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Old 10th December 2020, 06:29 PM   #1
Gonzoadler
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Default Help with translation - small pretty Kard

Hello,

since some years I own this unusual small Kard. The blade is wootz and has a gold Koftgari with inscription, the mountings are made of a silver alloy with a lower silver content or nickel silver, I don´t know exactly. The mountings are chiselled and decorated with pretty flowers.
Measures: total: 22cm; without scabbard: 20cm; blade: 12cm
Now my questions:
1. I saw a similar bigger Kard in a famous German auction house described as Ottoman. Would you agree with that origin?
2. I would date the dagger in the second quarter of the 19th century, but this is only a feeling. What are your meanings regarding the time of production?
3. The most important point: what means the inscription?

Greetings and thank you very much
Kevin
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Old 11th December 2020, 03:04 PM   #2
Norman McCormick
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Hi Kevin,
This is mine http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ht=ottoman+kard which as you can see is pretty similar. Unfortunately mine has lost the inscription and it will be interesting when you get a translation for yours. A nice piece.
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 11th December 2020, 07:56 PM   #3
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Very nice Turkish Ottoman would be my guess, albeit it can be from the Balkans.

Also wootz in need of polishing and etching I suspect.
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Old 11th December 2020, 08:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Very nice Turkish Ottoman would be my guess, albeit it can be from the Balkans.

Also wootz in need of polishing and etching I suspect.


Hello,

thank you. Yes, you maybe right with the wootz. But there is always a danger of damage the koftgari, so I´m cautious with that. Also the pictures are not very good, here are some better. They show the wootz in a more flattering way:
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Old 11th December 2020, 10:24 PM   #5
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From what I see in the photos, and that is not very much, it looks like Persian wootz to me. 19th century maybe, but the blade might be older.

Absolutely deserves a good polishing (to 2000 grit) then etching ( with Nital 4% for best results, but Ferric Chloride will also do the job).
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Old 11th December 2020, 10:49 PM   #6
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Thanks for your tip, I will think about that. The wootz-structure is really hard to see.
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Old 11th December 2020, 11:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
From what I see in the photos, and that is not very much, it looks like Persian wootz to me.


I was thinking this was Turkish wootz. Persian wootz I thought was more distinctive than this.
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Old 13th December 2020, 08:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
I was thinking this was Turkish wootz. Persian wootz I thought was more distinctive than this.


Now the structure is washed out because of wear. In some areas is completely worn out.

You can definitely be right but that will become only clearer after a new and proper etching of the blade.

When I said that it looks Persian to me, I based my assertion on the shape of the watering streaks (with rather long directional portions, somehow similar to the ones of the kard below).
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Old 13th December 2020, 04:57 PM   #9
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Very true - could use another etching
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Old 16th December 2020, 08:25 AM   #10
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Just trying to keep the thread alive in the hope of a translation...
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Old 16th December 2020, 11:14 PM   #11
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It could say "Made in China"
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Old 19th December 2020, 10:57 AM   #12
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Neither the words nor the numbers make any sense to me in either Arabic, Persian or Turkish
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Old 19th December 2020, 01:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwiatek
Neither the words nor the numbers make any sense to me in either Arabic, Persian or Turkish


Very interesting but not completely surprising. I assume it can be the case the maker was not very literate and wrote the inscription for decorative reasons.

Thank you Kwiatek!
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Old 19th December 2020, 03:34 PM   #14
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Yes, many thanks Kwiatek.
And better a nonsense-inscription than "made in china"
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Old 19th December 2020, 05:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwiatek
Neither the words nor the numbers make any sense to me in either Arabic, Persian or Turkish


Are you sure that the three numerals separated by flowers are not a date? Missing the 1
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Old 19th December 2020, 08:37 PM   #16
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Well, they are where you would expect the date to be on an inscription of this type and they could be conceivably be 2**7, but the middle digits do not resemble anything much and even if they did, taken as a whole this would not add up to anything that would make any sense in any of the calendars that we would be dealing with here. Added to the fact that the inscription itself does not appear to read properly, then I think we are talking about an inscription that has been copied by someone who did not understand what he was copying ...
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Old 20th December 2020, 01:40 AM   #17
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Kwiatek, perhaps it is upside down:
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Old 20th December 2020, 01:43 AM   #18
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Other thoughts:

1. it could be bad writing

2. could be totally talismanic

3. could it be in Bosnian instead of Turkish but using Arabic script?
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Old 20th December 2020, 11:08 AM   #19
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Yes I had realized it was upside down.

I would be amazed if it was Bosnian, but I am prepared to be amazed if anyone can come up with a reading.

Could be talismanic, but you should still be able to read it or at least recognize what it is meant to be.

For sure it is bad hand-writing. Many artisans were illiterate, especially in the provinces. My suggestion is that this was copied from a text by an artisan who did not know what he was copying - there might just conceivably be the word الله or بالله („God“or „through God“) in there, though that is a long shot. Inscriptions on this type tend to be formulaic and the same ones come up again and again - someone may at some point recognize what text this was supposed to be, but at the moment it escapes me
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Old 20th December 2020, 08:21 PM   #20
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Hi Kwiatec,
I am not an expert on this subject, but I know that many bichaqs of this type were produced in various places in/for the Ottoman Empire. In fact, many of this construction - short "ears", all silver and floral design bichaqs and yatagans are sold as Greek, though Balkan, Bosnian etc. are also added to the description, to be on the safe side.
Moreover, this style of bichaqs were made in Europe for the Ottoman market (Italy and France, see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=25013). I don't think yours is one, because the blade is an older wootz blade that has been re-mounted, but it makes sense that the koftgiri has been added during the mounting and that it has been written by someone who did not actually know Arabic. Some letters can definitely be identified as Arab letters, but others are not - so the whole does not make sense (not that I could read it if it did). So, my guess is that it is mounted in the 19th c. in Greece of other Balkan country for use by Ottoman soldiers or officials. I also posted a similar inscription from a what is described as Greek yatagan.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 01:38 PM   #21
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Hello.
Sounds really plausible what you write here.
If the person who made the Koftgari was a Turk it would be strange, that he was'nt able to read arabic letters. A greek artisan is more likely.
Maybe the blade is older than the mountings, but Norman McCormick's dagger looks very similar. Therefore I'm not sure about that.
These Bichaqs made in France are a curious subject, I never heard about that.

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