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Old 9th September 2019, 02:18 AM   #1
ariel
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Default Old Khyber

The title was deliberately shortened; the full version would sound something like " The oldest dated Khyber I can recall"
The date is acid etched on the blade: 229H ( 1229, of course), i.e. 1813 in Gregorian.

The handle was damaged, and the bolster and tangband are made of brass.

Any criticisms or doubts?
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Old 9th September 2019, 05:11 AM   #2
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My regrets, but most of the Khyber knives, whose blades are decorated in this style, have been decorated in the last 20-30 years ... It is a known fact that Afghans did not decorate their weapons with images of people and animals (although they could use Persian or Indian weapons with such images). But on the weapons that the Afghans themselves made not images of people and animals there. In the last 20-30 years, a lot of "improved" old Afghan weapons and modern souvenirs for tourists whose blades are decorated with images of animals of different quality have appeared on the antique market.
I would believe the authenticity of the inscription, if it was similar to what I attach in the photo - short and without images of people and animals.

Although, anything can be. Once in a private collection I saw a khyber knife with a star of David roughly cut on a blade. The collector sincerely believed that this was a rare Khyber knife of an Afghan Jew

P.S. By the way, it seems to me, or does the saber in the hands of the rider (in the image on the blade) - have an elman (the wider part of the saber is closer to the tip of the blade)?
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Old 9th September 2019, 09:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
P.S. By the way, it seems to me, or does the saber in the hands of the rider (in the image on the blade) - have an elman (the wider part of the saber is closer to the tip of the blade)?


No yelman, it's the horizontal line that creates this yelman effect or affect as you wish...


Acid etching is an old technique and Persians did a lot of acid etching on their weapons and armours, including animal and humans figures... Afghans and Persians are neighbours so i don't see any problem to have a rider on the blade... What the text is saying??
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Old 9th September 2019, 09:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Acid etching is an old technique and Persians did a lot of acid etching on their weapons and armours, including animal and humans figures... Afghans and Persians are neighbours so i don't see any problem to have a rider on the blade... What the text is saying??


Persians are Shiites, and Afghans, if I am not mistaken, are Sunnis. And the Sunnits are forbidden to make images of animals and humans...

But if I am wrong, correct me please. Unfortunately, I do not know examples of images of a person or animals on the blades of an old Afghan weapon
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Old 9th September 2019, 10:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur

Acid etching is an old technique and Persians did a lot of acid etching on their weapons and armours, including animal and humans figures... Afghans and Persians are neighbours so i don't see any problem to have a rider on the blade... What the text is saying??


Acid etching MAY be an "old" (please define what you mean by "old") technique, but Persians did NOT use it before 19th century, and even then for very specific and few items (mostly decorative, historicism - known as Qajar revival - blades decorated with religious texts).

Afghans... even less so.

In my oppinion, any acid etched Afghan blade, raises serious concerns about its autenthicity as a genuine traditional weapon and points into the direction of souvenirs market.

My two cents.

Last edited by mariusgmioc : 9th September 2019 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 9th September 2019, 10:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
The title was deliberately shortened; the full version would sound something like " The oldest dated Khyber I can recall"
The date is acid etched on the blade: 229H ( 1229, of course), i.e. 1813 in Gregorian.

The handle was damaged, and the bolster and tangband are made of brass.

Any criticisms or doubts?


Hello Ariel,

You normally have very sensitive antennas.

Didn't they start twitching?!
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Old 9th September 2019, 10:17 AM   #7
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overall condition and etching is an issue for me.
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Old 9th September 2019, 10:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
Persians are Shiites, and Afghans, if I am not mistaken, are Sunnis. And the Sunnits are forbidden to make images of animals and humans...

But if I am wrong, correct me please. Unfortunately, I do not know examples of images of a person or animals on the blades of an old Afghan weapon


You are right.
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Old 9th September 2019, 10:55 AM   #9
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As per Wikipedia, somewhere between 5-20% of Afghanis are Shia.
Those are the so-called Twelvers " Farsiwan" Hazara , living in the western provinces of Herat and Farah. Other Twelvers are Bayat and Qizilbash communities. There are also Nizari Ismailis in Badakhshan and Sayeeds of Kayan. And let's not forger Sufi Afghanis.

