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Old 19th March 2006, 02:24 PM   #1
ariel
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Default Daghestani saber: no Persians need to apply!

The last one from the Belgrade catalogue.
This is identified as a "Saber of Persian type"
This is a typical Daghestani saber of, likely, 19th century with a handle narrowing upward, animal head on the pommel, and diagonally silver-clad scabbard. The silverwork looks Kubachi-made.
Even though formally the description is correct (indeed, Persian type), this is a typical daghestani work.
Question: the fullers come straight to the tip. Do you think the blade was shortened? Doesn't look so, as it seems to fit the scabbard's length very well blade 80 cm, scabbard 82 cm. Still strange....
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Old 21st March 2006, 07:34 AM   #2
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Good catch, Ariel. Both blade and scabbard have been shortened a few inches. As for the date, while many were made in the 1890s, a considerable number were made during the first decade of the 20th century as well.


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Old 21st March 2006, 01:28 PM   #3
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Are you sure about shortening? 80 cm is 32 inches: a standard length of the blade or even on the longish side! Most are 30-31".
My Circassian is 29", Georgian 30", Chechen 30.5" and even 2 Central Asian are 32 and 28".
If the blade was cut, it must have been monstrously long and unwieldy.... Strange.... And yet, it looks this way: fullers usually stop 2-4 inches short of the point...
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Old 21st March 2006, 03:28 PM   #4
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Ariel,

I would avoid thinking in terms of "standard" anything, particularly blade length-- it rather flies in the face of the whole Caucasian, or for that matter Eastern swordsmithing gestalt, wouldn't you say? You can certainly take an average of blade lengths and conclude that this one was unusually long, but that's about all.

Not only do the fullers run off the tip of the blade, the entire appearance of the sword is truncated. Probably it was originally made for a tall man.


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Old 21st March 2006, 03:59 PM   #5
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Ham,
I know exactly what you mean!
Still, I have never seen a Caucasian or Turkish saber-type blade that was longer than 32"! And this one, if corrected for the tentative shortening, should have been at least 34-35" long. Do you have anything like that in your collection?
The Caucasian calculation of the length of blade, as per Askhabov and Astvatsaturyan was as follows:
A. If held vertically in front of the body with the handle up, the blade had to cover the entire body (defence)
B. A mounted warrior should have been able to reach the ground with the point of the blade, while leaning to the side (offence).
Anything longer than that was considered excessive and making the blade unnecessarily long, heavy and cumbersome.
Interesting to know how big was the handle on the "Belgrade" sword: perhaps, you are right and it was a custom job for a Daghestani NBA pro
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Old 22nd March 2006, 01:16 AM   #6
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Yurij A. Miller's Caucasian Arms from the State hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg Lists numerous blade lengths of Georgian shashkas. Many blades are in the mid to high 80's cm. This one is a possible Turkish blade with a length of 86.1 cm (33.9").

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Old 22nd March 2006, 03:21 AM   #7
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Ariel,

Earlier shashka and saber blades were often 27-30" long, particularly the Circassian. After the Murid Wars blades grew longer, this was due probably to Russian influence. This notion follows, considering most Kubachi sabers of this type were made for Russian officers. Looking at the photo you posted, the grip also looks an inch or so longer than average. The scale would therefore have been correct for a longer blade.

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Old 22nd March 2006, 08:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ham
Ariel,

Earlier shashka and saber blades were often 27-30" long, particularly the Circassian. After the Murid Wars blades grew longer, this was due probably to Russian influence. This notion follows, considering most Kubachi sabers of this type were made for Russian officers. Looking at the photo you posted, the grip also looks an inch or so longer than average. The scale would therefore have been correct for a longer blade.

Ham

You know, I looked at it again and think the handle is indeed a bit too big.
You may be absolutely right.
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