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Old 6th August 2019, 06:24 AM   #1
Martin Lubojacky
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Default Origin of makerīs stamp on this yatagan

Hello,
Please, could you help with the origin of the stamp on the blade ? I think the style of the handle is Anatolian. The total length is 93 cms. I would say it is the best blade I have ever seen on yatagan - thick, but with a very wide and deep groove and another one, small, above - which makes the blade relatively light and the yatagan is, despite its length and robustness, "well ballanced". The blade is only very gently springy, absolutely straight. Thank you.
Martin
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Old 6th August 2019, 07:07 AM   #2
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Cool sword. Anatolia is of course also known as "Asia Minor", the Asian part of Turkey. D̶o̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶c̶l̶e̶a̶r̶e̶r̶ ̶p̶h̶o̶t̶o̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶o̶v̶e̶r̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶w̶e̶a̶p̶o̶n̶,̶ ̶e̶s̶p̶e̶c̶i̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶g̶r̶i̶p̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶a̶?̶.̶ The Small fuller near the spine is very decorative, but I suspect that the distal taper and the more general wider central groove helps the balance even more.

Edited:

I've 'fixed' the exposure of your original post overall photo, should help the experts pin down the area a bit more. As will the small ears of the grip.
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Old 6th August 2019, 08:04 AM   #3
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Thank you for the correction of the exposure ! (I took photos at home before my current trip and the next possibility of some remedy/new pictures will be in November ...)
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Old 6th August 2019, 09:33 PM   #4
Jim McDougall
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Way out of my field Martin, but this interesting example has a very European feel to me, and reminds me of the kinds of weapon often used by auxiliary units such as 'pandours' in the mid 18th c. and later similar 'exotic' units later.

I had somehow had the idea that Turkish or Ottoman makers did not typically sign or mark their work, and that the dynastic themes and couplets of poetry etc. took precedence.

The channeling and style of the blade as well as the deeply stamped cartouche suggest possible European make. I have seen such blades with similar profile etc. which were clearly European made, and engraved with European ligature.
These were almost certainly from European use in the Balkans in such units.
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Old 7th August 2019, 09:43 AM   #5
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It's probably a yataghan from the Balkans, maybe Greek?


Just kidding
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Old 7th August 2019, 10:29 AM   #6
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To me, the panelled blade had a Central Asian "feel". As for the stamp, lots of Ottoman Yataghans have stamps, possibly from the bigger workshops that exported them.
Pandour Yataghans tend to have more European mounts.
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Old 7th August 2019, 11:20 AM   #7
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Greek Yats tend to have integral bolsters, Turkish ones, not. As noted, lots of turkish yats have that small deep stamp that looks like there are some arabic letters inside.
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Old 7th August 2019, 12:36 PM   #8
Martin Lubojacky
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Thanks for comments. The handle is Anatolian for sure. Re. the blade - I am definitely not an expert in yatagans, nevertheless to me it has "something like the Central Asian feel", too. It is interesting, that this style of blades exists (if we consider eastern side only) in Anatolia (yats) - and than there is big distance up to Indian sousson patas. There are not any Iranian and Afghan yatagans (I mean in recent 19th and beg. of 20th centuries, not in ancient times) ? (Sorry for this maybe trivial question).

As far as the possible European origin of the blade: The true is that its (thorough) workmansip recalls factory goods (e.g. quality cold weapons produced by the end of 19th century for armies ...).
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Old 7th August 2019, 01:11 PM   #9
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I would look at Afghanistan for this one. They made some odd hybrid weapons in the 19th century, and some outright copies as well. Afghan Kukri for example.
"Khyber knives" are regarded as a Yat' variant in fact.
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Old 7th August 2019, 01:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
As noted, lots of turkish yats have that small deep stamp that looks like there are some arabic letters inside.


And the Algerian yataghans, they don't have deep stamps?

Martin is it possible to have good photos of the handle?

I know, I'm annoying, I'm saying that Greek yataghans are Turkish and the Turkish are Algerians...

