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Old 10th April 2016, 07:58 PM   #1
BerberDagger
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Default A caucasian shashka from my collection for comment

Hi at all ,
This is a shashka from my collection .... comment and similar exemple are welcome .
Regards
Lorenzo
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Old 10th April 2016, 10:58 PM   #2
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As a "quickie", end of 19, more likely first quarter of 20 century. Daghestani masters, likely from Vladikavkaz workshop ( purely statistically).
Closer pics will provide additional details, and I and other here will be glad to help.


But the best way, - get Kirill Rivkin's book "Arms and Armor of Caucasus".
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Old 11th April 2016, 02:01 PM   #3
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Hi Ariel , thank you for your comment . I ve Rivkin book , it s bible for me .
I add others pics and I m very happy to known your and others members opinion imput .... thanks Lorenzo
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Old 11th April 2016, 02:15 PM   #4
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Old 11th April 2016, 02:16 PM   #5
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Old 11th April 2016, 04:04 PM   #6
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Default Magnificent!

Magnificent!
Agree with Ariel, but my guess would be 19 century rather than early 20.
Daghestan but also possibly Georgia.
Can you take a close-up photo of the maker's mark?
As Ariel suggested, maybe Rivkin's book on arms and armour of the Caucasus can give you more hints.

PS: Love the fullering and the niello! Fantastic piece and in great condition.
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Old 12th April 2016, 12:33 AM   #7
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I still cannot see the patterns of chasing: tutta? markharai?

The blade is likely from Amuzgi, THE blade center of the Caucasus at that time.

The niello at the back of the scabbard is of the so-called " Moskov-Nakysh" pattern: floral bouquet . This is a very late development: Daghestani masters following tastes of Russian buyers. At the end of 19 century military significance of shashkas went down the drain. They became almost purely decorative implements: expensive, made of rich materials, with more silver than steel :-)
National/ ethnic motives were lost: manufacture concentrated in several towns ( Vladikavkaz, Tbilisi etc), in workshops employing many masters of different ethnicities. Styles got mixed, and totally foreign elements were added. Many shashkas and kindjals were bought as pure souvenirs, often signed in niello " Memories of Kavkaz". This continued till at least 1950, with rich souvenir silver handles and scabbards, containing low quality blades, being manufactured by the State-controlled workshops in limited quantities as gifts to the Communist Party bonzas ....

The above shashka has a feature that puzzles me ( right away: I may be wrong because of its photographic presentation!!!). There were 2 classic forms: "caucasian" with the the handle inserted into the scabbard down to the very pommel, and "asian" with the base of the handle being flush with the top of the scabbard. This one seems to be not here and not there. This is why I cannot exclude its more recent origin.
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Old 12th April 2016, 09:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
The above shashka has a feature that puzzles me ( right away: I may be wrong because of its photographic presentation!!!). There were 2 classic forms: "caucasian" with the the handle inserted into the scabbard down to the very pommel, and "asian" with the base of the handle being flush with the top of the scabbard. This one seems to be not here and not there. This is why I cannot exclude its more recent origin.


Hello Ariel,

Nice and thorough analysis but I believe this one qualifies quite well into the "caucasian" type. I don't think the fact that it doesn't sink into the scabbard as deep as other examples is of major significance as it may simply be because of parcticality, to allow a better grip when drawing the sword.
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Old 12th April 2016, 09:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
There were 2 classic forms: "caucasian" with the the handle inserted into the scabbard down to the very pommel, and "asian" with the base of the handle being flush with the top of the scabbard.
Ariel, is this a general rule or is it a strictly followed rule.
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Old 12th April 2016, 10:13 AM   #10
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Nothing in hand-made weapons is 100% standard. Just a personal feeling. The same is true about the dating.
It is an unquestionable late caucasian shashka, and way too luxurious to be made for fighting. More of an "artistic" grade.
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Old 12th April 2016, 10:43 AM   #11
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Hi At All and Thanks For comments and imput ! I think no doubts Abaut The quality Of This shashka ! I think in my only opinion it s dated near 1880 - 1910 cca ! I post Others pics Of The fittings ! The niello work Is Really incredible in This exemple !
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Old 12th April 2016, 10:44 AM   #12
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The mark
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Old 12th April 2016, 12:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Nothing in hand-made weapons is 100% standard. Just a personal feeling. The same is true about the dating.
It is an unquestionable late caucasian shashka, and way too luxurious to be made for fighting. More of an "artistic" grade.


Being lavishly and elaborately decorated doesn't prevent it from being an excellent fighting weapon. It might have simply been comissioned for a high ranking local leader or was intended as a present for an important person. Let's not forget that the Shashka is also part of the national attire in the Caucasus area and is considered a status symbol.

