the sword are the GRIP and the SCABBARD.

Best,
Kubur
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Old 21st October 2015, 10:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
I and many other people would consider it to be a saif, maybe an Indian saif but still a saif, you certainly would not call it a tulwar. As I said, it does not matter what the origin of the term is, how it is used in our times can and does differ from its original meaning. The term "saif" for many people in our times has come to describe swords from many different cultures with this distinctive hilt. As I said people can use terms whatever way they want but when I hear the word "saif" this is what I see in my mind, just like when I hear "kilij" I picture the distinctive Ottoman hilt, while the blades may differ the hilt is a very static item.


Hi Strech,

I agree for the end of what you wrote.

I think that the blade is Caucasian or Persian. But some members will tell.

Anyway it's a pure Turkish / Ottoman sword.

Best,
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Old 21st October 2015, 11:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
I don't agree at ALL.
It's the GRIP who defines the sword.
The blades are traded, captured or whatever.
A kattara or a Kaskara with German blades, are they German swords?
No they are Omani and Sudanese...
To be more precise, the DNA of the sword are the GRIP and the SCABBARD.

Best,
Kubur


I mean the HILT not the grip!
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Old 21st October 2015, 11:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi Alex,
I agree, but to complete your post
Kilij is a sword in Turkish, no more.
"Pronounced curve and yelman", I guess you describe a pala
Best,
Kubur


I already mentioned that Kilij is Turkish word for sword (just as Saif is Arabic word for sword). Pala is a shorter and later version of Kilij.
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Old 21st October 2015, 12:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
I don't agree at ALL.
It's the GRIP who defines the sword.
The blades are traded, captured or whatever.
A kattara or a Kaskara with German blades, are they German swords?
No they are Omani and Sudanese...
To be more precise, the DNA of the sword are the GRIP and the SCABBARD.
Best,
Kubur



It really depends. There's no single rule. However, the blade is usually gets re-hilted, not the hilt gets re-bladed Ideally, the blade would match the hilt at least ethnographically. If not, that is of no argument. if an Indian tulwar blade gets Ottoman handle, it would not become Ottoman sword! it'll remain indian tulwar blade with Ottoman handle. granted, some people will be quick to call it Ottoman, but that's another story)

Last edited by ALEX : 21st October 2015 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 21st October 2015, 12:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
I and many other people would consider it to be a saif, maybe an Indian saif but still a saif, you certainly would not call it a tulwar. As I said, it does not matter what the origin of the term is, how it is used in our times can and does differ from its original meaning. The term "saif" for many people in our times has come to describe swords from many different cultures with this distinctive hilt. As I said people can use terms whatever way they want but when I hear the word "saif" this is what I see in my mind, just like when I hear "kilij" I picture the distinctive Ottoman hilt, while the blades may differ the hilt is a very static item.


and many people call it wrong! Saif is an Arabic word for Arabian sword type. Calling an Indian tulwar Saif because it has non-tulwar hilt is like calling indian sword Kilij because it has yelman. The "Origin of the term" does matter! and dismissing it in favor of how it is used in "our time" is simply not correct as it defies history)
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Old 21st October 2015, 01:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX
The "Origin of the term" does matter! and dismissing it in favor of how it is used in "our time" is simply not correct as it defies history)
Just like "katar" and many other terms, its good to know the origins, history and the original meanings but you also have to adjust with the times, armor and weapons terms are fluid and they do change over time.
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Old 21st October 2015, 01:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Just like "katar" and many other terms, its good to know the origins, history and the original meanings but you also have to adjust with the times, armor and weapons terms are fluid and they do change over time.


..sorry, I do not understand what this means.
Katar is katar and will remain katar over time. why would any term change for the same type of weapon? Why all of the sudden some call an Indian sword Saif? the term is used inadvertently by many but it is not good reason to "adjust". Also, where did you see this handle type being associated with or called Saif?
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Old 21st October 2015, 01:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX
It really depends. There's no single rule. However, the blade is usually gets re-hilted, not the hilt gets re-bladed Ideally, the blade would match the hilt at least ethnographically. If not, that is of no argument. if an Indian tulwar blade gets Ottoman handle, it would not become Ottoman sword! it'll remain indian tulwar blade with Ottoman handle. granted, some people will be quick to call it Ottoman, but that's another story)