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Old 7th August 2019, 02:01 PM   #11
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Kubur, I donīt have possibility to do another photos, now. The handle is made of ordinary horn, its mountings of brass (relatively thick plate).
"Ears": They are partially broken. It is not classical T-handle with long spiky edges. It is something between this T-handle and small flat ears (slightly widened at the end, but this is broken)
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Old 7th August 2019, 03:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
And the Algerian yataghans, they don't have deep stamps?

Martin is it possible to have good photos of the handle?

I know, I'm annoying, I'm saying that Greek yataghans are Turkish and the Turkish are Algerians...



Algeria was part of the Turkish sphere of influence, someone mentioned the stamp as being a 'European' indicator, Greece was restless under the Turkish thumb, and kept their Eastern orthodox roots. I disagreed that the stamp was European. I have noted the Greek yats and yat shaped shepherd's knives have those integral bolsters and the turkish empire ones usually do not. (libyan khodmi being an exception, and not a yat anyway).

Anyhow, the recurved blade sword is ancient, spearing from Spain thru the Med where Greek colonies abounded, and of course Greece and Macedon itself used the Kopis, and Alexander, (Iskander) spread it east thru Persia into Afghanistan and northern india and it is even found as far as Indonesia. And it went west again with Ptolomy into Egypt and North Africa.

Found a drawing of yat hilt types, sadly cannot find the notes that correspond, i gather the document they are from is in Russian anyway.
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Old 7th August 2019, 04:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Lubojacky
Kubur, I donīt have possibility to do another photos, now. The handle is made of ordinary horn, its mountings of brass (relatively thick plate).
"Ears": They are partially broken. It is not classical T-handle with long spiky edges. It is something between this T-handle and small flat ears (slightly widened at the end, but this is broken)


Look at my Algerian yataghan, if you have such similar ears then you should consider serioulsy Algeria...
It would also explain the brutal beauty of the blade...
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Old 7th August 2019, 04:31 PM   #14
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Thank you Kronckew, the most similar is No 27, but with longer protruberances.
Thank you also for the nice compact summarization of the expansion of this style of blade in ancient times. I meant relatively recent times (like 19. and beginning of 20. century). Are there recurved yatagan like blades in Iran and Afganistan in this recent time period ? Not my field, but since I remember well recurved blades from 19/20 century discussed here were either yatagans (from anywhere) or Indian (Pakistan ?) swords ...
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Old 7th August 2019, 04:42 PM   #15
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Kubur, thank you ! But it is different - there is no beak on the handle of my yatagan. Enclosed please find cut-out from my previous picture.
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Old 7th August 2019, 06:15 PM   #16
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Excellent Yataghan, the Rhino horn grip sets it a cut above the rest.

So many different Yats, so few years and little money to collect them....
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Old 8th August 2019, 05:51 AM   #17
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This is somewhat a unique form of Yatagan but not uncommon. This type originated from the Caucasus regions, Georgia or even Black Sea region. I have seen many examples in Turkey and I actually have one very similar to this one. The handle although broken is not the typical eared shape like most yatahans but rather a big Black Sea knife /dagger handle made of horn. This type of yatagans are usually heavy with larger than normal blades. Also very well forged steel blades are usually stamped rather than being etched or written on with silver or gold. The stamps are reminiscent or Georgian kindjlas or even Quaddaras. Beautiful and functional Yatagan.
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Old 8th August 2019, 05:55 AM   #18
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See a similar example.(mine)
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Old 8th August 2019, 06:06 AM   #19
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This is definitely not a typical blade.

Just have a look at the small double groove near the edge of the blade. Also the hollow grounding starting after about 15 cm from the very simple and atypical front bolster.

Last, but not least, even the maker's mark is very unusual and different from other known Turkish or Balkan examples.

To me, all these point to the direction that this blade was not made in any of the traditional Yatagan making centres. Neither Turkey, nor the Balkans.

My hunch would be Russian or European made blade.

