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Old 24th June 2009, 08:43 PM   #1
Hatumesh
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Default More info regarding this Georgian Kindjal

Hi all,
I'm new here, so please bear with me...

The Georgian Kindjal in the pics is a....Georgian Kindjal. That's all I can say about it.
Can any of you add details regarding this specific one and also regarding this kind of dagger in general?

It's been ill treated for the past 50 years, hence the deep rust. I'd like to restore it and I need tips-and-tricks for that (not too profession - i'm doing at home with near-zero budget).

The hilt and scabbard are silver.

Thanks a bunch,
Hatumesh.
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Old 25th June 2009, 12:56 AM   #2
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Very nice kindjal, Hatumesh,

Ariel, Rivkin and the other Caucasus connoisseurs will hopefully comment on it. As for me, even after reading Astvatsaturian and Askhabov, plus browsing Miller's catalogue, I just do not feel I can differentiate well enough between the various kindjal forms just based on the decoration motives, etc.

As for the state of preservation, I actually think it has held up remarkably well, especially when it comes to the scabbard leather and the hilt. The blade has some pitting and patination, but based on the pictures there is no active rust, so I would personally leave it as is.

Best regards,
Teodor
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Old 25th June 2009, 06:13 PM   #3
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It's not Georgian, its a rather classic Circassian, blade is old - first half of XIXth century at least, the rest is probably from 1850-1860, but can just as well be nice muhajir work from afterwords. I would be interested in acquiring or exchanging it.
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Old 25th June 2009, 08:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivkin
It's not Georgian, its a rather classic Circassian, blade is old - first half of XIXth century at least, the rest is probably from 1850-1860, but can just as well be nice muhajir work from afterwords. I would be interested in acquiring or exchanging it.


Hi Rivkin,
Nice to see you posting! Its been a long, long time!!! Your insight into things Caucasian has been missed around here, and much appreciated here on this interesting example.

All the best,
Jim
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Old 25th June 2009, 09:13 PM   #5
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According to our mutual acquaintance, Alan, this one is Megrelian, from Western Georgia, most likely from Zugdidi.
I cannot argue with either opinion, both Rivkin and Alan are orders of magnitude more knowledgeable, but the difference is striking. My guess . with rare exceptions( Gurian kindjals, Bol'shie Atagi blades and perhaps couple more instances I do not know about) it is exceedingly difficult to pinpoint the exact origin. The area is tiny, the migration of masters and ethnic motives was enormous, and after ~ 1860 every national element was used interchangeably within the mass production in workshops in Tbilisi and Vladikavkaz.

Nice one, no doubt. I would clean it to the max, without erasing the symbols.
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Old 25th June 2009, 09:16 PM   #6
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I, too, would love to exchange it.
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Old 25th June 2009, 09:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Hi Rivkin,
Nice to see you posting! Its been a long, long time!!! Your insight into things Caucasian has been missed around here, and much appreciated here on this interesting example.

All the best,
Jim


Long time James; I would much rather write the original poster a private message but since he disabled both P.Ms and emails I have no other way of contacting him; as before I have no reason to participate in any forum discussions, sorry.
It is a relatively nice piece though. Alan does not believe in existance of Circassian weapons per se.
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Old 25th June 2009, 09:41 PM   #8
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No problem Rivkin. Since he is a new member, his email and PM status is not yet activated. Still good to see you posting even if you decline participating in discussions. Just wanted to note that your contributions were in my opinion always well placed and informative, I'm sorry you are reluctant to post here as well.

Wishing you all the best,
Jim
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Old 25th June 2009, 10:39 PM   #9
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Default Thanks to all...

Thanks for all the information from all you people!
I have not disabled my PM or email. Maybe it's because I'm new here.
Is it customary to just write my email address here...?
Thanks again.
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Old 26th June 2009, 05:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatumesh
Thanks for all the information from all you people!
I have not disabled my PM or email. Maybe it's because I'm new here.
Is it customary to just write my email address here...?
Thanks again.


Sure, mine is rivkin@rkmag.com
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Old 27th June 2009, 09:10 PM   #11
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Default Q: an offer I should refuse...?

Hi there all,
I have been offered a large sum of money for this Kindjal and I don't know if it is a reasonable price. Is it customary to specify the sum here in this forum, for you people to say if it's ok?
Thanks.
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Old 27th June 2009, 09:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatumesh
Hi there all,
Is it customary to specify the sum here in this forum, for you people to say if it's ok?


It's not OK.
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Old 27th June 2009, 09:30 PM   #13
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OK - thanks for the short and very clear response.
Can anyone here recommend a forum where I can ask such questions?
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Old 27th June 2009, 09:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatumesh
Hi there all,
I have been offered a large sum of money for this Kindjal and I don't know if it is a reasonable price. Is it customary to specify the sum here in this forum, for you people to say if it's ok?
Thanks.

