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Old 13th March 2018, 07:45 PM   #1
Drabant1701
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Default Translating text and date on a Ottoman dagger

I have bought Ottoman dagger (jambiya?). Its really big, about 48cm long, and has a nice watered steel blade. On one side of the blade there is an arabic text and on the other side a date. The last digit in the date is halfway gone but I do think its a nine. As far as I can tell it would be 1219 = 1804, correct?
I have no idea what the text might say, but there might be someone on the forum that could read it. If you can, and want to I would very much appriciate a translation to english (or swedish .

Regards Peter
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Old 14th March 2018, 02:20 AM   #2
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I love the wootz!

Not sure the scabbard and hilt are original to each other though.

Yes Ottoman jambiya.
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Old 14th March 2018, 06:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
I love the wootz!

Not sure the scabbard and hilt are original to each other though.

Yes Ottoman jambiya.


The wootz is awsome. I bought it with really dirty blade thinking that it might be wootz. I just cleaned it a little and etched it. I got a weird result with lighter patches near the gold koftgari. I polished and reetched with the same result.
Strangly they are uniform on both sides

Edit: Found at blade with similar difference in color, makes me think its been heat treated. https://www.instagram.com/p/BVkbZ8k...n-by=mkantiques

The scabbard and hilt do look like they dont match, maybe they dont. But this is pretty similar. http://armsandantiques.com/19th-c-s...ya-dagger-md428
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Old 14th March 2018, 11:29 PM   #4
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Very nice.


The date is 121(9?), corresponding in the worst possible case to 1804-1805.
Full silver scabbard is likely original.
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Old 15th March 2018, 11:32 AM   #5
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Great dagger. Absolutely beautiful wootz. The scabbard and general shape look Eastern Turkish, Kurdish influenced.
There is one thing I have to add though. As you said yourself, it might have been "treated" at some later date. The perfect state of the koftgiri + these light patches are a bit suspicious and may suggest the the koftgiri has been re-done at some point.
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Old 15th March 2018, 04:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motan
Great dagger. Absolutely beautiful wootz. The scabbard and general shape look Eastern Turkish, Kurdish influenced.
There is one thing I have to add though. As you said yourself, it might have been "treated" at some later date. The perfect state of the koftgiri + these light patches are a bit suspicious and may suggest the the koftgiri has been re-done at some point.


Thanks you Ariel and Motan for your comments.

I am not experienced enough to judge of the koftgari is re-done. My guess is that it is period to the dagger. I have a couple of ottoman pieces with koftgari, one of them a sword from the same period with koftgari that is in very good condition. From what I have seen this type of koftgari seem to be very resistant to wear, and may well look very good after 200 years.

After 3 years of collecting I am however starting to realize that not much is certain when collecting "oriental" arms and I am allways open to revalute and learn from those with more experience.
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Old 15th March 2018, 06:47 PM   #7
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Hi,

The dagger, the blade, the koftgari are all good and original.
There is no problem with this Ottoman Turkish khanjar.
Just beautiful

Kubur
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Old 16th March 2018, 08:12 PM   #8
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Hej Drabant1701,
Grattis! En mycket snygg dolk!

Hälsningar
Stefan
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Old 17th March 2018, 09:10 AM   #9
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I have the same issue of lighter patches of wootz in more blades (see Persian Kard with discoloured patches near the koftgari on both sides). I suspect it is because of different heat treatment. Nothing unusual.

Lovely dagger!
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Old 17th March 2018, 10:50 AM   #10
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What a beautiful dagger !
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Old 17th March 2018, 11:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
I have the same issue of lighter patches of wootz in more blades (see Persian Kard with discoloured patches near the koftgari on both sides). I suspect it is because of different heat treatment. Nothing unusual.

Lovely dagger!


Thanks! Your persian dagger is beautiful, Im putting one of those on the want list. As for light patches, yes most likley heat treatment. I have started to realize that once you have found the correct etchant for a specific blade, its best to just accept the result, any discolorizion on the blade, from heat treatment or other is part of the blades personality.
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Old 17th March 2018, 03:15 PM   #12
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Hi drabant1701,

Since I consider kubur much more knowledgeable than myself, you should trust his judgement on this better than mine.
Whenever I see a very old piece in great condition, and especially with things like koftgari that are prone to wear, it arouses some suspicion (and perhaps little jealousy too). It is just rare to find them like this, but not implausible. The history of storage and use are more important than age in determining the condition. The light patches around the koftgari may reflect something in the process of production, but more likely are the effect of repeated cleaning around the decoration to prevent wear.
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Old 17th March 2018, 05:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drabant1701
I have started to realize that once you have found the correct etchant for a specific blade, its best to just accept the result, any discolorizion on the blade, from heat treatment or other is part of the blades personality.


I reached precisely the same conclusion!

What etchant do you use?

@ motan

The lighter patches are not the result of cleaning. They are intrinsic to the wootz, most probably the result of heat treatment different for the tip/edge and for the area near the hilt. I polished a couple of blades to mirror polish and etched them anew and got the same patches like before.
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Old 17th March 2018, 06:47 PM   #14
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Smile Ottoman Dagger

Hi every one,
The dagger and the scabbard are original produced in the eastern part of Turkey and ıts date is correct. What looks a little suspicious is the koftgari work and the heat treatment.In order to lay the infra structure for koftgari most hardened blades are heat treated (to normalise ) when it becomes easier to cross cut .The tell tale signs are that on a good blade koftgari work is restrained and no overflow of cross hatching is allowed.But over all ıts a good
knife to have.Congradulations
Yataganman
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Old 18th March 2018, 12:07 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=mariusgmioc]I reached precisely the same conclusion!