The same goes for the Yatagan in posting #18. For this example, I noticed it bears the same maker's mark as the blade from the last photo of posting #6. That also is definitely not a typical Ottoman bolster.

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Old 8th August 2019, 06:17 AM   #20
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Agreed! The handle is more like #24

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
This is definitely not a typical blade.

Just have a look at the small double groove near the edge of the blade. Also the hollow grounding starting after about 15 cm from the very simple and atypical front bolster.

Last, but not least, even the maker's mark is very unusual and different from other known Turkish or Balkan examples.

To me, all these point to the direction that this blade was not made in any of the traditional Yatagan making centres. Neither Turkey, nor the Balkans.

My hunch would be Russian or European made blade.

The same goes for the Yatagan in posting #18. For this example, I noticed it bears the same maker's mark as the blade from the last photo of posting #6. That also is definitely not a typical Ottoman bolster.
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Old 8th August 2019, 06:28 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Lubojacky
Kubur, thank you ! But it is different - there is no beak on the handle of my yatagan. Enclosed please find cut-out from my previous picture.

By looking at this picture again in better light it’s clear that the handle and the bolster are both later replacements , done in Turkey. Repairs are probably not too old .
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Old 8th August 2019, 06:36 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfenoid13
By looking at this picture again in better light it’s clear that the handle and the bolster are both later replacements , done in Turkey. Repairs are probably not too old .


Why? I'm interested to know... Could you explain? Thanks
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Old 8th August 2019, 07:30 AM   #23
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Sfenoid13, you probably have good eyes, so just to avoid misunderstandings:
Bolster on one side was missing - and so it was completed after the acquisition (BTW by the skilled Turkish craftsmen, in this field). I am not sure if it is the one on the picture or not. In any case, it is exactly - really exactly the same like the original one (which is on another side ?).

The horn handle is old and used, it could be original.

Maybe crazy idea (?), but I would not reject the possibility of (butch) production of this big blades for the Ottoman or Turkish Army at the turn of the 19/20 centuries or during and after the 1st World War (twenties) ... But I have no information about this
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Old 8th August 2019, 03:26 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Why? I'm interested to know... Could you explain? Thanks

The handle type as it appears from the photos seems to be one with very small ears, evern it’s broken, you can see the shape is kind of a like T, very small but still kind of a T. This is the preferred type of replacement many repaired Yatagans have. I might be wrong but it’s just a gut thing after seeing so many Yatagans, original and repaired ones. The bolsters are both replacements, one may be and sneer replacement that the other, agains based on the shape andaso the fit and finish. This type of Yatagans tend to have a straight edge bolster, again based on the examples I have seen. I am not expert and these are just based on my opinions based on a couple of bad pictures of the particular Yatahan without being able to see it in person. By the way I also believe the blade is highly polished , not the original finish. It still looks nice but I’m sure you will agree it is polished more recently.
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Old 9th August 2019, 07:08 AM   #25
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I would think a victorious army after a battle would have a number of weapons for the armourers to repair, they would likely not take the time for artistry and would be as simple and quick as possible, and would cut back any broken grip ears and round off the stumps, matching as close as the remnants allow on both sides, to get it functional & back to it's owner ASAP before the next engagement. Which they then lost & it was taken as a trophy.
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Old 9th August 2019, 07:29 AM   #26
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Sfenoid13, Thank you for your opinion re. Georgian and/or Black See origin and picture of your yatagan with a very similar blade. Blade of your yatagan is very similar.
The blade of my yatagan was rusty. Unfortunately it was that kind of difficult rust, which is not covering the blade of the yatagan evenly (I mean there were isles of the very nice and smooth original surface and isles of rust, sometimes going deep). The steel is hard and also the rust was somehow "stony". I was doing my best to remove the rust and not to damage the blade and to save the uniform look of the surface of the blade at the same time. I think that the kind of "polishing" was necessary, in the final stage. But it was not classical polishing - t The picture also reflects bad light conditions.
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Old 14th August 2019, 10:00 AM   #27
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T-shaped handle - zeybek yatagan
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