Sunni Islam forbids images of Allah, Muhammed and/or major Prophets, but frowns upon other living imagery without explicitly banning it. Although the so-called Sword of David ( Daud) , an early Islamic sword from the collection in Topkapi Palace carries an image of a human figure with distinct facial features.
Only Wahhabis and Salafis ban images of anything else, but those are of much more modern appearance and concentrate on the far east of the country.

Afghanistan is a multi-ethnic country, and painting Afghanis as uniform community and uniformly Sunnis is superficial.

Perhaps, this could serve as an ethnographic sign of the origin of this Knyber.

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Old 9th September 2019, 11:16 AM   #10
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It would be interesting to look at the Ottoman weapons of the 19th century, on which there are images of man and animals. After all, the Ottomans are not Wahhabis, if I understand correctly? Of course, we are not talking about the use by the Ottomans of Persian blades, on which were originally images of animals.

I understand that this will not be entirely by topic, but I just want to learn more from more experienced hobby colleagues.

And it’s even more interesting to see a really old Khyber knife in good condition, on the blade of which images will be made in such a technique as on the subject that we are discussing.

Marius wrote very accurately:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Acid etching MAY be an "old" (please define what you mean by "old") technique, but Persians did NOT use it before 19th century, and even then for very specific and few items (mostly decorative, historicism - known as Qajar revival - blades decorated with religious texts).
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Old 9th September 2019, 12:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Acid etching MAY be an "old" (please define what you mean by "old") technique, but Persians did NOT use it before 19th century, and even then for very specific and few items (mostly decorative, historicism - known as Qajar revival - blades decorated with religious texts).

Afghans... even less so.

In my oppinion, any acid etched Afghan blade, raises serious concerns about its autenthicity as a genuine traditional weapon and points into the direction of souvenirs market.

My two cents.


You are correct: my antennae were twitching :-) and this is why I posted it here.
However, I have serious doubts about dating it to the late 20th century souvenir manufacture: the handle on a " souvenir" sword sold to a Western visitor to be hung on the wall was unlikely to be so severely damaged and deep patination of the tang suggests some significant age ( compare to the tangs of WWII period Japanese swords ). The manner of profuse etching is very similar to the Qajar " revival" swords of the 19th and many " Afghani" blades were imported from Persia (and India). The overall condition does not bother me very much: we have multiple swords of the 17-18th centuries in just as good or even better shape. Spurious dating is a distinct possibility, but I see no reason why this khyber could not have been made in the 19th century, although later than 1813, coincidentally with the Persian " revival" swords, say, 1830-1880. Any objective arguments against it?

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Old 9th September 2019, 12:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
You are correct: my antennae were twitching :-) and this is why I posted it here.
However, I have serious doubts about dating it to the late 20th century souvenir manufacture: the handle on a " souvenir" sword sold to a Western visitor to be hung on the wall was unlikely to be so severely damaged and deep patination of the tang suggests some significant age ( compare to the tangs of WWII period Japanese swords ). The manner of profuse etching is very similar to the Qajar " revival" swords of the 19th and many " Afghani" blades were imported from Persia (and India). The overall condition does not bother me very much: we have multiple swords of the 17-18th centuries in just as good or even better shape. Spurious dating is a distinct possibility, but I see no reason why this khyber could not have been made in the 19th century, although later than 1813. Any objective arguments against it?


1) We see the "classic" Afghan Khyber knife. By the way, no one says that he is not real. This is a authentic Khyber knife for the 19th century or early 20th century. The truth is not in very good condition. However, there are no elements that would tell us about its Persian or Indian origin (usually these elements are easy to recognize).
2) Sellers of antique weapons, souvenirs and "upgraded" old weapons in Afghanistan are not considered a problem if their goods are damaged. On the contrary, for them this is an occasion to say that this is an old item. Unfortunately, the times of Egerton, Moser and Prince Saltykov, when you could buy very good items in India and Central Asia, are long gone.
3) Using such a technique for decorating a blade for typical Afghan khyber knives is absolutely not typical. But, miracles do happen. However, I would like to see analogues from Afghanistan.
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Old 9th September 2019, 12:45 PM   #13
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Glad to see that the Afghani " Sunni" argument is not used anymore and that 19 century ( rather than " last 20 or 30 years") is accepted as a possibility. Yes, it is not in a perfect shape ( that fortifies its older dating). The etching, as other people here noted, strongly suggests its Persian origin, on which everybody is in agreement. I have yet to encounter a seller who would not "improve" an easily made lost and aged bolster to justify the price to almost $6,000 asked for this one:-)
Had we had unquestionable dated Afghani analogues, this discussion would have been unnecessary.

