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Old 10th August 2016, 12:28 AM   #61
Ian
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I am going to try to summarize what I think has been said here in this, at times, unruly thread. As Jim noted, among the noise and disagreement there seems to be some common ground--or at least some points of substance that we can address, perhaps freeing us from some of the deeply entrenched positions that several have staked out.

I am seeing consensus that the broad typology of the shashka is in the class of swords we loosely call "sabers," which are primarily single-edged, fairly narrow blades (width should be specified) that may be straight or curved (but not recurved), and within that broad group the shashka belongs to those that have a guardless hilt (along with other notable swords such as certain katana, dha, parang, etc.). All of these weapons share the common function of being primarily slashing or cutting swords. [So far, so good--I hope.]

The next point of agreement seems to be the Circassian origin of these swords in the early 19th C. The Circassian shashka I have termed Type I (and here we need to define the essential characteristics of the Type I shashka).

Through diffusion within the Caucuses and eventually into Russia, the Circassian shashka becomes known as the Caucasian shashka and the Russian/Cossack shashka. These I have labeled Type Ia. So far I have not heard how these shashka differ from Type I, and perhaps they don't, but this point needs to be clarified.

The Russian version of Type Ia seems to have influenced neighboring areas resulting in them producing their own versions of the shashka. These I have termed "Shashka Variants" and they include examples from Afghanistan, from the Usbeks, Tajiks, etc. That these variations share much in common with the basic shashka model (Types I, Ia) is apparent from the pictures shown here and elsewhere on this web site. However, there are differences in decoration and minor stuctural changes that separate some of these from Type I, Ia shashka, and these differences are sufficient to label then Type Ib. I have not given the variants a Type II designation because the basic structure and function of the swords remain essentially true to the fundamental design of the shashka.

All of this is summed up in the accompanying chart. This is just how I have interpreted the data presented here. I want to say that I don't have a dog in this fight, and don't favor one person's ideas over another's. This is simply where you comments have led me.

I know that passionate opinions are held by many of you. Please keep things on track and refrain from personal comments that might inflame those passions.

Ian.
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Old 10th August 2016, 06:39 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
I am going to try to summarize what I think has been said here in this, at times, unruly thread. As Jim noted, among the noise and disagreement there seems to be some common ground--or at least some points of substance that we can address, perhaps freeing us from some of the deeply entrenched positions that several have staked out.

I am seeing consensus that the broad typology of the shashka is in the class of swords we loosely call "sabers," which are primarily single-edged, fairly narrow blades (width should be specified) that may be straight or curved (but not recurved), and within that broad group the shashka belongs to those that have a guardless hilt (along with other notable swords such as certain katana, dha, parang, etc.). All of these weapons share the common function of being primarily slashing or cutting swords. [So far, so good--I hope.]

The next point of agreement seems to be the Circassian origin of these swords in the early 19th C. The Circassian shashka I have termed Type I (and here we need to define the essential characteristics of the Type I shashka).

Through diffusion within the Caucuses and eventually into Russia, the Circassian shashka becomes known as the Caucasian shashka and the Russian/Cossack shashka. These I have labeled Type Ia. So far I have not heard how these shashka differ from Type I, and perhaps they don't, but this point needs to be clarified.

The Russian version of Type Ia seems to have influenced neighboring areas resulting in them producing their own versions of the shashka. These I have termed "Shashka Variants" and they include examples from Afghanistan, from the Usbeks, Tajiks, etc. That these variations share much in common with the basic shashka model (Types I, Ia) is apparent from the pictures shown here and elsewhere on this web site. However, there are differences in decoration and minor stuctural changes that separate some of these from Type I, Ia shashka, and these differences are sufficient to label then Type Ib. I have not given the variants a Type II designation because the basic structure and function of the swords remain essentially true to the fundamental design of the shashka.

All of this is summed up in the accompanying chart. This is just how I have interpreted the data presented here. I want to say that I don't have a dog in this fight, and don't favor one person's ideas over another's. This is simply where you comments have led me.

I know that passionate opinions are held by many of you. Please keep things on track and refrain from personal comments that might inflame those passions.

Ian.


Excellent summary!

I would remove the Katana from the list of guardless sabres, as they, in their majority, have a guard (tsuba). I used it as an extreme example for the dramatic effect


And I was wondering whether the Caucasian ones didn't have more varieties. Like Georgian vs. Daghestani or Cossak?! But would be Cossak considered Caucasian or Russian?!
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Old 10th August 2016, 06:54 AM   #63
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Thanks marius. You are right. Most katana do have a small tsuba and I will make that change to avoid confusion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Excellent summary!

