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Old 29th April 2017, 06:25 PM   #1
motan
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Default Early shibriyas revisited

Hello,
I recently won this lot of old shibriyas on an auction. I bought them mainly for the smallest one which is a neat little dagger of a known type shown in previous threads.
The other two are also early and nice enough, but are not in a very good shape and show multiple repairs. Some pieces are missing too and the middle one has a silver covered Palestinian sheath which is a replacement-the dagger itself is Jordanian. This latter type has also been discussed in a recent thread (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...hlight=Shibriya).
But there was a little bonus too. I hypothesized in this forum that the shibriyas only developed around WWI and the early types, such as the ones below (from a collection of a friend) are from the late 1920' and 1930'. This assumption was based on 2-3 old pictures.
When I cleaned the the largest one, I found a date on the side of the hilt.
I have never seen a shibriya dated to before 1940. This inscription was probably written by an illiterate man as the digit 3 is written backwards, but it can only be interpreted as 1352-1933 in Gregorian calender. So I finally found solid support for my assumption.
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Old 29th April 2017, 11:24 PM   #2
A.alnakkas
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Hey Motan,

This is very good. The date is actually 1252 which puts it in 1858. This is quite impressive.
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Old 30th April 2017, 07:49 AM   #3
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Hi A.alnakkas, thanks for your response. When I inteprted the date, I assumed that the lowest vertical line on the second digit is part of a strangely written digit 3. I have seen several strange Arabic digits 3 in the past (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...t=Syrian+dagger for example). However, on better inspection I admit that it could be just a nick-there are several other nicks in the pic. In that case, it should indeed be read as 1252, which corresponds to 1836-7 (not 1852) and that puts the whole question of age of these daggers on very loose ground.
However, I do not believe that this dagger is really from early 19th. I have not seen any pictures of shibriyas from before 1900, although the evidence is very scant. The earliest photographs I have of bedouins from this region that carry a dagger show daggers that are not exactly shibriyas (discussed in http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...light=Shibriyas). The only picture I have of a bedouin with this type of dagger is from the 1930'. So I call the evidence inconclusive and I have to keep searching...
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Old 10th July 2017, 11:57 PM   #4
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Just an eye candy: finished on e-bay
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Old 11th July 2017, 10:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Just an eye candy: finished on e-bay


Ariel, sadly this one appears to be a put together piece. The scabbard is Iraqi while the handle is Jordanian (?)
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Old 11th July 2017, 02:47 PM   #6
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Hi Ariel,
Thanks for posting this. However, this is a mismatch. The dagger itself is a fairly standard Jordanian shibriya from the 1950' +/-10 years, but the scabbard is Iraqi, belonging either to a Kurdish type dagger (most likely) or a Marsh Arab dagger (see pictures).
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Old 11th July 2017, 02:55 PM   #7
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Hello my friend,
You were before me, but I didn't see your post.
Eytan
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Old 14th September 2018, 08:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motan
However, I do not believe that this dagger is really from early 19th. I have not seen any pictures of shibriyas from before 1900, although the evidence is very scant. .


Hi Motan

I believe alnakas is right and I've seen 19th c. shibriyas.
I think most of yours are 19th c. at least for the second photo...

Best,
Kubur
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Old 15th September 2018, 12:42 PM   #9
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Hi Kubur,
I respect your opinion and will be more than happy to find out that I own genuine 19th century shibriyas.
However, the meager evidence I have points against it. Photographs of Bedouin from the area of Jordan and Palestine/Israel and from before WWI show them with daggers that I have not seen anywhere and are certainly not one of the shibriya types known to me. Pictures from after WWI show Bedouin with shybriyas I consider early types. From the many shibriyas I have seen with a date, none has a date from before 1940, and all are later types than those seen in photographs from the 1920's and 30'.
I have written an assay on the history of the Bedouin shibriya and showed it to members of the forum privately, but I feel that I need more evidence to support it. This means that I have to visit friends with large collections and photograph types, dates and any other relevant evidence I can find. Unfortunately, I will not have the time to do that anytime soon. If you have any kind of evidence of shibriyas prior to WWI, please bring it forward. I am more concerned with facts that with being right.
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Old 15th September 2018, 09:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motan
Photographs of Bedouin from the area of Jordan and Palestine/Israel and from before WWI show them with daggers that I have not seen anywhere and are certainly not one of the shibriya types known to me.