I see your point and I respect your opinion.
But I don't agree at all.
Let me give you another example:
- a pistol or a long gun made in the Balkans during the Ottoman rule with an Italian barrel and a French lock. What is it for you?
For me, it's an Ottoman pistol or a pistol from the Balkans.
It's the same for the swords, if your tulwar is reused and re-hilted by the Ottomans, it's an Ottoman sword.
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Old 21st October 2015, 02:12 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
I see your point and I respect your opinion.
But I don't agree at all.
Let me give you another example:
- a pistol or a long gun made in the Balkans during the Ottoman rule with an Italian barrel and a French lock. What is it for you?
For me, it's an Ottoman pistol or a pistol from the Balkans.
It's the same for the swords, if your tulwar is reused and re-hilted by the Ottomans, it's an Ottoman sword.


this is why I said it all depends. I agree, the pistol is Ottoman because it was made in the Balkans during Ottoman rule, I assume by a common/known design.
The tulwar blade on Ottoman sword would not be as such.... but Persian blade would. Ottomans used Persian blades on some of their swords by design. This is why there are general terms such as trade blade, as well as Indo-Persian, Indo-Arab, multi-cultural, etc. it was a mix, but the blade would (generally) come or considered first, by design! As I said, the blades were re-hilted, not hilts re-bladed. and this was my point
If tulwar is occasionally rehilted by the Ottomans, i.e. with Ottoman hilt (which would be quite uncommon, and I think does not even exist), that would be a composite, Indo-Ottoman piece, not by design but by accident

Last edited by ALEX : 21st October 2015 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 21st October 2015, 02:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX
Katar is katar and will remain katar over time. why would any term change for the same type of weapon?


Are you sure, not everyone agrees with you.
Quote:
The katar originated in South India where its original name was kattari before being altered to katara (romanized as "katar" by the British)
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Old 21st October 2015, 02:39 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Are you sure, not everyone agrees with you.


this is semantics, really. it is essentially the same term and I am not arguing about the spelling, dialect or pronunciation of the same weapon type.
But my point is: it's wrong to call Indo-Persian sword an Arabian sword, don't you disagree?
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Old 21st October 2015, 02:43 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX
this is semantics, really. it is essentially the same term and I am not arguing about the spelling. But my point is: it's wrong to call Indo-Persian sword an Arab sword, don't you disagree?
Alex, I personally do not think there is anything wrong with calling an Indian sword with a saif hilt a "saif hilted Indian sword"....if someone told me over the phone that they just purchased an Indian sword I would have no idea what it looked like, on the other hand if it was described as a "saif hilted Indian sword" I would have a good idea what the sword looked like.
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Old 21st October 2015, 02:52 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Irrespective of what the different terms mean/meant in different times, countries and cultures "saif" and "kilij" now refers to two different types of swords. Kilij refering to the strictly Ottoman sword with a distintive grip, while saif refers to the sword with the type of grip pictured below, of course people can use whatever term they choose but why use any other term besides kilij for the Ottoman sword with the distinctive kilij grip? If it has a "karabela" grip it is a karabela, if it has a "kilij" grip it is a kilij, if it has a "saif" grip it is a saif.


Why is an Indian hilt design is identified with the Arab word for sword?
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Old 21st October 2015, 02:56 PM   #26
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The word saif predates this hilt design by well, quite alot of time. The Arabs called swords "saif" (I emphasize that saif simply means sword) even when sword hilts are of a different design. So how come this type of hilt became 'saif' ?
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Old 21st October 2015, 03:04 PM   #27
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exactly my point, Lotfy. I also did not understand how something would become something else all of the sudden) thank you for making it so clear.
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Old 21st October 2015, 06:28 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVV
You are correct: definitely Ottoman and 19th century. I do believe this is one of the early military regulation patterns in the Ottoman army. It would appear that officers were allowed to keep heirloom blades and re-hilt them, as I have seen all kinds of blades with this hilt pattern.

Sincerely,
Teodor

Thanks for your comments Teodor I had a feeling that it may be military but was not aware of officers being able to keep their heirloom blades and re-hilt them which means that there must be a good variety of this sword with different blades, most interesting.
Regards
Miguel
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Old 21st October 2015, 06:39 PM   #29
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I think the sword discussed in the link bellow http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...+european+blade fits in the discusion! It has a european blade with a pala hilt.
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Old 21st October 2015, 06:40 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Yes, it's a beautiful Turkish officer sword, called also Turkish military sword.
I have one too that I'll post later.
But yours is better, with the stamp...
This kind of sword is from 1890-1910...Maybe yours is slightly early from 1870-1890...
I like the old and funny try to fix the guard.
Last point, it's not a shamshir, but a kilij in Turkish or a saif in Arabic.
Best,
Kubur

Hi Kubur, I'm just going on what I have seen types of this sword called, I certainly would not call it a Kilij or Saif as these names conjure up totally different types of sword to me even if your comments are correct, if anything the blade seems more sabre like.
Regards
Miguel
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