I would remove the Katana from the list of guardless sabres, as they, in their majority, have a guard (tsuba). I used it as an extreme example for the dramatic effect


And I was wondering whether the Caucasian ones didn't have more varieties. Like Georgian vs. Daghestani or Cossak?! But would be Cossak considered Caucasian or Russian?!
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Old 10th August 2016, 08:58 AM   #64
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I don't think that we can include the word "parang" in this list.

"Parang" is a generic term that includes all sort of swords, choppers, jungle knives, machetes.

It is not a sabre.
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Old 10th August 2016, 09:12 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
I don't think that we can include the word "parang" in this list.

"Parang" is a generic term that includes all sort of swords, choppers, jungle knives, machetes.

It is not a sabre.


Of course, if you talk about the shashka, the tree should start with the shashka.
I don't put the dinosaurs in the Human tree.
Plus why the Russian is not under the Caucasian??
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Old 10th August 2016, 10:46 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
I don't put the dinosaurs in the Human tree.


Albeit I sometimes feel like a dinosaur...
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Old 10th August 2016, 12:16 PM   #67
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What defines a Shashka; It is a sabre, unique to the Caucasian regions, and as far south and to include Turkey, and later adopted in to Russia.

What is a sabre; A curved, single handed, single edged sword, historically derived from and used from horseback. Not hand and a half, not two handed or longer, a grip for single handed use. Note, not all Shashka have their hilt engulfed by the scabbard throat either.

Qualities of a Shashka; I do not have my notes to reference, so I do not know who first wrote about the qualities of the Shashka, but, the most desirable Shashka, should be feather light, vine supple and razor sharp...very few swords anywhere in the world have all of these qualities.

I do not believe there are any sub-types of Shashka, only different cultural appearances throughout the regions of the Caucasus mountains and northern Turkey.
Russian adopted arms and terms of military regulation type, of the form or later types, should fall within modern Military cold arms, not Ethnographic arms.
Swords in discussion beyond the Caucasus Mountains and Northern Turkey should not be classified as Shashka.

To quote Mahratt's categories;

1) Caucasian shashka
2) Afghan shashka
3) Bukhara shashka (and I think more correct to say - Central Asian shashka)
4) Russian shashka (Cossack)

I do not believe #s 2 & 3 exist as Shashka, nor a sub classification, but sabres in their own right. Type 4 I have noted in my opening text.

Type 2 exists with some common features and sits sheathed in a similar manner , but do not share Shashka "qualities" or linage. Perhaps visually inspired from a Caucasian Shashka but, but certainly not developed from and there really is not any development, more regression than anything when compared to a Shashka.
Personally, I feel these are only sabres, unique to their specific regions. These sabre all carry bolsters like their knives and Salawar, and have little to no grace in the hand.

Type 3. My Bukhara sabre, now so often seen in these pages, is not in my opinion, a sub class of the Shashka. The blade is not very supple but is sharp, it is somewhat light but not as balanced as a Shashka. It is single handed but not of a Shashka style grip despite it having small ears... It is more akin to the Pesh Kabz. It wears a grip strap like a Turkish sword or Pesh Kabz, has grip slabs like a Pesh Kabz or North Indian Karud (check the detail), is much thicker in cross section than a true Shashka hilt too. Also, the tang protrudes through the grip strap and is riveted in 5 places, not the traditional 2 places seen on Shashka.

Mahratt makes an observation about the hilt style being unique, and in a way it is but there are other non related arms such as the Sinai Bedouin sabre that is often mistaken as a Shashka in profile, and no doubt other forms that do not come straight to mind.

Dah should also be removed from this discussion, they are so far off the Shashka trails.

Gavin
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Old 10th August 2016, 01:36 PM   #68
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I could not agree more.
Lumping Caucasian shashka with a Bukharan ( Uzbek) saber is irrational: there are far too many differences, and there are no potential common ancestors or influence points.
Afghani saber was dubbed " pseudoshashka" not for nothing: it adopted several features of the Caucasian model through ( most likely) Russian Cossacks sent to Central Asia after the conquest of the Khanates. Thus it is a "shashka" only in its 6th degree of separation:-)

Katana, Daab and Parang were mentioned by me tongue in cheek, just to demonstrate the absurdity of the idea that just being a guardless saber qualifies any weapon as shashka.