All in all, are we in agreement that this khyber can be likely dated to the (mid-late) 19 century and sports a blade of a presumably Persian manufacture ( etching and Farsi)?
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Old 9th September 2019, 12:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Glad to see that the Afghani " Sunni" argument is not used anymore and that 19 century ( rather than " last 20 or 30 years") is accepted as a possibility. Yes, it is not in a perfect shape ( that fortifies its older dating). The etching, as other people here noted, strongly suggests its Persian origin, on which everybody is in agreement. I have yet to encounter a seller who would not "improve" an easily made lost and aged bolster to rack up the price to almost $6,000 asked for this one:-)
Had we had unquestionable dated Afghani analogues, this discussion would have been unnecessary.

All in all, are we in agreement that this khyber can be likely dated to the (mid-late) 19 century and sports a blade of a presumably Persian manufacture?


This khyber can be likely dated to the late 19 century -early 20century. Over the past 20-30 years, the blade has probably been decorated. Sorry my bad english. I probably explained very poorly. Please see message number 2:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
My regrets, but most of the Khyber knives, whose blades are decorated in this style, have been decorated in the last 20-30 years ...


" Sunni" argument - remains very important. Common words about Wahhabism and Shiism did not show us a single example of images of animals or people made by Afghans in old times on old blades... But there are a lot of modern souvenir and old "improved" in recent years, Afghan blades, which modern masters put animal images.

It is a pity that experienced forum participants did not answer my question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
It would be interesting to look at the Ottoman weapons of the 19th century, on which there are images of man and animals. After all, the Ottomans are not Wahhabis, if I understand correctly? Of course, we are not talking about the use by the Ottomans of Persian blades, on which were originally images of animals.


The blade of this Khyber knife is decorated in the same way that in Persia was decorated with very late items that were used for religious holidays and as souvenirs for Europeans.
But this does not say that the blade of this highber is made in Persia

By the way, have you seen the blades of the Khyber knives, which can be called "made in Persia"? Their shape is very different from the shape of the "classic" Khyber knife that we are discussing.
If this is interesting, I can show such a blade

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Old 9th September 2019, 01:11 PM   #15
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I think when we see such a Sudanese Kaskara decorated in the same style as the Persian weapons later used for ceremonies and as souvenirs for Europeans, no one will say that "this Kaskara’s blade was made in Persia"

Well, in any case, none of the collectors of oriental weapons...
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Old 9th September 2019, 01:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
The title was deliberately shortened; the full version would sound something like " The oldest dated Khyber I can recall"
The date is acid etched on the blade: 229H ( 1229, of course), i.e. 1813 in Gregorian.

The handle was damaged, and the bolster and tangband are made of brass.

Any criticisms or doubts?

The presented etching sample causes me great doubts about the dating of 1813. Very big doubts.
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Old 9th September 2019, 03:08 PM   #17
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What is certain is that we can speculate ad nausea whether the blade was etched at the time of manufacture or much later.

Then, we can speculate if it was etched in the 19th century or 30 years ago.

We will NEVER be able to establish with 100% certainty any of the above mentioned asumptions.

But, based on the shape of the blade and amount of corosion on the tang we can presume with a reasonable degree of certainty this is a regular Afghan khyber blade from 19th to early 20th century.

The presence of the etching, however, is absolutely atypical for the Afghan khyber swords and this is also reasonably certain.

Then, the blade can be
1. with an original etching, making it an exception/curiosity;
2. with a later etching to make it more attractive.

Out of these two alternatives, I would choose the second as I consider it much more likely than the first one, since the I do not really believe in miracles (but as Mahratt said "miracles do happen").