Anyhow, the workmanship of the blade appears to qualify this one as an excellent cutting blade.

But I guess it is quite important to know if the blade has a sharp cutting edge or not as, this may be quite important in establishing its purpose.
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Old 12th April 2016, 03:54 PM   #14
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I fully agree with Marius , these sabres are aways simbol of power from nobleman and hight rank people..

The blade is very flexible and have a nice pattern ... and yes is quite sharp .

regards
Lorenzo
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Old 12th April 2016, 04:05 PM   #15
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A closer look at the '84' hallmark may help with pinning down the date?

http://www.925-1000.com/Frussia_kokoshnik_01.html

She appears to be looking right, so post-1908
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Old 12th April 2016, 04:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumpel
A closer look at the '84' hallmark may help with pinning down the date?

http://www.925-1000.com/Frussia_kokoshnik_01.html

She appears to be looking right, so post-1908
The internet is amazing.
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Old 12th April 2016, 04:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Being lavishly and elaborately decorated doesn't prevent it from being an excellent fighting weapon. It might have simply been comissioned for a high ranking local leader or was intended as a present for an important person. Let's not forget that the Shashka is also part of the national attire in the Caucasus area and is considered a status symbol.

Anyhow, the workmanship of the blade appears to qualify this one as an excellent cutting blade.

But I guess it is quite important to know if the blade has a sharp cutting edge or not as, this may be quite important in establishing its purpose.
This is an arguement that comes up from time to time. I have seen many highly decorated weapons and armor which would serve the exact same purpose as plain examples. Rich and powerful men were expected to have much more elaborate arms, I think you have to judge each example individually.
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Old 12th April 2016, 07:13 PM   #18
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estcrh , you are right ! I ve a very furnish collection of caucasian arms , much of them bought from my granfather who travelled a lot in Russia and Turkey 70 years ago and this one is not the best I see ...caucasian arms sometimes are gold decorated and very rich decorations .

This shashka is of sure not a zar sabre : ) but in any case is a quite rich exemple ,certain not of poor quality or for a normal person ( old ) owner .

thanks a lot for the marks illustration . I have this book too .
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Old 12th April 2016, 07:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
As a "quickie", end of 19, more likely first quarter of 20 century. Daghestani masters, likely from Vladikavkaz workshop ( purely statistically).
Closer pics will provide additional details, and I and other here will be glad to help.



BINGO!
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Old 14th April 2016, 11:11 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerberDagger
estcrh , you are right ! I ve a very furnish collection of caucasian arms , much of them bought from my granfather who travelled a lot in Russia and Turkey 70 years ago and this one is not the best I see ...caucasian arms sometimes are gold decorated and very rich decorations .

If you have other examples hopefully we will be able to see some more. One question, when a shashka is labled as "Caucasian" is it Circassian, Russian, Cossack etc or is this a general term with no exact known origin.
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Old 14th April 2016, 01:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
If you have other examples hopefully we will be able to see some more. One question, when a shashka is labled as "Caucasian" is it Circassian, Russian, Cossack etc or is this a general term with no exact known origin.


I think it would be difficult to clear up this ambiguity since "Caucasian" may refer to where it came from, or it may refer to the type with the hilt partially sunk in the scabbard.
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Old 15th April 2016, 12:18 AM   #22
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Embossed ( chased) thin silver foil is extremely fragile. Niello is easily worn off. Such lavish examples were not intended for the battlefield.
I am sure there were "rich and famous" who wore them for portraits, official functions etc. , but by and large these lavish ones were intended to spend their lives on a carpeted wall in a " man's cave".

This one is 100+ years old and completely pristine: not a scratch, no damaged silver, no loss of niello, no nicks on the edge. This is a collection-grade artistic shashka made at the age when shashkas were gasping for air.

Please note: I am not denying its age and authenticity and not denigrating its artistic value. I am just putting my 5 cents worth about its fighting "Raison d'Ítre".
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Old 15th April 2016, 11:50 AM   #23
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Here are some shashka / shashqa from the Met Museum, they are simply listed as "sword", which makes finding them hard.
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Old 15th April 2016, 07:53 PM   #24
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The one with the ivory handle is a winner hands down: end of 18- beginning of 19th century!
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Old 16th April 2016, 12:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
The one with the ivory handle is a winner hands down: end of 18- beginning of 19th century!
Ariel, it is not often that the plain old Betty gets taken over the dolled up tart but I agree.
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Old 17th April 2016, 01:06 AM   #26
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"Dolled up tart"...
Love it!! :-))))

I have one just like the Met example with a one-piece walrus handle. It is shown in Kirill Rivkin's new book.
Pity the scabbard did not survive....
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