In the evening I shall try to post a detailed comparison chart.
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Old 10th August 2016, 07:34 PM   #69
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Just for general information:
From top to bottom: Sardinian Leppas, Saber of Croatian Kraisniks, Beduin saber.

They have nothing in common with each other and all look like long-lost twins of the Bukharan " pseudoshashka'

This is just a classic case of parallel development, whereby unsophisticated village knifemakers fashioned simple ergonomic handles with primitive pommels and handstops.
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Old 10th August 2016, 08:45 PM   #70
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Comparison of features: Cauc. Bukh. Afgh. Mil. Khyber


Blade:
Wide at the root, narrows toward
the tip NO YES NO YES
Scabbard:
Suspended edge up YES NO YES NO
Tucked under the belt NO YES NO YES
Handle:
Eared YES NO YES NO
# of rivets 2-3 4-5 3 3-5
Bolster NO Variable YES YES
Grip strap NO YES Variable YES
Small, rounded pommel YES +/-none Large +/- none




From there I conclude that Afghani military "pseudoshashka" shares quite a lot of features with the Caucasian one ( transmitted through the Cossacks), whereas Bukharan guardless saber shares a lot of features with Khyber and virtually none with the Caucasian pattern.


If anybody wants to offer modifications, you are more than welcome.

Just I am not sure about the weight: the proverb about shashka being light, fast etc ( see Gavin's entry) referred to the earliest examples carried by Circassians. We know very, very few true Circassian samples, the majority of the 19th century examples are from Daghestan, Chechnya and Georgia proper ( Tiflis) Those were not as massive as Afghani military "pseudoshashkas", but still had quite a mass to them. Many used European cavalry blades


PS, I can't seem to format the table properly. Anybody can help?

Last edited by ariel : 10th August 2016 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 13th August 2016, 02:57 AM   #71
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It is a couple of days since Ariel posted his typology of shashka and his conclusion that the Caucasian shashka and Afghan military variant shared many features in common, while the Bukhara guardless saber shares many common features with the Khyber variant. There has been no response to his classification, which does not necessarily mean that everyone agrees but I'm not hearing any major dissent either.

Ariel's analysis shows two distinct "patterns" and has been very well documented in his table that I have redrawn below with some regrouping to list a "Type A" and "Type B" of the swords that are variously called shashkas or shashka variants.

This is exactly the sort of typological classification I was hoping this thread would arrive at.

Ian.
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Old 13th August 2016, 10:51 AM   #72
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Well done Ian, it greatly helps Ariel's post visually...buy I feel, there is no distinct accuracy within these forms discussed, only general rules of thumb, the chart cannot be considered accurate or ever large enough to cover all variants of these weapons.

Some points for now;

Ear will need to be defined as there are varying degree of ears as there 2 distinctly different Bukhara sabre styles, those with no ears and those with Yataghan like ears. Number of rivets can run from none to 5.
There are Caucasian Shashka with no rivets too.

I do not consider Afghan Sabres to have large pommels vs Caucasian sabres, they have long pommel though and note that these hilts are largely cylindrical not oval as a Caucasian Shashka typically is.

Buhkaran sabres are hung in many fashions, including blade up and not always under a belt.

Khyber are not always tucked under a belt, many have suspension and are blade up in either suspension.

Gavin
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Old 13th August 2016, 03:12 PM   #73
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Gavin,
Thanks for providing individual details.
I looked at the most frequent features, seen on > 90% of all of the above varieties. Of course, there always going to be exceptions.


I am unaware of Bukharan sabers with yataghan ears.

I do maintain that Afghani pommels are significantly bigger than the Caucasian ones, but this is immaterial: both of them are much bigger than the Bukharan and khybers that are merely minor widenings over the grip.

Yes, there are Caucasian shashkas ( older ones) with no rivets, but their handles were made of a single piece of walrus ivory, i.e. totally different technique , abandoned by the middle of 19 century. Cossack and Russian military shashkas that (IMHO!) gave inspiration to the end of 19 century Afghani ones all had 2 "slabs" and consequently had rivets.

