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Old 2nd February 2020, 04:38 PM   #1
kronckew's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: CSA Consulate, Rm. 101, Glos. UK: p.s. - Real Dogs Have Feathering.
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Default Saudi Dharia

Arrived by courier this afternoon fr4om the UK auctioneer.

South Western (Asir region) Saudi Arabian short sword/dagger aka 'Dharia'...

Looks ancient. Scabbard is wood covered in thin dark brown patinated and decorated copper bands soldered together with silvery grey strips overlaying the seams. silvery finial at the tip. Three double slots were cut in the body side & pried up to form loops to attach a belt. Some long past owner wrapped leather strips to hold a leather tongue flap, in between the small loops, but didn't use them. the leather is very dark,hard and dried out. very patinated overall. Blade fits fairly tightly all the way in.

Curved double edged thin and sharp blade is 14.5 in. long from tip to grip centre. very flat diamond cross section. Distinct central ridge sloping flat to edges. A few inches of decorative pounh work along the ridge on the forte both sides. Tang is set and visible at sides into grip a few inches. Blade has a distinct 'tonku' strip of decorated brass around the base of the blade, somewhat hidden by the grip.

Very prominent cavity in the grip with no visible cutlers cement. Grip appears to be and feels like horn and has been delaminating a bit , the delaminations appear really old as their edges and a couple cracks are worn smooth. Small repair made some time with another bit of decorated brass strip to hold the layers.

Grip has three Medallions and two domes (no coins) are nailed by handmade blacksmiths nails, clinched over on the inside without keepers. dome missing from one near the pommel. The grip is however solid and tight with no movement.

The blade tang appears to be riveted or mailed, partially hidden under the medallion/dome nearest the blade on the outside, but visible on the inner side in addition to the dome nail.

I do not normally like Saudi Jambiyah, but have always wanted a dharia :P

Can anyone guess how old this one is?
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Last edited by kronckew : 2nd February 2020 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 2nd February 2020, 06:00 PM   #2
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Roughly 1900-1920 may be later, its difficult to say with these things.
Its a "poor man" version of the rashaq from the banu shahr in asir mountains.
I don't know if it's Saudi or Yemeni, may be both...
Nice piece, it will look better with the brass cleanned.
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Old 2nd February 2020, 09:43 PM   #3
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Someone has suggested it may be wootz, after a bit of soap and water on the blade, I can see a bit of patterning, might degrease & try a lime on it...

If it's a poor man's, that's OK too. Didn't pay a whole lot for it. Like it better than the fancier shiney flat sheet steel bladed silver ones.
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