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Old 28th February 2005, 04:09 PM   #1
Conogre
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Default Turkish (?) Bichaq (?)

Since this seems to be the time for bringing out the wierd ones, here's another that's a one of a kind that's become a favorite over the years.
Overall length is only 8 5/8" with a 4 3/4" blade that's 1 3/16" wide for its entire length.
This is one of the best made small knives that I've ever seen with a full tang that keeps widening for its entire length, ending up a full 3/8" at the hawk-shaped pommel end.
The blade is high carbon steel that appears, upon very close examination, to have been hand forged with a deep fuller along the spine on both sides and an edge that almost appears to be hollow ground, in the fashion of a khodme.
The pommel and guard are both hand cast heavy bronze with the blade mounted much as a kard or choora, while the grips are a rich rosewood.
Even the scabbard is unusual, very heavy shaped leather that swallows nearly the entire knife when sheathed and that has green and orange leather decoration stitched onto a tooled black base with fine copper wire and the whole thing pierced with 20 brass openings that supply ventilation to prevent rusting as well as a pleasing appearance, and finally finished off with white leather trim and attachment loop.
While the whole piece is of fairly recent manufacture (probably 20 years, maximum) what appears at a glance to be a gaudy tourist piece is in fact a finely handcrafted utility /hunting knife of even a back up weapon of last resort.
Has anyone else ever seen a Turkish or Ottoman knife style with such a wide blade for its length?
For that matter, am I corect in thinking that this is where this little sweety originated?
As you can probably tell, this knife has grown on me and continues to do so the longer I own it, to the point that I think I'd prefer it as a hunting/skinning knife to any western knife that I've ever owned.
Mike
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Old 28th February 2005, 04:13 PM   #2
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Hi ,
Looks like it's from Uzbekistan. I like these, I had two, but let them move to other homes.
-d
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Old 28th February 2005, 05:02 PM   #3
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Agree 100%: this is a typical Uzbeki Pichok ( in Turkish, it would be pronounced Bichaq). Most of the really old pieces (before ~1920) were destroyed or confiscated by the Russian authorities and up until the break of the USSR, possession and (horror!) manufacture of knives was a criminal offence. One could buy a hunting knife in a store but each knife was numbered and had to be registered with local "militia" (police); without police written certificate the store would not release the knife (rather stupid, because kitchen knives were freely sold and they were just as big and sharp).
Well, after gaining their independence, the Central Asians started making their traditional weapons like crazy. Thus, your guess of the age is unquestionably correct. Most of the knives are of bazaar quality, but some are very good. Yours is the best I've seen; the blade sounds to be superb and even the scabbard is made of real leather (some plastic atrocity is usually used instead).
Good hunting!
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Old 1st March 2005, 12:59 AM   #4
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Now that you mention it, I DO recall seeing a plethora of these a few years ago out of a confiscated container or such and even had 3 or 4, but the workmanship and gaudiness were so inferior in comparison that even side by side, it never occurred to me that thay could be the same weapon/knife.
Most were in either velvet or very thin brass scabbards, with many adorned with huge glass jewels!!!
I think the emblem also threw me, construing it as Turkish, thus knocking Uzbekistan out of the running.
Now I feel REALLY foolish, but it only serves to make me admire this one even more.
As it "grew" on me and I studied it more and more, it became evident that it was completely hand made, something unusual compared to most "contemporary" pieces, showing that there ARE still some outstanding traditional craftsmen carrying on time honored traditions, with their work apparently just never making it outside of their homeland.
Thank you again for opening my eyes.
Mike
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Old 1st March 2005, 02:50 PM   #5
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Last year there was a seller on ebay with about 6 or 7 of these, all recent but well-made examples with decorated soft leather sheaths. Haven't seen any more in a long while, but he did tell me that there were some people still making very good ones there. His father was a 1rst gen here and apparently had brought several back from a recent trip.
-d
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Old 24th October 2012, 11:25 AM   #6
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A colleague from Russia just informed me that in his opinion this is an Uighur knife.
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Old 24th October 2012, 01:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Most of the knives are of bazaar quality, but some are very good. Yours is the best I've seen; the blade sounds to be superb and even the scabbard is made of real leather (some plastic atrocity is usually used instead).
Hi
I confirm that on field, it's only low grade knifes are offering for trade
even if some blacksmith try to continue the tradition,
I was very disappointed by the knifes quality,
and the scabbards are made with an horrible plastic
not very glorious all that, unfortunately ...

some more pic's about these 2 Uzbeki Pichok,
and also for the blacksmith and his workshop at "Bukhara"
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ight=Uzbekistan

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Old 25th October 2012, 12:10 PM   #8
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Not Bukhara: the blade is clearly marked Chust, another town.
And, despite the info from my Russian colleague, I would still vote for the Uzbeki Pichok ( or P'chak)
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