This is definitely NOT the place to discuss purchases. I suggest that if you truly do want to sell this item that you post it in our swap forum where you may indeed receive even more and perhaps even larger offers.
Value of items is never discussed on the forum itself. It is strictly against the rules. I suggest that you read the rules that are posted in the "sticky" threads section for your further edification. .
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Old 27th June 2009, 09:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatumesh
OK - thanks for the short and very clear response.
Can anyone here recommend a forum where I can ask such questions?

Sorry, i don't really know of any forum where this is not against the rules. There are legal issues attached to this which most forums are not willing to tangle with.
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Old 27th June 2009, 09:38 PM   #16
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That is known as a apprasial and there are people who yes you can pay to give you that.
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Old 28th June 2009, 08:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatumesh
Hi there all,
I have been offered a large sum of money for this Kindjal and I don't know if it is a reasonable price. Is it customary to specify the sum here in this forum, for you people to say if it's ok?
Thanks.


Hi Hatumesh,
Id like to say welcome to our forum, and please dont misunderstand the heightened reaction to your question about your kindjhal. As has been noted, forums are primarily for discussion of weapons and thier history, but buying and selling is restricted to select areas for that purpose alone.

Since you are new, you may not be aware of the private message function, found at the top of the screen on right side under the welcome and your name. Here you can contact members privately and discuss these matters.

Please note our swap forum also, which is intended for buying and selling.

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 28th June 2009, 09:06 AM   #18
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Thank you, Jim, for the kind and reassuring words!
Please let me know if the following 2 questions are appropriate here:

1. I now understand that even by extensive reading of previous entries in this and other forums - one can not expect to become an expert in antique edged weapons. But even once you are an expert, what are the comments about the origin of my Kindjal based on? On the marks and engravings? On the decorations? On the general look of the dagger (Is it considered a Dagger, a knife or a short sword)? I was rather amazed at remarks arguing that the origin is not A but B, where A and B are so very close on the map...

2. This Kindjal (and some of my other items too) has more then mere patina. The pitting is deep in places. I'm still looking for ideas and guidelines (simple and inexpensive) as to how to best work on it.

And as to question of appraising and selling the Kindjal - I will rush to next-door-forum and open an entry there!

Thanks a lot again to all the incredibly informative responses.
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Old 28th June 2009, 03:42 PM   #19
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Thats great Hatumesh!
Be wary of anyone who claims to be an 'expert', they seldom are. I have studied weapons for many years, but am like most everyone else, simply a student of them, and would like to think in perhaps some advanced degree.

Caucasian weapons are not only attractive and intriguing, they are rich in the history of these fascinating cultures,reflecting the colorful and diverse ethnic groups from these regions. They have always been among the most esoteric of arms forms for westerners as resources on them are extremely limited, much as the weapons themselves. Most of the written material on these weapons is written in a number of languages, most notably Russian, and the examples which do become available are inclined to be reasonably expensive.

Your questions are well placed, and I can only offer my own perception.
I think the question concerning assessing a specific region of origin is excellent, and the very question that has personally eluded me for many years as well concerning Caucasian weapons. From what I understand, the style and content of the decoration is often key in discerning the region or ethnic group that a weapon might represent, however it is important to note that blades and mounts are often derived from different locations. Then there is of course trade and movement of either components or fully assembled weapons between tribal groups as well as in many cases, they may have been captured in raids or warfare.

For the most part, profound consistancy in certain styles known to come from certain areas is typically the most common denominator that identifies. This particular knowledge is usually acquired by individuals who handle or have handled many weapons from these regions, or those who have studied the forementioned resources and history of the regions. These are most often collectors and dealers who have become specialized in this field of study.

Which term to use is often a major point of contention, and can often defy logic. For example, the often huge 'Khyber Knife' from those regions in Afghanistan is actually often the size of a short sword, yet it is called a 'knife'. The size will often vary in degree.
The kindjhal also will also vary, sometimes dramatically, in size, but seems typically to be thought of as a dagger. It would seem that to avoid such restrictive terminology it is usually referred to invariably as 'kindjhal' to avoid misperceptions.

Weapons with identifications so close in regional proximity, seem to be identified with sometimes extremely subtle nuances, such as a certain type or placement of rivets in the grip, perhaps a certain variation in the shape of a mount element, many times the decoration itself. There are variations in the use of niello, the depth of the chiseling applied in motif, the choice of vegetal designs and how profusely or sparsely it is applied.The mystery of all of this has been mentioned to me, but certainly, and frustratingly, beyond my grasp.

