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Old 3rd September 2017, 07:07 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2017
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Default Mecca Style Jambiya Heirloom; your expertise needed!

Dear All, I inherited this Jambiya that used to belong to my Great Grandfather. He was quite the character and used to trade between East Africa and Arabia. He also used to own land in what is now the expanded area around the Kaaba in Mecca. Ever since I held this dagger it has intrigued me and after having it polished it intrigues me even more. Could you please help furnish me with details such as the social significance of such a piece, its age, provenance etc.

Details: Hilt-ivory and silver, there could have been more to it before. The ivory is of a yellow hue now.
Scabbard-not sure what the base material is but heavy silver fillegree
Blade-still sharp after decades, gives a low 'thunk' sound when played with finger
Age-not sure but before 1960
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Old 4th September 2017, 02:13 AM   #2
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A nice looking piece!
Could you please provide some measurements?
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Old 4th September 2017, 06:29 AM   #3
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You have a beautiful and old jambiya.
It's not a Meccan jambiya.
So-called Meccan jambiya... I have to take care or someone will open a thread "the Meccan jambiya the weapon that never existed"...

You have an Assib abdi style jambiya from the Hadhramawt.
Maybe collected in Aden or Shihr.
You should post a good photo of the hilt.
It might be ivory, but also rhino or amber... it's difficult to see from a distance...
Do you have an Arabic inscription on the scabbard, just above the knot?
For the date I will say around 1900 (1880-1920).

Lucky you
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Old 9th September 2017, 01:14 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info, very interesting indeed. So could one say that this would have been made by the old Jewish silversmiths of the region? In terms of dimensions the daggers out of the scabbard is about 30cm. Better photos of the hilt attached below.
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Old 9th September 2017, 03:09 PM   #5
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a lovely piece. As mentioned by Kubur this style is called Abdi and it is made in a rather wide geographical area from Yemen to Hijaz.

One of the most known makers of this style is from Hadramaut known as Bakatyan and the family still makes wonderful work. Not sure if yours is made by them, is there any inscription?
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Old 11th September 2017, 11:27 AM   #6
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Greetings,Such type of silver work has also been seen in Jambiyas from Kutch,Gujarat ,India
In Bhuj there were many famous silver smiths who did beautiful work such as this example due to old trade routes
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