The location of suspension rings on the Caucasian and the Afghani scabbards is very specific and identical: the upper one on the back surface, and the lower one on the top. Khybers were always worn under the belt, unless we want to go back to the discredited idea of calling Afghani short sabers with D-guard and European blades " regulation khybers":-)))

The number of rivets and their size on the Bukharan handles dependent largely on the material of the handle: wood ( most frequent) and horn ( second most frequent) were sturdy and could tolerate 5 large ones . Fragile materials ( ivory) usually had 3 or maximum 4 thin rivets. I do not know about highly decorated ones, but suspect the number of rivets did not exceed 3 for fear of spoiling the effect of embellishment.
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Old 13th August 2016, 03:18 PM   #74
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Ian,
Many thanks for re-arranging the table.
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Old 13th August 2016, 03:55 PM   #75
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Ariel, you're welcome and thank you again for presenting these broad descriptions of two types of shashka/shashka variants. This should help our readers who are less familiar with these swords.

Gavin, thank you too for your clarifications of some of the complexities in trying to arrive at a general typology for these swords.

Quote:
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Ian,
Many thanks for re-arranging the table.
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Old 14th August 2016, 01:30 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
I conclude that Afghani military "pseudoshashka" shares quite a lot of features with the Caucasian one ( transmitted through the Cossacks), whereas Bukharan guardless saber shares a lot of features with Khyber and virtually none with the Caucasian pattern.

Ariel, are you categorizing the Afghan shashka with the Caucasian / Circassian shashka (along with the Russian shashka) or do you categorize it along with the Bukhara etc shashka as non-Caucasian / Circassian shashka type swords. I know you have been studying the different but similar variations for a long time and I would like to get your opinion or are you still trying to decide exactly how to categorize them.
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Old 14th August 2016, 04:04 AM   #77
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Eric,
I thought my summary was clear. Sorry if I was not more explicit.

I think that Bukharan saber has nothing to do genetically with the Caucasian/ Cossack examples. What unites them is just a superficial similarity, a consequence of parallel development. I would tentatively suggest that the Bukharan example and the Khyber ( as well as Khyber-like Turkmen and Uzbek bladed weapons) all stem from the same proto-group.

On the other hand, the military Afghan " pseudoshashka" shares so much with the Caucasian/Cossack one, that denying the influence of the latter on the former would be incorrect. Whether the original, pre-Cossack Afghani guardless saber existed and how it looked, is a matter of conjecture.
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Old 14th August 2016, 12:37 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Eric,
I thought my summary was clear. Sorry if I was not more explicit.

I think that Bukharan saber has nothing to do genetically with the Caucasian/ Cossack examples. What unites them is just a superficial similarity, a consequence of parallel development. I would tentatively suggest that the Bukharan example and the Khyber ( as well as Khyber-like Turkmen and Uzbek bladed weapons) all stem from the same proto-group.

On the other hand, the military Afghan " pseudoshashka" shares so much with the Caucasian/Cossack one, that denying the influence of the latter on the former would be incorrect. Whether the original, pre-Cossack Afghani guardless saber existed and how it looked, is a matter of conjecture.


Ariel,

Firstly, I'd like to clarify my Yataghan reference in relation to Bukhara sabres of the form discussed. It is not any grip slab shape that I refer to but the distance and subtitles of how far the ears protrude beyond the grip straps on known Bukhara examples when so many are simply flush. The Bukhara typology can be drilled down in various degrees.

Central Asia, Caucasian mountains and China have all had a long long long history of guardless sabres and swords, there is nothing new here as history has taught us, and I do not ever recall ever hearing these ancient sword types referred to as Shashka. So with reference to history, and the centuries past, I wholeheartedly agree that the Bukahara sabres do not belong even as a subgroup of a relatively modern term "Shashka".

These long straight knife types from Bukhara, and shallow curved sabres, are far more Turkish Yataghan and Persian Shamshir in regards manufacture of the hilt, (not appearance) ... With reference to blades, but of course disregarding Kopis types, but with consideration to those known with straight blades, a Turkish connection through Persia is far more probable that any Shashka. Also consider that Bukhara is Persian and the pointers along the silk road routes. How a shallow curved blade also ended up in these hilt styles is easy to see when next to their small utility knives which has been touched on.

For consideration to Afghanistan sabres in question, A quick look will also see many of these straight bladed Yataghans, have but a long bolster and similar rivet structure seen on the Aghan "pseudo Shashka". These same Yataghan also carry the same "ear" types as these sabres too.
Note also, there are Khyber knives with pommel forms also seen on some Yataghan...just to muddy the waters some more ... And to simply ask, where do these clear visual and construction aspects of Turkish Yataghan leave leave the idea of trying to classify anything other than a Shashka from the Caucasian Mountains, as it as known, as being the only Shashka...it is a unique sabre unto itself in many ways.

