Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 16th May 2007, 05:29 AM   #1
ALEX
Member
 
ALEX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 934
Default Turkish/Kurdish... or else?

This is claimed to be a 100/150 y/o Turkish Ottoman dagger. Total length in scabbard is 15''. The fittings are silver with niello and some small gold inserts/decorations. However, looking closely at it I felt that the condition is somehow too good for old Ottoman dagger (unless it was either stored for 100 years or restored not long ago). The similar work/style can be seen on Kurdish and Caucasian fittings. The gold inserts show drawings of star and moon, and one on the handle has English letter "R". The niello writing is Arabic "Masha Allah" = "Prays to God".
Any comments guys?
Attached Images
    
ALEX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2007, 07:18 AM   #2
Yannis
Member
 
Yannis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Athens Greece
Posts: 479
Default

What I see is nice old Iraqi niello work, damascus blade, ottoman symbols, kurdish style jambiya. I could believe the 100 years old estimation. Not all the knives were made for use. Some were presents and so they were stored. If you dont like it pass it to me
Yannis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2007, 07:34 AM   #3
ariel
Member
 
ariel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 5,053
Default

I vote for Turkish. The inserts bear crescent/star motif, the nielloed flowers are very Turkish, and the cylindrical handle also was popular in the Ottoman Empire. The niello is , of course, of Caucasian origin, ie NE Anatolia. This area is populated mainly by Turks, Kurds and Armenians. Who exactly made it will never be known (likely Armenians, the artisans of the area), but the style is rather Ottoman in character.
ariel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2007, 07:41 AM   #4
ALEX
Member
 
ALEX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 934
Default

No.. No.. No... I like it
It's just an argument about origin. You have a good point about Iraqi style niello, BUT: I think niello work on this dagger indicates it could be Turkish. Did Ottomans do niello as well? Most Iraqi/Kurdish jambiyas I saw look very different from this one. Most of them are curved and have rather simpler niello design without any silver chasing/carving.
ALEX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2007, 08:19 AM   #5
erlikhan
Member
 
erlikhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Istanbul
Posts: 452
Default

I think Turkoman origin. From Northern Iraq. I have seen several coming from Kirkuk city there. But this is the best sample I have seen. Others were from early to mid 20th century,with lower quality of niello,and non damascus forged steel.This must be an earlier and special sample for sure.
erlikhan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2007, 10:04 AM   #6
ariel
Member
 
ariel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 5,053
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by erlikhan
I think Turkoman origin. From Northern Iraq. I have seen several coming from Kirkuk city there. But this is the best sample I have seen. Others were from early to mid 20th century,with lower quality of niello,and non damascus forged steel.This must be an earlier and special sample for sure.

Just my ignorance: I always thought that Kirkuk is Kurdish. Why "Turkoman"? Any difference?
Are Turkish Kurds also Turkoman?
What exact characteristics distinguish Turkish from Kurdish from Turkoman niello and motifs?
ariel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2007, 10:07 AM   #7
Marc
Member
 
Marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Madrid / Barcelona
Posts: 256
Default

What about a closer look at the blade, if possible?
Marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2007, 01:39 PM   #8
erlikhan
Member
 
erlikhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Istanbul
Posts: 452
Default

Ariel, Turkoman (Turkmen in Turkish)was describing Turks living a fully or partially nomadic life in Eastern Anatolia,north and south Azerbaijan and Northern Iraq in Ottoman period. They and Kurds are completely different in origin and language. They settled by time and Turkoman word began to mean just some folcloric nuances in 20th c., but not a word to define any actual seperation . (Not for Turkmenistan which is not our subject .Just for Turkey).

Kirkuk with some neighboring towns were mainly Turkoman populated in Ottoman period. Majority in Kirkuk where some significant portion of Iraq oil sources lie underground is still Turkoman despite the systematical Arabification efforts in Saddam regime, and similar Kurdification after the invasion of Iraq, but many having been culturally assimilated.

I must note always there will be somebody else to tell 2nd paragraph from a different point of view. I hope this summary is enough as further comments can cross the sensitive borders of politics.

A solid fact,if it was still in Turkey,those people would name themselves as not "Turkoman" but ordinary Turks living there. Their official naming "Turkoman" as a minority of Iraq has been mainly a preference of Iraq state or more probably former British imperialism I think. So I am not expert enough in etnoghraphical culture to tell any possible difference between niellos of Turkey and Turkomans but what the overall style of the dagger, with silver hilt and scabbard, niello, several `very thin` gold leafs over silver adress Kirkuk to me.Crescent-star can be assumed as the cream over the cake to complete it. Their flag is crescent-star on blue ground. But as I said this is a very special quality one.

Last edited by erlikhan : 17th May 2007 at 09:28 AM.
erlikhan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2007, 02:19 PM   #9
Lew
(deceased)
 
Lew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: East Coast USA
Posts: 3,191
Default

Very nice jambiya and I agree the hilt looks Kurdish to me. Here is a similar style with a wootz blade and a more recently done scabbard.

Lew
Attached Images
   
Lew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th May 2007, 05:59 AM   #10
ALEX
Member
 
ALEX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 934
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
What about a closer look at the blade, if possible?


Marc, here is the closeup. Very solid and rigid blade.
Ariel, thanks for a nice explanation. I tend to agree with you on a Turkish origin. Also agree with Erlikhan that this is of special quailty, and is superior to a typical Kurdish/Iraqi work. What Lew showed is a nice Iraqi dagger. Yes, very close, but the devil is in details:-)
Attached Images
 
ALEX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th May 2007, 06:14 AM   #11
Yannis
Member
 
Yannis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Athens Greece
Posts: 479
Default

Kirkuk, its oil and its politics will be subject in news for years to come. For demographics check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirkuk

As for the crescent and star, if we take it as ottoman symbol we talk for the period after 1910, that is fine with my estimation of jambiya. Turkoman? I cannot say. But also the kurdish origin is possible. Kurds in early XX century had periods of revolt and periods that served the ottoman rulers.

The two knifes are similar in decoration but different in form. The first has more kurdish hilt and the second more iraqi.
Yannis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th May 2007, 07:44 AM   #12
Phil
Member
 
Phil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6
Default

Quote:
The niello is , of course, of Caucasian origin, ie NE Anatolia.

Besides the fact that Anatolia and Caucasus are adjacent but they arenít the same region, niello is NOT of Caucasian origin:

http://concise.britannica.com/ebc/a...-9373477/niello

http://aic.stanford.edu/jaic/articl...c21-02-006.html
Phil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th May 2007, 10:38 AM   #13
Marc
Member
 
Marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Madrid / Barcelona
Posts: 256
Default

Thank you, Alex. Is not very clear, but a priori it indeed seems wootz. The rest of the work seems relatively modern, though. I don't know.

Phil, maybe I'm sticking my nose where I've not been invited to, but I think ariel meant that it was the neillo work in this particular piece what is of Caucasian origin...
Marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2007, 10:55 AM   #14
ALEX
Member
 
ALEX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 934
Default

Here are a few more scabbard pictures. The first one is unquestionably Turkish, with niello'ed Ottoman coat of arms with Sultan's Tugra in the center. Next two are most likely Kurdish (?) and the last one is modern Syrian (?)
Attached Images
    
ALEX is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 05:42 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.