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Old 8th October 2019, 02:39 AM   #1
kahnjar1
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Default QAJAR "REVIVAL" SWORD for Comment

Another snip from a local auction. I believe that these are popularly referred to as Qajar "revival" swords, and date from 19th century sometime. The blade is heavily decorated, and is both flexible and sharp. I can see no reason why these would not be a useful weapon.
Perhaps one of our Members can be more informative regarding these swords.
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Old 8th October 2019, 04:00 AM   #2
mahratt
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Hi kahnjar1

I read an article in which it is written that such swords, strongly decorated with inscriptions, were made for processions that Shiites conduct on the holiday of Ashura. Also, such swords were made for actors "tazieh" who performed religious mystery (performance). And at a later time, such swords were made especially for Europeans, as an "oriental exotic" ...


But I like these swords as a work of art. True, I like straight swords more

Tazieh - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ta%27zieh
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Old 8th October 2019, 11:20 AM   #3
MForde
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I have one of these next to my desk as I type as I'm selling it for a friend and I must agree - there's no reason why the blade wouldn't be acceptable in combat, given the correct sharpening.
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Old 8th October 2019, 01:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MForde
I have one of these next to my desk as I type as I'm selling it for a friend and I must agree - there's no reason why the blade wouldn't be acceptable in combat, given the correct sharpening.


How would you know?!

Unless you really test the blade simulating real use conditions, you cannot get even a close guess. What may appear like a reasonably elastic blade can shatter like glass or bend like clay in real use conditions.
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Old 8th October 2019, 03:02 PM   #5
Jim McDougall
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Excellent and interesting perspective on these Qajar items and these ceremonial events Dima! I have often wondered more on these 'revival' pieces and how they were used.

It is interesting how these heavily etched blades very much resemble the well known thuluth examples from Sudan in the Mahdist period of end of 19th c.
It has often been argued whether these highly decorated blades were actually used combatively, or simply as symbols of authority for chiefs or leaders. Some consider them as carried by the warriors in an almost votive manner as symbolizing the 'sword of the Mahdi'.
However, I have seen examples of these thuluth kaskara which were sharpened and would certainly have been usable in combat.

While these Qajar swords were made clearly for ceremonial use, like many weapons in such context, it is possible they might be used in a 'situation' as a weapon, even if blunt force trauma were the outcome of their use.
In the American Civil War, one of the chief problems with the use of the sword was that the soldiers failed to sharpen their blades.

An observation regarding possible use of weapons of course cannot always be entirely accurate in these kinds of discussions, but hypothetical comments cannot always be discounted. Obviously hands on examination would better lend to outcome one way or another, much like evaluating and assessing weapons shown on these pages from photos only.
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Old 8th October 2019, 04:15 PM   #6
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Reference;
A. https://www.academia.edu/36217967/S...y_Mahdist_Sudan


Quote"Decorations & Calligraphy.

Many Sudanese swords blades were covered with calligraphic inscriptions, either real or pseudo-inscriptions (Fig. 3). Sometimes these inscriptions are connected to symbolic dates such as 1718 or animals such as the snake and the dragon. The Arabic calligraphy etched in the blade was typical ‘thuluth’ script. Thuluth is a script version of calligraphy invented by the Persian official ibn Muqlah Shirazi. Most often they were religious inscriptions from the Qur’an, but also these weapons wear the names of places of production like Omdurman and manufacturing dates. This type of decoration was also used on other Sudanese weapons including dervish axes and daggers. These calligraphic ornamentations will have been placed to serve a purpose. It is clear that the verses of the Qur’an, Arabic and the writing act in general as magical and symbolic elements. Calligraphy is present as a motif rather than as actual writing. Its main function is talismanic; sometimes lucky-charms or gris-gris are also attached to the handle of the weapon." Unquote.
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Old 9th October 2019, 12:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
How would you know?!

Unless you really test the blade simulating real use conditions, you cannot get even a close guess. What may appear like a reasonably elastic blade can shatter like glass or bend like clay in real use conditions.


I admit to some employing degree of presumption but I feel it's justified. The sword I have here feels robust and flexible and similar in the hand to those of proven fighting sword patterns. Of course, as you say, one never truly knows what hidden secrets a blade holds until it's actually used but we can't very well go around hitting people or armour with all our swords to test each one, only being allowed to extoll their virtues after rough use. Also, these 'Revival' swords are sometimes described as having ceremonial-only blades, and perhaps some do, but it's a sentiment I felt important to mitigate.
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