Gavin
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Old 14th August 2016, 02:06 PM   #79
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Gavin,
I am glad we agree on the lack of relation between the Bukharan and the Caucasian examples and on the uniqueness of Shashka as a separate, Sui Generis, type of guardless sabers.

We have neither physical nor iconographic examples of Caucasian shashkas older than late 18th- early 19 century. Nobody knows whether this is due to their late appearance, to the multiple reuses or just losses of the old examples or simply to the lack of "iconographers". I discount here the so-called "parsunas" ( bastardized " person" ), rather primitive portraits of Cossack atamans of late 18 century, wearing fully-developed shashkas with typical Circassian pommel decorations simply because they were painted posthumously.

But let me offer a somewhat heretical idea: Caucasian shashka owes its genesis to Ottoman yataghans. Crimea was an outcropping of the Ottoman Empire, had documented yataghans early on and was supplying a lot of weapons to Circassians. In turn, Circassia, a vassal of the Crimean Khanate, was a secondary vassal of the Ottomans. Also, Georgian kingdoms were in an on-and-off state of war with Turkey and were often controlled by it . One can easily imagine that they could have adopted the eared handle ( simplifying it to the hilt, pun intended) and marrying it to their familiar saber blade, creating a cheap, simple and much more functional weapon. The adoption of such a "hybrid" might have been facilitated by the already present Western Georgian sabers without a guard ( see works of Vakhtang Kiziria)

As to the "eared" pommels of Afghani pseudoshashkas, they are just a narrow cleft ( very Caucasian) rather than widely spread Ottoman. And their suspension system is purely Caucasian/Cossack, not a "tucked-under-the-belt" Ottoman. Moreover, their appearance tightly follows Russian occupation of Central Asian Khanates and stationing of Cossack cavalry there. The Ottomans had only limited if any influence in Central Asia at that time.

At the end of the day, we can only hope that this issue will be specifically addressed by the Caucasian historians and ethnographers, and there are brilliant people there! Not much hope for the Afghani contribution, though....

Last edited by ariel : 14th August 2016 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 14th August 2016, 04:49 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Eric,
I thought my summary was clear. Sorry if I was not more explicit.

the military Afghan " pseudoshashka" shares so much with the Caucasian/Cossack one, that denying the influence of the latter on the former would be incorrect. Whether the original, pre-Cossack Afghani guardless saber existed and how it looked, is a matter of conjecture.


Ariel I understand what you are saying. My question is related to categorization. Do you think the Afghan shashka and the Caucasian shashka are similar enough to be put in the same category or would you place the Afghan shashka in a category by itself.

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Old 14th August 2016, 09:07 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel


We have neither physical nor iconographic examples of Caucasian shashkas older than late 18th- early 19 century.


Buttin in his catalogue shows a shashka with a 16th century Genoese blade (No 646 below). He says that these Genoese blades were the most prized in the Caucasus, a fact which led to Syrian forgeries, but of a far lesser quality.
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Old 15th August 2016, 12:17 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Ariel I understand what you are saying. My question is related to categorization. Do you think the Afghan shashka and the Caucasian shashka are similar enough to be put in the same category or would you place the Afghan shashka in a category by itself.



So THAT was the question!
Sorry for misunderstanding.

Ironically, IMHO, the much-despised term "pseeudoshashka" applied by Lebedinski to the Afghani military examples may carry a significant grain of truth. It carries so many elements borrowed from the real Caucasian one, that a grudging use of " shashka", qualified by "pseudo" is ( again, IMHO) fully appropriate.

In contrast, we cannot call Bukharan pattern " shashka" under any circumstances: it is a totally different animal. Just like parangs and kattaras:_))))

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Old 15th August 2016, 12:28 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas
Buttin in his catalogue shows a shashka with a 16th century Genoese blade (No 646 below). He says that these Genoese blades were the most prized in the Caucasus, a fact which led to Syrian forgeries, but of a far lesser quality.
Andreas


Andreas,

100% correct observation.
But old blades were mounted and remounted over and over again on Caucasian shashkas.

