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Old 21st January 2021, 09:52 PM   #1
Tracy
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Default Kindjal? for ID please

This belonged my late grandfather who was posted in the Middle East during WWII. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I can provide additional photos if needed. Many thanks!
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Old 22nd January 2021, 09:56 PM   #2
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A very nice kindjal! I think that his blade was made at the end of the 19th century by the Ottoman Turks, and the silver fittings were made by a master from among the Caucasian immigrants - muhajirs.
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Old 22nd January 2021, 10:57 PM   #3
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Looks like a typical example.
The mountings could be from Kubachi or
another place in Dagestan. The blade is maybe
chechen or dagestani, too.
Like Ren Ren I estimate it was made in
the late 19th century.
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Old 22nd January 2021, 11:04 PM   #4
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The two dates on the scabbard are the same
1208 or 1258
This kindjal is not from the 18th c so I vote for 1258, eg. 1842 AD.
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Old 22nd January 2021, 11:50 PM   #5
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In the picture of the back of the hilt, is that a twist core in the fuller?
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Old 23rd January 2021, 12:05 AM   #6
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This is Circassian work. The Circassian diaspora brought ~ 700,000 to the Ottoman Empire. Many served in the military, they were often stationed in the Ottoman provinces of Syria, Iraq and Egypt. So, very good old Circassian weapons often show up there.
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Old 23rd January 2021, 12:11 AM   #7
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It would be interesting to know why Kubur says this kindjal is not from the 18th century.
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Old 23rd January 2021, 12:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Pinchot
It would be interesting to know why Kubur says this kindjal is not from the 18th century.


Date is clearly 1208 hjiri which is Gregorian 1794.
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Old 23rd January 2021, 04:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Pinchot
It would be interesting to know why Kubur says this kindjal is not from the 18th century.


Yes, me too, I would be interested to know why!

In fact, I will happily change my mind if you have some 18th c similar examples
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Old 23rd January 2021, 05:31 PM   #10
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Being a pessimist is great! Each time you are either right or pleasantly surprised.
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Old 25th January 2021, 11:21 PM   #11
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I have since found a 1972 letter from the Royal Ontario Museum that dated it at 1793 and translated the inscription to likely be the name of the craftsman: Sadr al-Din ibn Mustafa. Fayum is also mentioned, possibly meaning that is was made in the Fayum District of Egypt. I've attached closer photos of the fuller on both sides and there are groves parallel to the fuller but otherwise nothing that looks like twist core. Thanks for introducing me to these new terms! My mother also mentioned that my grandfather told her he was given the sword from a friend (possible relative?) back in the 30's when they were both having fun with motorcycles and archeological digs. The friend was a rather famous fellow who spent a great deal of time in Egypt during WWI, and the sword had been presented to him. That's all I know for now. Thanks for your replies and more comments are very welcome!
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Old 26th January 2021, 08:24 AM   #12
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I'm not pessimistic, just realistic

I mentioned the two dates, but this kindjal smells the 19th c.
And I don't know 18th c. kindjals. Oliver knows better and he said Egypt.
Cairo most likely. Kiwatek will probably explain why Fayum is mentioned.
It's interesting that the blade maker stamp was removed, probably because it was made of gold.
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Old 26th January 2021, 10:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur

I'm not pessimistic, just realistic

I mentioned the two dates, but this kindjal smells the 19th c.
And I don't know 18th c. kindjals. Oliver knows better and he said Egypt.
Cairo most likely. Kiwatek will probably explain why Fayum is mentioned.
It's interesting that the blade maker stamp was removed, probably because it was made of gold.


I think Oliver mentioned Chircassian work that was brought over to other countries including Egypt, not made in Egypt.

As for dating, it's unlikely we can claim with certainly the work to be 19th and not 18th Century due to being a few years too early from when 19thC began
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Old 26th January 2021, 05:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX
I think Oliver mentioned Chircassian work that was brought over to other countries including Egypt, not made in Egypt.


It's a bit more complicated than that, Circassians are in Egypt since the 13th c.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX
As for dating, it's unlikely we can claim with certainly the work to be 19th and not 18th Century due to being a few years too early from when 19thC began


I agree, late 18th c. is very close to early 19th c.
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Old 26th January 2021, 11:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
It's interesting that the blade maker stamp was removed, probably because it was made of gold.

You have a keen eye and this is an important note.
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Old 27th January 2021, 01:59 PM   #16
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Now I am not an expert and only know what I can read and very rarely see. These following issues are what I ask myself. Everyone please feel free to correct my ignorance.

We are using a date from the sheath not the blade. The onion at the tip seems to me like possibly a later repair. If not isn't a larger final on the chape a sign of mid nineteenth manufacture? I If one compares the twisted wire at the top of the throat with the hilt that meets it, the hilt is considerable more worn. It could just be a repair, there have been several, but sheaths we know often are replaced before the knife is worn out. What did the sheath originally have as a covering? Red leather, shagreen, cloth and galloon?


If we look at it then without the sheath. Is it mono-steel or laminate? Wouldn't mono-steel would to push the date of manufacture back. It's profile is hard to tell from the picture angles but they seem vaguely triangular and intended as a stabbing weapon. Coupled with the wide flattened rib in the forte this would move my estimation to an earlier period. Then there is the koftgari. The pattern on the front of the blade at least seems to imitate popular stiles from Tbilisi. Has anyone seen a 18th century Circassian kindjal with a vine meander that resembled bird shapes with providence? Of course the koftgari could be a later edition this piece has obviously has a wonderful working life. In one picture you can still see the original grind marks on the back edge while at least from the camera angle the front edge has been re-sharpened. Back to the koftgari, which makes me wonder, is it Circassian piece or a multi ethnic piece of someone working in Georgia in a Circassian style? Who knows this piece is obviously well traveled, but to me 1794 does seem early. I would love to know what all the inscriptions say and in what language? As I led off with; I'm no expert. Just an interested party raising more questions than answers
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Old 27th January 2021, 06:21 PM   #17
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Well said, I cannot agree more.
It's a shame that we don't have a translation.
All the forum members will agree on a mid 19th c. date without the inscriptions. All the kindjals with gold seals that I found in my books are from the mid 19thc.
With the inscriptions it's another story, because the inscriptions looks consistent with the date and the scabbard.
And usualy blades are older than the dresses... not the opposite.
And it looks like a 0 and not a 5, nevertheless I still believe that the guy put a dot instead of a 0.
Or it's just a commemorative date.
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Old 27th January 2021, 09:35 PM   #18
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I've attached the letter I mentioned earlier from the ROM. Ed Keall was an assistant curator at the time - his qualifications are listed on the ROM website (google "Ed Keall Royal Ontario Museum"). It's possible he would revise his translation if he looked at it again with ~40 more years experience under his belt. Let me know if more photos (different areas, different angles) would help - thanks!
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Old 28th January 2021, 07:36 PM   #19
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Deleted repeated post

Last edited by Tracy : 29th January 2021 at 07:23 PM.
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