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Old 27th June 2018, 09:01 PM   #1
GePi
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Default A nice persian khanjar

Hello,

After quite a while I would again like to present a new piece in my collection for appreciation and comment.

It is a walrus ivory hilted khanjar from the Qājār period, that I have won at a recent auction.
I have always liked these and I have been looking to get my hands on one for a while, and after passing on a great one at a US-Auction about a year ago due to fear of *CITES trouble* I finally got one of comparable quality for a much lower price.

The hilt is beautifully carved in deep relief and decorated with small brass nails. The motive of a scepter wielding ruler on one side and a hookah smoker on the obverse is rather unusual, I have seen it only on one other piece which resides in the German Blade Museum in Solingen.

The blade had lost its wootz pattern except for a tell tale spot near the hilt, and was covered in light surface corrosion. I gave it a light repolish and etch and unsurprisingly got a decent result, as most of these daggers seem to have nice wootz patterns. Unfortunately my camera has trouble getting a focus on the pattern, so the pictures are a bit blurry.

Any comments are very welcome, especially concerning a possible deeper meaning of the figure carvings.

Cheers
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Old 28th June 2018, 09:22 AM   #2
Kurt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GePi
Hello,

After quite a while I would again like to present a new piece in my collection for appreciation and comment.

It is a walrus ivory hilted khanjar from the Qājār period, that I have won at a recent auction.
I have always liked these and I have been looking to get my hands on one for a while, and after passing on a great one at a US-Auction about a year ago due to fear of *CITES trouble* I finally got one of comparable quality for a much lower price.

The hilt is beautifully carved in deep relief and decorated with small brass nails. The motive of a scepter wielding ruler on one side and a hookah smoker on the obverse is rather unusual, I have seen it only on one other piece which resides in the German Blade Museum in Solingen.

The blade had lost its wootz pattern except for a tell tale spot near the hilt, and was covered in light surface corrosion. I gave it a light repolish and etch and unsurprisingly got a decent result, as most of these daggers seem to have nice wootz patterns. Unfortunately my camera has trouble getting a focus on the pattern, so the pictures are a bit blurry.

Any comments are very welcome, especially concerning a possible deeper meaning of the figure carvings.

Cheers


Congratulations on a fine dagger.
I like the very plastic engraving.
Kurt
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Old 28th June 2018, 11:39 AM   #3
Kubur
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Absolutely beautifull, you are tired with it, call me!
The hookah smoker is in fact a dervishe bhang addict!
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Old 2nd July 2018, 11:38 AM   #4
Roland_M
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Hi Gernot,

this is an extraordinary beautiful Khanjar. And your restoration job is awesome! I'm very impressed!
What etchant did you use for bringing out the wootz-pattern?
Can you make a short description of the whole process please?
Thank you!


Best wishes,
Roland
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Old 2nd July 2018, 01:35 PM   #5
mariusgmioc
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Very good piece, worthy of the most demanding collections.

Great aquisition!

PS: While your etching is all right, judging from the photos, it does not bring out the dark, high contrast watering specific to these blades. What did you usecfor etching? I got excellent results with Nital 4%.
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Old 2nd July 2018, 05:18 PM   #6
GePi
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Hi, Kurt, Kubur, Roland and Marius, glad you like it. I am still a bit astounded that I managed to get it with my budget and I won't let it out of my sight for the forseeable future.

Roland,
as with my guinea pig shamshir, which I showed you a few months ago, I did a rub down with ~10% oxalic acid.
It was quite frustrating, I had to repeat the process several times, because as with that former piece, some parts of the blade, usually along the edge, did not take the etch. And this was not, as I thought before, due to a property of the steel or the forging/heat treatment, but due to an error in my cleaning/degreasing procedure. I am pretty sure that some fatty residue collects at the edge and sometimes in random spots, but I have not nailed the reason down yet. I found a workaround which kind of works, but it is not perfect and includes a lot of extra work that should not be necessary. I was planning to ask you for advice anyway, but I wanted to take a bit of a break first.

Marius,
you are right, the contrast is not extremely high, but I am not sure if the etchant is to blame. I etched an Indian tulwar with a persian style shamshir blade with the same solution and got a much better contrast.
I would love to try nital, but in Germany it is not easy to get as a private citizen. Also I am a bit wary of it, as it is a volatile substance. It should be safe at low concentrations, but I read that the alcohol can evaporate, which would increase the concentration and make it unsafe again, and I am not at all versed in chemistry.

I have added a picture of that shamshir blade with the better contrast, and the problem areas near the edge.


Cheers
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