What etchant do you use?

I dipped it 5-10 seconds i ferric chloride. Only one etching, etched super quick.
Then baking powder and lots of water, and lots of oil.

Last edited by Drabant1701 : 18th March 2018 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 29th May 2020, 04:34 PM   #16
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Two years have past since I made this post and now I finally got a translation of the text on the dagger. So for anyone who my find this thread in the future I will update the post. The translator said that he thought the scripture was from the kurds in Turkey and this is the translation he provided:

The first line reads:
The key is in the dagger that he placed in his armor
The second line reads:
The head of the prey is out there for everyone to see
The third line reads:
You, the young one, are where the lover heads to do his prayers.
The last sentence reads:
The idol whom we praise is her beautiful face.


I was hoping for the makers or the owners name, but this will do

Btw for some reason this page flips the text on the dagger so its upside down. I was going to repost the picture in this reply, but it allways ends up upside down no matter how i rotate it before I post
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Last edited by Drabant1701 : 29th May 2020 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 29th May 2020, 09:48 PM   #17
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These verses are a variant of ones found on an earlier, 16th-century piece in the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest. The person who read them for you has tried to make sense of them as Persian, whereas in fact they are in Turkish and read as follows:


Hatt değildür hanceri üzre görünen aşikâr

Katline ‘uşşakının içün hüccet çıkarmış ol nigâr


In English:

“What is visible on his dagger is not writing/the down on a cheek,

It is rather proof that the beautiful-faced one has produced for the murder of his beloveds.”

It’s hard to translate because it makes use of wordplay and belongs to the world of classical Turkish poetry that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if you’re not familiar with the imagery. The dagger is compared to the beautiful face of the beautiful but cruel and indifferent beloved. In classical Persian and Turkish poetry the beloved’s face typically has a fine down on it, which is a sign that the beloved is in the bloom of youth and beauty. There is a wordplay in that the word for “down” is a also the word for “writing” (hatt). The poet says that in fact that what you see on the dagger/face is not down/writing, it is proof of the beloved’s murder of all of his lovers.

For the dagger in Budapest see the following link

https://collections.imm.hu/gyujteme...temenyebol/1120

Last edited by kwiatek : 30th May 2020 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 30th May 2020, 06:13 AM   #18
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Images frequently have hidden 'metadata' information added to the initial encoding to specify rotation, and info on exposure, colour types, and even photographer. Your graphics editor may have EXIF settings you can turn on or off.

EXIF Info for YOUR photo:

[Camera]
Camera Manufacturer : samsung
Camera Model : SM-A520F
Orientation : top-left (1)
X Resolution : 72
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Resolution unit : Inch
Software : Microsoft Windows Photo Viewer 6.1.7600.16385
Date modified : 2020:05:29 18:44:09
YCbCr Positioning : centered (1)

[Image]
Exposure time [s] : 1/17
F-Number : 1.9
Exposure program : Normal (2)
ISO speed ratings : 320
EXIF version : 02.20
Date taken : 2018:03:13 20:19:51
Date digitized : 2018:03:13 20:19:51
Components configuration : YCbCr
Shutter speed [s] : 1/17
Aperture : F1.9
Brightness : -1.14
Exposure bias value : 0
Max aperture : F1.9
Metering mode : Center weight (2)
Flash : No flash
Focal length [mm] : 3.6
User comment :
SubSecTime : 0165
SubSecTimeOriginal : 0165
SubSecTimeDigitized : 0165
FlashPix Version : 01.00
Colour space : sRGB
EXIF image width : 1150
EXIF image length : 683
Interoperability offset : 5002
Exposure mode : Auto (0)
White balance : Auto (0)
Focal length (35mm) : 27
Scene capture type : Standard (0)
Image unique ID : Close View (0)

[IOP]
IOP index : R98
IOP version : 0100

[Makernotes]

[Thumbnail]
Image width : 512
Image length : 384
Compression : 6
Orientation : bottom-right (3)
X Resolution : 72
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'RIOT' optimized and rotated: EXIF data removed:
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Last edited by kronckew : 30th May 2020 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 30th May 2020, 08:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwiatek
These verses are a variant of ones found on an earlier, 16th-century piece in the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest. The person who read them for you has tried to make sense of them as Persian, whereas in fact they are in Turkish and read as follows:


Hatt değildür hanceri üzre görünen aşikâr

Katline ‘uşşakının içün hüccet çıkarmış ol nigâr


In English:

“What is visible on his dagger is not writing/the down on a cheek,

It is rather proof that the beautiful-faced one has produced for the murder of his beloveds.”

It’s hard to translate because it makes use of wordplay and belongs to the world of classical Turkish poetry that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if you’re not familiar with the imagery. The dagger is compared to the beautiful face of the beautiful but cruel and indifferent beloved. In classical Persian and Turkish poetry the beloved’s face typically has a fine down on it, which is a sign that the beloved is in the bloom of youth and beauty. There is a wordplay in that the word for “down” is a also the word for “writing” (hatt). The poet says that in fact that what you see on the dagger/face is not down/writing, it is proof of the beloved’s murder of all of his lovers.

For the dagger in Budapest see the following link

https://collections.imm.hu/gyujteme...temenyebol/1120


Thank you Kwiatek for clearing that up! I knew that the translator had a hard time making sense of it, but he gets an A for effort

And thank you Kronckew for flipping my photo!
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Old 30th May 2020, 12:15 PM   #20
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Hi Peter,
Museum quality and nice prose too. Excellent. Nothing to add to the words of the educated gentlemen, except that to me, the date looks like 1215, which translates to 1800/1801 Gregorian.
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