I agree with you on this point the old shibriya are different, but to me yours are very early 20th or most probably late 19th c. for half of them.
The date on one of them doesnt look wrong to me, why not?
I will post an old one that I have later. But i agree with you the old ones are different, the blades are more curved like the khanjar and the pommels have nice rings...

Best,
Kubur
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Old 23rd September 2018, 08:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motan
From the many shibriyas I have seen with a date, none has a date from before 1940, and all are later types than those seen in photographs from the 1920's and 30'.
I have written an assay on the history of the Bedouin shibriya and showed it to members of the forum privately, .


Hi Motan,
Ok for the dates when they are on the blade, yours is on the scabbard.
Please let me see your essay!
Here is one of the late 19th c. imho, full cooper dress but you have also models more basic with horn grips.
I'll post mine later.

Best,
Kubur
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Old 25th September 2018, 11:37 AM   #12
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That's a beautiful primitive example Kubur,lovely
cheers
Rajesh
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Old 25th September 2018, 06:21 PM   #13
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old shibriya
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Old 25th September 2018, 08:39 PM   #14
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Hi Kubur,
Thanks for keeping this thread going with interesting examples. The first one is a piece I considered buying for a long time, but let it go eventually. I believe it is an early form of the example in my picture, but it is more interesting because of the peculiar decorations. I know of a similar one found "in situ" in Jubata al Khashab, a village in the demilitarized zone of Syria/Golan. Unfortunately, I can not find the relevant thread. It is debatable if it should be considered a shibriya.
The last one is I believe it is some kind of shibriya and it shows many signs of early examples. However, it has a mixture of influences I have not seen before. Like the majority of older examples, it does not have the classical recurve blade shape identified with shibriyas. The little bulges on the upper part of the scabbard and on the "neck band" of the hilt can be found in several examples in this thread, as well as the small triangles and other geometric patterns. The disk and ring on the pommel are typical to almost all early shibriyas, and so is the decorated "neck band". The band with little enameled (?) depressions on the scabbard is however an unmistakable Iraqi element. Similar pattern, but with set turquoise stones is shown in several Iraqi daggers in this thread. So, a mix of styles that fits the Eastern fringes of the Syrian desert.
I once speculated that on a continuum of styles across the Syrian desert, but recently, I have seen several examples that have a Iraqi/Syrian/Jordanian/Palestinian/Saudi Arabian mixture of traits. I am trying to study them with help of A.Alnakkas from this forum who has many examples. To be continued, as this post is long enough already.
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Old 25th September 2018, 10:05 PM   #15
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Hi Motan

I cannot agree more!
I also agree with what you wrote previously:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?p=212635
al nakkas also
Its the size that define a shibriya, not the shape of the blade.
in my view, all shibriyas come from curved daggers.
YES
For mine, are you sure that is Iraqi? I would say Hejazi influences, a bit dhariaish type with the sheat...
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Old 26th September 2018, 08:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi Motan

I cannot agree more!
I also agree with what you wrote previously:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?p=212635
al nakkas also
Its the size that define a shibriya, not the shape of the blade.
in my view, all shibriyas come from curved daggers.
YES
For mine, are you sure that is Iraqi? I would say Hejazi influences, a bit dhariaish type with the sheat...



To be honest, I am not quite sure whether the term shibr which is the source of the term shibriya is a solid definition for the item. I have shibriyas way larger than the shibr unit.

As for your shibriya, nice example! I overslept that day :-) as for features, The line of sockets is a known feature in Iraqi items, though that does not mean the item is Iraqi. It is definitely not Hejazi and the decorative methods and style are common. The only thing different is the line of sockets.
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Old 26th September 2018, 12:15 PM   #17
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Hi my friends,
I agree with both of you, but there are still so many things unknown to us about the origins of the shibriya.
Kubur, if I had to guess where your shibriya was made, I would say southern Syria, about the same area as the other one you posted. This is based on one feature: the band on the scabbard just above the row of sockets, made for the rings where a baldric was attached. Almost all shibriyas have a simple belt loop on the back of the scabbard (Dharias too). This band is common in Majdalis and in Lebanese daggers (and other Ottoman/Caucasian daggers), although a baldric was rarely used and they were usually tucked behind the belt.
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