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Old 28th October 2019, 06:39 PM   #31
Jim McDougall
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Ariel thank you for the response, insights and interesting observations. As someone also fascinated with Afghan and Central Asian shashkas I must say I feel like I am 'among giants' with the perspectives given here. I admit despite years of studying these myself, I am by far still learning.
Kubur, great images!!! Really add dimension to this view into these.

On the scabbard 'drag', what I learned of these is perhaps hyperbole, but with European swords, it was fashionable in the 'hussar' trend, to wear sabers low slung and virtually dragging along as the individual walked. ...much in the manner of clinking spurs with cowboys. Naturally the hand of the sabre was probably more to the position while mounted, but the characteristic set a fashion.

There is likely a more pragmatic explanation in the scabbard structure itself, but the style in the case of these Afghan shashkas may have been simply adopting European military fashions.
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Old 28th October 2019, 07:54 PM   #32
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Kubur,
Both of them carry sabers in a typical saber style: edge down.
The first one has a saber likely made by the Tubchiev brothers ( from Daghestan), who learned enameling in Central Asia and brought with them niello in exchange.
The second one.... his robe is too multicolored to see the handle clearly.

My hesitations about the "pseudoshashka" are as follows:
1. The blade is very curved, not typical for those Afghani swords. Likely remounted shamshir.
2. The slit is on the wrong side. Moreover, I have never seen slits in pseudoshashkas: their curvatures are not as pronounced. Mainly, they are seen on Ottoman kilijes. I am sure you have several of those, just try to unsheath them holding the sword horizontally but with the slit being above or below. See which position is more comfortable.
3. The handle is asymmetrically placed, in a typical "pseudoshashka" style. If my suspicion about the blade coming from a shamshir is correct, the tang should have been re-worked. I would x-ray the handle to look for any signs of it.
4. I am uneasy re. contour change in the middle of the scabbard. Looks as if it was re-formed and the modified area was covered by the suspension fitting.
5. Was the leather stitched in the Ottoman style: wire "springs"? Would be nice to see a close-up pic.

Obviously, I am at a great disadvantage because of my inability to inspect the sword personally. But the owner can do it if he wishes and disabuse me of my suspicions.
As I have already said, it is a beautiful and highly unusual pseudoshashka. The former is indisputable. The latter is what makes my antennae twitch.
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Old 28th October 2019, 08:12 PM   #33
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Ariel, calm your antennae.

This Afghan shashka, which you persistently call pseudoshashka (but itís excusable, old people are usually very conservative), has no problems

Sorry, but I don't care much about your "suspicions." And certainly not so much that I was in a hurry to ďdisabuseĒ you.
Some of the forum participants who were visiting me in Moscow had the opportunity to carefully consider this shashka))))

And one moment. If you didnít see something, then it only says that you didnít see it and nothing more
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Old 28th October 2019, 09:03 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Look at the scabbard of the guy in Samarkand...


Kubur, you are absolutely right. The scabbard with the element that I circled in red (if I understand correctly, the discussion was about it) has been marked in Afghanistan since the first half of the 19th century.
Color lithography is the 1840s (from the watercolors of Lieutenant Rаttrаy), the black and white image is an illustration from book Bellew: Journal Of A Political Mission To Afghanistan In 1857 (here we can see the afghan shashka) https://archive.org/details/journal...0501mbp/page/n7
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Last edited by mahratt : 28th October 2019 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 29th October 2019, 04:08 AM   #35
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Kubur,
I enlarged the pics of Mahratt's pseudoshashka.
See. pic #6 from the top: typical Ottoman stitching and the fitting disturbed the seam mightily, to the point of tearing the wire stitches. I am more and more certain that the fitting was turned upside down to create a "shashka-like" appearance of the scabbard, and that the scabbard was originally Ottoman and not Afghani.

Have you tried to play with one of your kilijes and unsheath the sword when the slit is on top or on the bottom? Would like to get your impression.
As a matter of fact, other Forumites may try it too: the more opinions the better. We seem to have a fun exercise.
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Old 29th October 2019, 05:24 AM   #36
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Hi Kubur.
The desire of our friend Ariel to prove that he is always right, often plays a bad joke with him. He begins to see that which is not. And he does not want to see what is, but does not coincide with his opinion
In this case, having initially made erroneous conclusions, he saw a ďwire seamĒ (or its "footprints") that no and never was on the scabbard of this Afghan shashka... Sorry, but on the scabbard, a seam from an ordinary thread ...

Ariel, dear friend, I remembered the Russian La Fontaine - the the author of the fables Krylov and one of his fable, where the main character lost his sharp vision with age ...

P.S. Knowing Arielís "youthful enthusiasm", Iím sure that he will continue to find fault with something else. So prepare more popcorn
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Old 30th October 2019, 06:11 PM   #37
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Thanks for responding to my query about the stitches and adding a close-up of the area. Regretfully, my expanding the previously-posted pic of the same location blurred the image.
Yes, regular, not wire seam. Afghani, not Ottoman.
Now it is seen even better that the leather is damaged, likely by the repositioning of the suspension fitting. Somebody likely wanted this one to look like a real Caucasian shashka, but the damage to the leather and the wrong position of the slit betrayed him.
Still, a very handsome example that should have been left alone. Perhaps, you might want to reposition the fitting to its original state. Should not be very difficult.
Enjoy it.

Last edited by ariel : 30th October 2019 at 06:22 PM.
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