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Old 17th September 2018, 03:34 PM   #1
CharlesS
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Default A Strangely Mounted Twistcore Yataghan

As many of you know, I love blades that show characteristics of cross-cultural construction and just when I think I have seen it all, inevitably I will find another that "takes the cake".

This yataghan is such an example.

The yat's blade is almost certainly Ottoman Turkish with a "Turkish ribbon" twistcore that is very clear and defined, and starts at a rather far point from the forte. It has a common T-type spine.

It is not the blade that is so unusual, but the way it is mounted. The scabbard looks to be a combination of Ottoman(steel wire stitching), Persian(steel baldric mounts), and western(chape) influence. Note, I and think rather oddly for this particular sword, the baldric would have suspended the sword edge up!

Then there is the hilt, which combines a Persian/European style guard with a clearly European style grip and pommel made from one piece of carved horn.

The parts here are so inconsistent one would be easily tempted to assume it was some recently cobbled together piece from someone who knew little or nothing about historically accurate swords, but look at all of it carefully and you can see it was all "born together" at some point, all parts clearly showing that that were made for each other and considerable and matching age. I'll call it a historical composite if you like!

I have no idea why these parts would have come together in this rather strange way and I welcome comments about this old oddity!
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Old 18th September 2018, 08:28 PM   #2
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Quite likely a hunting sword assembled in Europe in the 18th-19th c. Not that rare, though not that common either. Try using "Pandour" as a search term, also "Naval Yataghan".
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Old 19th September 2018, 01:23 AM   #3
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Its handle reminds Indian Tulwar ones, and chape looks Afghani end of 19 century.
A chimera in any case.
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Old 19th September 2018, 09:02 AM   #4
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They do make nice hunting swords tho.

Mine is a bit lower class:
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Old 19th September 2018, 10:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
They do make nice hunting swords tho.

Mine is a bit lower class:


I think it's a chassepot bayonnet...
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Old 19th September 2018, 10:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Its handle reminds Indian Tulwar ones, and chape looks Afghani end of 19 century.
A chimera in any case.


I agree with Ariel, the chape is Afghani or at least Persian like the scabbard.
The quillons could be Ottoman, even the hilt... despite the European influences...
Then you have an Ottoman sword in a Persian scabbard...
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Old 19th September 2018, 11:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
I think it's a chassepot bayonnet...


I know, as bayonets (I have one of those as well) the yataghan style was popular in many European countries in the mid to late 19c, including England. Mine is a French 1866 blade repurposed as a hunting sword. Fits the 1866 French all steel scabbard perfectly. Has it's own wood & brass one now tho.
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Old 19th September 2018, 07:01 PM   #8
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Thanks for your input guys.

David, that is a great observation. I had completely forgotten about that "pandour" thread. We will never be able to prove it, but that makes sense.

Ariel, I am not quite sure how "chimera" fits here?
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Old 19th September 2018, 07:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Then you have an Ottoman sword in a Persian scabbard...

...yet the stitching style is very Ottoman, though the mounts may be Persian.
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Old 19th September 2018, 07:06 PM   #10
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The grip is kind of Chinese looking.
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Old 19th September 2018, 09:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles

Ariel, I am not quite sure how "chimera" fits here?


Chimera: a creature composed of different parts.
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Old 20th September 2018, 06:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Chimera: a creature composed of different parts.


IMHO think it applies more to a creature made from dissimilar parts that should not or could not have been put together.

Which is not the case here, I'd say the parts that were used to repurpose the yat were done with intent and style, and do go together.

In the latter part of the 17th C., There were a lot of yats available from the Turks just lying about for the taking after their owners didn't need them any more. A few polite discussions outside Wien convinced the Turks to go home and sleep off their ambitions.

And a vast number of the Turks had been convinced to stay permanently, and they had nice holes dug for them to reside in, most leaving their weapons behind for their Christian hosts who had admired them.

They, of course, converted them to better fit in with their own methodology and arts. More a marriage made in heaven, as a vast flock of Winged beings had descended from out of nowhere to assist the Wieners in the negotiations.
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Old 20th September 2018, 07:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
IMHO think it applies more to a creature made from dissimilar parts that should not or could not have been put together.