PS: How much would this sword fetch if it weren't etched?!
How much could it fetch as an "exceptionally rare and dated" Khyber sword?!
The damaged hilt would enhance the impression of authenticity...

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Old 9th September 2019, 05:12 PM   #18
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Given that I have never seen a Khyber blade with etching of this nature, I too would incline steeply toward an old blade, augmented later.

I've grown suspicious of weapons that suddenly appear presenting unusual or unique features.
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Old 9th September 2019, 10:23 PM   #19
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This to me is clearly a 19th c. Khyber knife (salwar) which has apparently been acid etched (as astutely noted by Bob) at a much later date, my guess would be late 19th early 20th.
While we know these swords were keenly used throughout Khyber regions, they certainly diffused into many congruent regions which were all part of the Northwest frontiers later becoming Afghanistan.

The acid etching always tempts many to classify the decoration as souvenir oriented, which of course many examples of tulwar. kukri and other Indian forms do carry in many cases.
In this case however (and most unusually) this example has decoration which resembles the kind of figure often seen on weapons of the Kalash people of the Chitral district and areas of Nuristan. These animist tribes have in many cases nominally adopted Islam, which may account for the Hegira date, and in my opinion most probably (if accurate) represents something commemorative.

It seems the character of the figures used in the decoration of these people is much like the crowned figure mounted in this motif.
The Kalash are a very much endangered (culturally) people who were known as the Kafirs (as described by Kipling) and their regions known as Kafiristan before invaded by Abdur Rahman Khan in 1890s. These areas became known as Nuristan and remain as part of the provinces of now Afghanistan.

While the Kalash are known for use of the 'jamadhar katari' , a dagger described in Egerton and often discussed here, they also use varied swords and long hafted axes resembling the Arabian jers.

While it is remarkable to see a Khyber decorated in this way, it is not surprising that one via various means of contact, found its way into this most unusual context.

Entirely speculative of course, but I find the etched figure and motif compellingly like that I have seen in the material culture of these people.
They were written on by George Scott Robertson "Kafirs of the Hindu Kush" (1896), and I have a reference from Germany by this title about 20 years ago but not on hand at the moment.
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Old 9th September 2019, 10:34 PM   #20
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Hello Jim!

I enjoyed reading your version. It is very interesting. Thank you very much!

But, tell me, please, if we do not follow the path of “speculation” (which of course is very attractive) do you know the weapons of Kalash (kafirs) whose blades were decorated in the same style as the Khyber knife under discussion?
Personally, such examples are unknown to me.

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Old 9th September 2019, 11:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
Hello Jim!

I enjoyed reading your version. It is very interesting. Thank you very much!

But, tell me, please, if we do not follow the path of “speculation” (which of course is very attractive) do you know the weapons of Kalash (kafirs) whose blades were decorated in the same style as the Khyber knife under discussion?
Personally, such examples are unknown to me.


Thanks very much !!!
Actually it does not seem 'most' examples have such decoration, or any at all, however I would need to check my book further. The thing is that there have been a number of weapons (tulwar if I recall) which have had motif very similar.
Obviously I specified my thoughts were speculative at this point as I need examples or detail to support. My hopes at this point were that others aware of this tribal group might enter.
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Old 10th September 2019, 04:18 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Thanks very much !!!
Actually it does not seem 'most' examples have such decoration, or any at all, however I would need to check my book further. The thing is that there have been a number of weapons (tulwar if I recall) which have had motif very similar.
Obviously I specified my thoughts were speculative at this point as I need examples or detail to support. My hopes at this point were that others aware of this tribal group might enter.


Thank you so much for the answer, Jim
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Old 10th September 2019, 05:18 AM   #23
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In trying to find examples of my suggestion, I found these examples of the mother goddess of the Hoi Mata (Holy Trinity) of the folk religion of these Chitral tribes. While one rendition was on an amulet of sorts, the other was on a pesh kabz (choora type hilt) scabbard throat. It is on the 'inside' of the silvered piece.
The pesh kabz, though obviously a widely known form in these regions and into India had the calyx at the base of he hilt, as seen on most Khyber knives etc. and is considered a Central Asian affectation. The blade (not pictured) is the recurved pesh kabz form.