Most of all, posting and sharing your weapons here on the discussion forum will enable all of us to learn together, and should you decide to sell or desire professional appraisal of a weapon (always recommended), using private messages or posting on the swap forum is the best course to take.

I am glad you have joined us, and best of luck with your presently held weapons, which I hope you will continue to share with us.

All the very best,
Jim
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Old 28th June 2009, 03:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivkin
Long time James; I would much rather write the original poster a private message but since he disabled both P.Ms and emails I have no other way of contacting him; as before I have no reason to participate in any forum discussions, sorry.
It is a relatively nice piece though. Alan does not believe in existance of Circassian weapons per se.


Since you "have no reason to participate in any forum discussions" would you like me to disable your account? You can lurk without the benefit of posting or PM privileges just fine.
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Old 28th June 2009, 04:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatumesh
1. I now understand that even by extensive reading of previous entries in this and other forums - one can not expect to become an expert in antique edged weapons. But even once you are an expert, what are the comments about the origin of my Kindjal based on? On the marks and engravings? On the decorations? On the general look of the dagger (Is it considered a Dagger, a knife or a short sword)? I was rather amazed at remarks arguing that the origin is not A but B, where A and B are so very close on the map...

2. This Kindjal (and some of my other items too) has more then mere patina. The pitting is deep in places. I'm still looking for ideas and guidelines (simple and inexpensive) as to how to best work on it.

And as to question of appraising and selling the Kindjal - I will rush to next-door-forum and open an entry there!

Kindjal are not my area at all, but in terms of your first question i think the opinions on your blade are based on all of the above and probably a bit more. After all the small details are taken into account there is then that general overall feeling that one can get about their chosen blades of interest that comes from years of looking at and handling hundreds of similar daggers. Still, even then, you can often find differences of opinions among "experts" in the field. If you find this as frustrating as i do i would not be surprised.
I am not surprised that someone could argue for or against A or B even when they are so close on the map. Sometimes cultural inticators are very specific and localized. There are, for instance, subtle indicators of both blade and dress that can be used to determine the difference between Surakarta and Djogjakarta keris. East Jawa keris have their own indicators. All these variations exist on one small island of Jawa in the Indonesian archipelago. Then you have islands like Madura and Bali that are right next door that have completely different indicators of blade and dress.
BTW, if by "rush to next-door-forum" you are referring to our Swap Forum, i do indeed suggest you do, however appraisals are still not permitted even in that forum. Good luck.
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Old 28th June 2009, 04:14 PM   #22
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Hatumesh,
To clarify my note on appraisals, while these are obviously not posted openly on the forum, they may be arranged privately with those who engage in this occupation, and contact request is often noted in online posts.
Best,
Jim
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Old 28th June 2009, 04:19 PM   #23
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Jim and David - I carefully read your entries and certainly feel that I am at the right place.
For the time being all I can offer is showing the items I've got. I'm a novice. Yet...
Thanks again to everyone.
(I also understand now that I should NOT ask for appraisals publicly. I WILL NOT!!! Promise )
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Old 28th June 2009, 04:22 PM   #24
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Andrew - why do think that I "have no reason to participate in any forum discussions" ????????

I never said that. Why would I? Why would anyone...?
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Old 28th June 2009, 05:37 PM   #25
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That comment was not directed at you Hatumesh .
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Old 28th June 2009, 05:42 PM   #26
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ahmmmmmm...
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Old 28th June 2009, 05:46 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatumesh
ahmmmmmm...


Let's get back on topic .

Please PM me Hatumesh .
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Old 30th June 2009, 10:05 PM   #28
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The Kindjal is now in the Swap forum.
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Old 2nd July 2009, 02:59 AM   #29
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Well, this was interesting. All the hissing and snarling is done it would seem but for a Parthian shot or two, and for all the entries on this thread, we have learned exactly zippety doo dah about why this is identified as either Circassian or Mingrelian (part of Georgia I believe).Why it is determined as either remains unknown to those of us who would like to learn about these weapons.....or perhaps I am the only one interested?

What is the circular symbol on the blade, anything symbolic or perhaps some Byzantine motif? Is the silverwork characteristic of Zugdidi? Ataghi? anything unique in the shape of pommel or mounts?

Its now in the swap forum, its secrets secure except for the chosen ones with the knowledge and the money to pursue more on it.

How patently disappointing.
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Old 2nd July 2009, 03:31 AM   #30
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Jim,

I understand your frustration, but I would prefer not to comment on this item, and I have also withheld comments on the yataghan in the other thread. It seems that these objects are all for sale, and any comments here could influence a buyer's decision. We all make mistakes and I would hate to make a false statement, which may mislead a potential buyer.
I am sure others feel in a similar way.
Perhaps this topic should be closed for the time being?

Regards,
Teodor
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