Not exactly. Here is Wikipedia:
"The term Chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything composed of very disparate parts, or perceived as wildly imaginative, implausible, or dazzling."

This term is used in modern molecular biology: for example, hybrid genes, where regulatory region of one gene is fused with the coding region of another gene, or a single organism composed of cells with different genotypes.
The former is the cause of glucocorticoid-remediable hyperaldosteronism, a human disease causing hypertension. The latter has multiple human examples : again, Wikipedia:

-The Dutch sprinter Foekje Dillema was expelled from the 1950 national team after she refused a mandatory sex test in July 1950; later investigations revealed a Y-chromosome in her body cells, and the analysis showed that she probably was a 46,XX/46,XY mosaic female.[14]
-In 1953 a human chimera was reported in the British Medical Journal. A woman was found to have blood containing two different blood types. Apparently this resulted from her twin brother's cells living in her body.[15] A 1996 study found that such blood group chimerism is not rare.[16]
-Another report of a human chimera was published in 1998, where a male human had some partially developed female organs due to chimerism. He had been conceived by in-vitro fertilization.[3]
-In 2002, Lydia Fairchild was denied public assistance in Washington state when DNA evidence showed that she was not related to her children. A lawyer for the prosecution heard of a human chimera in New England, Karen Keegan, and suggested the possibility to the defense, who were able to show that Fairchild, too, was a chimera with two sets of DNA, and that one of those sets could have been the mother of the children.[17]
-In 2017, a human-pig chimera was reported to have been created, the chimera was also reported to have 0.001% human cells, with the balance being pig.

Chimeras are very real in biology. In the case of arm and armor they are widespread: the majority of older Indian swords have blades and handles coming from different sources ( see Elgood). Most, if not all, swords in the Topkapi collection of " Blessed Swords" are chimeric: the Ottomans put new handles on the swords taken from Mamluk armories.

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Old 20th September 2018, 08:40 AM   #14
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True, for chimaera.

I disagree that these yats were "composed of very disparate parts, or perceived as wildly imaginative, implausible"

All the parts fit the weapon and it's intended use, are not implausable, and the parts they used to rebuild the weapon were not wildy disparate in style or function, or culture. They are Not implausible, as they were not unique, a bit rare, but not unique. They were artistic, but still functional.

If they had welded the blade to a wheel lock pistol and glued a viking sword pommel to the pistol grip, THAT would be a chimaera. These are at worst, A marriage where the whole is more than just the parts.
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Old 20th September 2018, 10:52 AM   #15
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Well, OK:-)
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Old 20th September 2018, 11:00 AM   #16
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Ariel, I understand better now what you were getting at. When I first read your original reply I thought first of "mythical", then the word's second meaning being "illusion/delusion" and wondered if you were implying it was a recently constructed composite piece, which clearly it is not.

I gotcha now!
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Old 20th September 2018, 02:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
I

In the latter part of the 17th C., There were a lot of yats available from the Turks just lying about for the taking after their owners didn't need them any more..... A few polite discussions outside Wien convinced the Turks to go home amost leaving their weapons behind for their Christian hosts who had admired them. ....
They, of course, converted them to better fit in with their own methodology and arts.


A neat summing up methinks of the origin of these interesting variations on the original theme.
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Old 20th September 2018, 04:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
A neat summing up methinks of the origin of these interesting variations on the original theme.


Agreed David! Spot on!
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Old 20th September 2018, 06:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS

I gotcha now!


Glad we understand each other.
No criticism was meant: it is a beautiful piece.
Enjoy it!
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Old 29th September 2018, 08:49 AM   #20
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Another, Infantry Sidearm, now mine, cast brass hilt, Yataghan blade 58cm. of flattened diamond x-section, unfullered, brass hand grip grooved on the outer side, smooth on inner (to same uniform wear?). Seller thinks it is Russian or possibly Hungarian. Will check for other markings when it arrives.
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