Despite this type of motif seen as shown in these examples, its appearance on a Khyber knife, unusual among these Kalash tribes in itself, the occurrence in acid etched design is even more baffling.

A single figure, crowned, mounted and with what 'appears' to be a Hegira date, is incongruent and I have not found distinct examples of Kalash weapons with this type etching. The pesh kabz example with the three figures is the only one found thus far.

My suggestion is intended only for consideration pending further evidence or if possible, proof of such decoration on a Khyber knife in this manner being authentically placed. Barring that proof, the possibility of this being a 'creatively' enhanced 'old Khyber' which might have been indeed intended for sale in the bazaars of Chicken Street remains in place.
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Old 10th September 2019, 10:23 AM   #24
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My 2 cents:
- The knife itself looks true to type and old, although sophisticated forgery of the whole knife, as well as later "decoration" can not be totally rejected. We will probably never know. The argument that this is not typical of Khyber knifes only means that and no more. A-typical weapons are found in all categories (like in Jimws example).

- The same can be said about the Sunni vs Shia argument: in general, Sunni items contain less imagery than Shiite items, but that is all.
As far as I know, in Islam, like in Judaism, imagery of human and animals is not explicitly forbidden in the source writing (Quran, Old Testament). What is forbidden is any RELIGIOUS imagery because of the fear of idolatry. The way this is interpreted varies greatly with place/culture, time and type of object. Miniatures painting with humans and animals are common in Ottoman, Persian and Mughal cultures. Rugs, weapons and ceramics from Sunni cultures have sometimes images of humans and animals in realistic, stylized or abstracted form. Further, thinking about Sunni Islam in terms of the Wahabite movement or Isis, which are true iconoclasts, is wrong and not representative.

A more productive way to approach this knife would be to try to read the texts and see in what language they are written and what they say.
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Old 10th September 2019, 11:10 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motan
A more productive way to approach this knife would be to try to read the texts and see in what language they are written and what they say.


Exactly what I was saying before, of course!

There are no rules: you have Tunisian Ottoman barrels full of riders, animals and men... And they were sunni...

But we all agree that it is a bit suspicious...

Ariel you didn't post close photos of the blade next to the broken bolster. It would be interesting to see the how the etching looks like there...

http://vikingsword.com/vb/showthrea...ht=powder+flask
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Old 10th September 2019, 12:18 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motan
- The same can be said about the Sunni vs Shia argument: in general, Sunni items contain less imagery than Shiite items, but that is all.
As far as I know, in Islam, like in Judaism, imagery of human and animals is not explicitly forbidden in the source writing (Quran, Old Testament). What is forbidden is any RELIGIOUS imagery because of the fear of idolatry. The way this is interpreted varies greatly with place/culture, time and type of object. Miniatures painting with humans and animals are common in Ottoman, Persian and Mughal cultures. Rugs, weapons and ceramics from Sunni cultures have sometimes images of humans and animals in realistic, stylized or abstracted form. Further, thinking about Sunni Islam in terms of the Wahabite movement or Isis, which are true iconoclasts, is wrong and not representative.

A more productive way to approach this knife would be to try to read the texts and see in what language they are written and what they say.


Dear colleagues, I am surprised at your approach to the discussion...
What we have? We have one dagger, the scabbard of which is decorated with anthropomorphic figures, using the technique typical of this region. And we also have a powder flask (of unknown origin) with similar images that are made in the same technique as the images on the scabbard.
Fine! But, this is one of the only known weapons on which there are anthropomorphic images. And, by the way, the Kalash and residents of Chitral (that is, kafirs) were until recently pagans. That is, they had no restrictions on the images of humans and animals.
But even among kafirs, we cannot find several objects weapons (5-10-15) with anthropomorphic images that would allow us to talk about a tendency to decorate blades or at least details of the scabbard with anthropomorphic figures ...
Nevertheless, let's consider that I am too picky and let's assume that the dagger with anthropomorphic images on the scabbard, which Jim so kindly placed in the topic of discussion, is an important fact.

