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Old 6th December 2005, 05:55 PM   #1
Yannis
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Default A paradise hilt

I had not seen something like this before I bought it. I think you will find it interesting. I will try to describe it.

Hilt and bolster look like are solid steel, so the knife is very heavy. All the birds, flowers and grapes you see are not just inlay they are in 3D. Silver for birds and branches, brass for flowers and enamel (?) for grapes. There is engraving under them to hold inlay in place. It is not in the photos but there is a brass snake inlay on the back side of blade. Total size 39cm (15'').

I think scabbard is later and does not fit as it should be.

I have some strong ideas about origin, age etc, but I wish to hear yours, if you please to comment. Especially I invite Battara for his precious knowledge on silverwork.













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Old 6th December 2005, 08:12 PM   #2
Tim Simmons
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Looks like silver, copper and zinc. I will have a guess that it is Persian or Indo/persian. Tim
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Old 7th December 2005, 05:15 PM   #3
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Hi Tim,
Cooper is better word than brass. I always mix up brass, bronze, cooper. I know the difference but I still make the mistake. Zinc? I am not sure, probably yes.

Indo Persian you say. Blade and the tip, I agree are indopersian. But…

The decoration could be, but (a) grapes are not in islamic tradition (b) I have not seen this 3d effect on indopersian stuff (where are you Jens?)

What about the bolster and the round hilt? They are not indopersian at all, in my opinion.
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Old 7th December 2005, 07:54 PM   #4
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Hi Yannis, I think you may be right about it not being Indo/Persian. If it is not Islamic then it must surely be from areas where Islamic influence is very strong? Not an area I know much about except that Zinc originally came from the east, India? and has been used as a decorative metal in eastern countries unlike in western Europe. Zinc can have a blue grey colour and is malleable at very low temperature. Could this be Caucasian? Tim
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Old 8th December 2005, 02:17 AM   #5
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Default Kard?

Hi all,
It looks like a kard to me. The blade looks a bit shorter than normal in proportion to the hilt than I would expect for a kard. I also would have expected crucible damascus instead of mechanical damascus. I have seen kard hilts shaped like your hilt however.
Sincerely,
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Old 8th December 2005, 02:55 AM   #6
ariel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannis
Hi Tim,
Cooper is better word than brass. I always mix up brass, bronze, cooper. I know the difference but I still make the mistake. Zinc? I am not sure, probably yes.

Indo Persian you say. Blade and the tip, I agree are indopersian. But…

The decoration could be, but (a) grapes are not in islamic tradition (b) I have not seen this 3d effect on indopersian stuff (where are you Jens?)

What about the bolster and the round hilt? They are not indopersian at all, in my opinion.


Well, the wine is not Islamic(although they drank it quite a lot, e.g. Hafiz), but grapes are perfectly fine. Am I missing something?
As to the bolster and round hilt, please see this:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=991
Looks Indo-Persian to me.
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Old 8th December 2005, 09:14 AM   #7
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Thank you for your help. I need it because I maybe live in illusions. As you say Indopersian is the obvious. But the bolster is very Ottoman (like yataghans), the hilt shape (one piece round and round top) is like a Balkan knife I have. All the kards I remember they have flat top. The artwork reminds me Epirus (now Greece and Albania) silverwork style. I can see the obvious but I posted it here to find something more accurate if it is possible. A similar piece maybe.
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Old 8th December 2005, 01:08 PM   #8
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Also, the blade appears to be twist core damascus which is much more typical of Ottoman workmanship than Indian or Persian. With the Yataghan like bolster and style of damascus I think your observations are on the mark and would suggest a region under Ottoman influence.
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Old 8th December 2005, 01:25 PM   #9
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This is far from the weapons I have the most experience with but my gut feeling is that this is an Indian knife,theres a similar knife in "Swords and Hilt Weapons" at the bottom of page 144,billed as Persian.

I tend to think the grapes would be pewter or lead instead of zinc.
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Old 8th December 2005, 04:43 PM   #10
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Interesting Info, except I am havng difficulty making a link.

Last edited by Tim Simmons : 8th December 2005 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 8th December 2005, 04:59 PM   #11
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This is proving very awkward, use google enter- Metallurgical Heritage of India. The first site has great info on zinc. Tim
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Old 9th December 2005, 12:17 AM   #12
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More than anything the decoration on the hilt of the knife I mentioned looked similar,much more so than any of the other {relatively few} kards I have seen.

As to the zinc, it just doesnt seem like the type of material that would be used in this way.Ill do some reading as you suggested,ty for the info.
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Old 10th December 2005, 06:47 PM   #13
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It is funny. I feel disappointment because we didn’t found any other piece with this kind of artwok. In the other hand I admit the sin of pride of a collector who has something rather unique. Dear doctor do I have to worry?
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Old 12th December 2005, 07:23 AM   #14
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Yannis, please accept my apologies for coming in late to this discussion (very ill the whole week ).

The silver inlay work is wonderful and is a rarer type used. Most of the time the softer metal is made flush with the harder metal. In India (and possibly Turkey), however, sometimes the bottom parts of the metal pieces are inlaid into the harder metal with the rest sitting on top to be worked and detailed (the bottom keeping it locked in place). This is how the silver birds and vines, and copper leaves were done with such exquisite detail as the artist then used steel tools to do the finer work of stamping and engraving.

The grapes - can be most likely either a lead based pewter or silver with very high amount of copper (70-75% silver and 30-25% copper) which tends to grey silver (coin silver is 80% silver and roughly 20% copper - much greyer and darker than sterling, which is 90% silver and 10%copper). I doubt it is a pure zinc due to the amount of grey in the grapes (zinc being more blue than grey). Only a jeweler can test the metal to be absolutely sure of metal content. In any case, you may want to wash your hands after you handle this beautiful piece just in case the grapes are lead based pewter - lead can be absorbed directly into the skin!

Another note about the grapes: The motif is not unknown in the Ottoman courts. Not only was it used in some dress and other decorative arts, but there is reference found in the Qur'an, though I forget where and can't even give the Sura at this time. I believe the reference is about Paradise. With this in mind, in book The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art (volume 21, pages 116-117) there is an Ottoman yataghan pictured that is profusly adorned with grape and grape leaf motif all over the beautiful silver scabbard and even all along the middle strap of the hilt. The grape leaves are detailed in silver and the grapes are seed pearls. An amazing puppy and one which came to mind when I saw your piece.

I do enjoy the work, craftsmanship, and contrast of colored metals used. You have a rare treasure there as far as I am concerned. Thank you for sharing this with us Yannis.
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Old 12th December 2005, 02:53 PM   #15
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Battara
Thank you for your help. Your knowledge about materials and craftsmanship is an asset in this forum. The pictures here are before cleaning the dagger. After the cleaning all the decoration except the grapes are shiny. If they were of silver mixture should be shiny too. Also there is a lot of blue in the grapes, so zinc is still possible. But as you say only after a test I will be sure.
I dont have the book you mention. I wish I could see this yataghan. You and Ariel are right about grapes in Islamic tradition. It was my mistake.
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Old 13th December 2005, 12:55 AM   #16
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You are very kind, Yannis. My pleasure to be of service. I have only one request, and that is would you post pictures of your newely cleaned puppy for us?
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