But there are still "small" problems...
1) Kafirs never used the technique of decorating blades that we see on blade Ariel’s Khyber knife. Not used, because they did not know how to decorate blades in such a technique. And they could not learn, since all the Hindu Kush nationalities lived in very isolation (by the way, therefore, they have kept paganism for so long).
2) Kafirs had no contact with Persia (this is if we decide to fantasize that the blade of the Khyber knife was decorated in Persia).

Therefore, the version with Kafiristan and its proud residents - you can forget.

Now back to the issue of "banning images of people by the Sunnis." Third time, I am very very I ask those who say that the Turks decorated the weapons with anthropomorphic images to place in this threadOttoman objects of the 19th century made by Turkish masters and decorated with Turkish masters, on the blades of which you can see images of a person or even animals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motan
The argument that this is not typical of Khyber knifes only means that and no more. A-typical weapons are found in all categories (like in Jimws example)..


Reputable motan, unfortunately, you view the past through the “prism of modernity” (that is, from the perspective of modern views). In an archaic society, which the Afghans represented in the 19th century (and even more so the Kafirs Hindu Kush ), there can be no a-typical weapons decorated in an a-typical technique for this culture. There may be trophies, but not objects typical of society, with some a-typical features.
It is incorrect to appeal to the dagger posted by Jim, since we do not know provenance of this dagger.
And most importantly, daggers, like the one Jim showed us, appeared in Afghanistan at the very end of the 19th century - early in the 20th century (This, by the way, does not make them less interesting ).

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Old 10th September 2019, 01:03 PM   #27
Richard G
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I think, if the date 1229 was using the Jalali calendar it corresponds to 1850 Gregorian.
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Old 10th September 2019, 04:38 PM   #28
Jim McDougall
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Very good point Mahratt makes on the dagger. We do not have provenance but the type of hilt (unofficially often termed choora) did not appear until about mid 19th c. The blade if I recall was the recurved pesh kabz type around much longer.

The date Richard suggests seems to correspond more to the item.

As a clarification, the Kafirs were the tribal people of the part of Afghan regions known as Kafiristan. In the 1890s these were overtaken by Abdur Rahman Khan and the regions given the name Nuristan.
The diaspora of Kafirs into Chitral regions, as I understand was considerable and these became known as the Kalash people.

The Kafirs were animists, and powerfully resisted Islam, but those who remained in these regions did apparently convert in degree.

The animist or pagan religion of these people and their very character always make me think of the Khevsurs of the Caucusus, and while I cannot make definitive comparisons nor suggest any direct link, the similarities are notable in a number of ways.

The motif on the dagger I posted was similar to the amulet I posted, which was identified as Kalash, so the comparison was drawn.

The etched figure on Ariel's Khyber is crudely applied, but the three peaked crown mindful of the figures in the example I have shown.

As discussed, I have personally never seen such etching or for that matter any type of surface decoration on the blade of a Khyber knife. Certainly as Motan has well noted...….atypical weapons are not at all unusual in themselves. This simply means a weapon has become out of its typical context in some feature(s) of its original or most commonly known character.
Since there are no specific guidelines for such deviations, all that can be done is the examine the features to determine 'their' origin, and or, period.

Old weapons are often repurposed or redecorated in traditional manner of earlier times for many reasons, whether for use as weapons as designed in some ersatz manner, or more typically as traditional or commemorative as in parade or ceremonial events (as with Qajar 'revival' items).

Amidst all of these possibilities is the ever present pallor of creative and industrious artisans supplying the souks and bazaars with old weapons which are veiled by those very possibilities. That is truly the challenge of collectors and historians of arms...finding the most plausible answers to each item based on the merits and detractions held by them.
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Old 11th September 2019, 12:24 AM   #29
ariel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motan
My 2 cents:
- The knife itself looks true to type and old, although sophisticated forgery of the whole knife, as well as later "decoration" can not be totally rejected. We will probably never know. The argument that this is not typical of Khyber knifes only means that and no more. A-typical weapons are found in all categories (like in Jimws example).



A more productive way to approach this knife would be to try to read the texts and see in what language they are written and what they say.


The inscription is in Farsi. I saw word “Allah” and am almost sure the entire text is a part of one of the Suras.
Regretfully, I discarded all other images and cannot find them. Will try more, but 99% it will be something generic and not helpful.

Motan turned this discussion into a rational direction. And Richard G’s suggestion of a Jalali calendar is appropriate accounting for the Farsi inscription and mass production of etched blades in Persia at that time.

I would like to ask a general question: on what grounds do we discard unusual objects as some kind of “fake”?
This khyber ( and right away: I did not buy it simply because it was not very interesting to me ) is indeed unusual for several reasons. But inventing stories of “souvenir”, “last 20-30 years”, “Sunni religious beliefs” is not productive. We see tons of unusual, atypical weapons, but as Motan rightfully said, this means only that they are atypical, and no more.
Shouldn’t we rely in our assessments on physical facts?
By now everybody agrees that this khyber is genuinely old. Wouldn’t it be honest to conclude that we have no idea when its blade was etched? That “1229” may be a genuine date ( even in Jalali)?

I think that a proper way of attributing and dating old weapons should be based on hard facts and not on rash personal feelings. This is how every branch of real science works.
And if we do not have facts at our disposal, we need to humbly conclude that we just cannot date an object based on the existing information instead of dumping it into a garbage bag of seller’s shenanigans. We may conclude that we do not like it, that our antennae are twitching etc., freely admit it, and no more. And not buy it. This is a realm of emotional response, but not a scientific approach.

This Forum prides itself on striving for scientific approach. Jim is a walking encyclopedia of esoteric information, Jens forgot more about Indian weapons than we all remember, Motan seriously studies shibriyas, Battara is our Moro guru, Alan knows more about Indonesian Kris than anybody I know etc, etc. ( sorry if I did not mention other people, but I had to stop somewhere:-))
Even they admit from time to time that they do not know something and cannot pass an informed judgement. Shouldn’t we all adopt a similar attitude?

“Just the facts, Ma’am!”
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Old 11th September 2019, 09:01 AM   #30
mahratt
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Let's talk about the facts.

Fact number 1. There is a Khyber knife, which is original and can may dated to the late 19th - early 20th century (well, even if the middle of the 19th century) and looks absolutely typical for Afghanistan
Fact number 2. On the blade of the khyber knife there is a strange decoration, absolutely not typical for Afghanistan
Fact number 3. In Afghanistan, souvenir "old weapons" are very actively being made and truly antique weapons are being modernized (blades and other elements). Moreover, the main "modernization" is aimed specifically at decorating blades with images.
Fact number 4. Archaic societies have a hard time accepting something new. They use their usual things. Therefore, the appearance of one "unique" subject always raises questions. Especially if it has all the other features typical of the archaic society in which it was made.
Fact number 5. There are unique blades. They can be made, for example, on the border territories between two cultures. But! Then these blades have not only one feature (for example, a decorated blade). Then they differ from the “classic” ones in the shape of the blade and the handle, etc.
Fact number 6. If an object from a traditional archaic society is decorated in a technique that is not traditional for this society, and also with non-traditional decor (anthropomorphic figures), then all fantasies about its “originality” - unfortunately, will remain fantasies, until 100% confirmation of the authenticity of the "decor" is found...

I understand that each of us wants to have extraordinary items in our collection. items in which there is something exclusive (and this is not necessarily perfect condition or gold and precious stones) ...
But, as it seems to me, we should all be very careful in our assumptions, otherwise too “exclusive” items may appear in our collection:
- Bukhara shashka, which were recently made from Afghan shashkas ...
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=21726
- "Balkan Kilij" of the Syrian work ...
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=25209
and even - "Russian Khyber Knife" with a modern fake stamp "Zlatoust" ...
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=21329

I will be very happy for the respected Ariel, if in the memoirs of English officers or in the work of some ethnographers there is a mention that they saw the blades of Afghan Khyber Knife, decorated in such a technique, and even with anthropomorphic figures. But as I understand it, while there is no such information?
In the meantime, observing the trends that have appeared on the "antique weapons fake market" in Afghanistan and Pakistan, decorated blade of this item raises at least great doubts about its authenticity.

Last edited by mahratt : 11th September 2019 at 09:12 AM.
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