They were indeed highly valuable, and the term "gurda" was related to the Genoese "jaws" mark. Just like "ters maimal" ( screaming, or crazy, ape) defined a blade with the originally German ( (Passau) running wolf. Most were locally made and the variations of either mark fill large illustrations in the book by Astvatsaturyan.

~18th century German blades with elaborate depictions of "man in the moon" and arm with a sword coming from a cloud for some reason were locally called Abbas Mirza. Go figure:-))

Regretfully, there is not a single example of a 16-18 century blade mounted on contemporaneous handle, and the latter is what largely defines a shashka.
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Old 15th August 2016, 10:52 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
But old blades were mounted and remounted over and over again on Caucasian shashkas.



Of course, as with swords everywhere. But if that is the case here, I wonder for what type of sword would a blade with these characteristics originally be intended for? (sorry but I don't have the time to translate right now)
Andreas

Buttin's description:
646. — SABRE DU CAUCASE (Chacheka), XVIle-XVIII, siècle. (Pl. XX).Belle lame du xvie siècle, légèrement cintrée et finissant en langue de carpe. Large de 0,03 au talon sur 17 cm. elle est à ce point, par un brusque rétrécissement au dos, ramenée à 0,027. Trois gouttières jusqu'à ce rétrécissement, puis ensuite deux jusqu'à 0,20 de la pointe. A partir de cette longueur, la lame devient à deux tranchants et n'a plus qu'une gouttière qui s'arrête à 0,10 de la pointe pour lui laisser toute sa force.Sur le côté droit le poinçon de Gênes, qui est la marque la plus estimée au Caucase.Aussi a-t-il été très copié par la contrefaçon syrienne, mais les lames génoises, surtout celles du xvie siècle, sont bien plus belles de qualité, ont les gouttières plus régulières et les intervalles qui les séparent sont plus étroits et finissent en arête vive. La pointe parfaitement calculée est assez en arrière pour permettre le coup d'estramaçon et en même temps assez aiguë pour permettre le coup de pointe, chose rare dans les chachekas. Poignée d'une seule pièce, en corne noire, sans garde, formant crosse en bec au pommeau pour retenir la main, et fendue en 2 lobes ou oreilles comme celle des yatagans, mais bien plus rapprochées. C'est la forme typique de la poignée de chacheka.Fourreau en chagrin vert, sans garniture et destiné à être passé dans la ceinture. La poignée y entre à demi.Arme ancienne, de conservation parfaite, et à laquelle la qualité incomparable de l'acier de sa lame donnerait aujourd'hui encore une grande valeur au Caucase.C'est une des meilleures lames de notre collection. Long. : 0,940. Lame : 0,810.
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Old 15th August 2016, 12:14 PM   #85
Gavin Nugent
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Originally Posted by Andreas
Of course, as with swords everywhere. But if that is the case here, I wonder for what type of sword would a blade with these characteristics originally be intended for? (sorry but I don't have the time to translate right now)
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Buttin's description:
646. — SABRE DU CAUCASE (Chacheka), XVIle-XVIII, siècle. (Pl. XX).Belle lame du xvie siècle, légèrement cintrée et finissant en langue de carpe. Large de 0,03 au talon sur 17 cm. elle est à ce point, par un brusque rétrécissement au dos, ramenée à 0,027. Trois gouttières jusqu'à ce rétrécissement, puis ensuite deux jusqu'à 0,20 de la pointe. A partir de cette longueur, la lame devient à deux tranchants et n'a plus qu'une gouttière qui s'arrête à 0,10 de la pointe pour lui laisser toute sa force.Sur le côté droit le poinçon de Gênes, qui est la marque la plus estimée au Caucase.Aussi a-t-il été très copié par la contrefaçon syrienne, mais les lames génoises, surtout celles du xvie siècle, sont bien plus belles de qualité, ont les gouttières plus régulières et les intervalles qui les séparent sont plus étroits et finissent en arête vive. La pointe parfaitement calculée est assez en arrière pour permettre le coup d'estramaçon et en même temps assez aiguë pour permettre le coup de pointe, chose rare dans les chachekas. Poignée d'une seule pièce, en corne noire, sans garde, formant crosse en bec au pommeau pour retenir la main, et fendue en 2 lobes ou oreilles comme celle des yatagans, mais bien plus rapprochées. C'est la forme typique de la poignée de chacheka.Fourreau en chagrin vert, sans garniture et destiné à être passé dans la ceinture. La poignée y entre à demi.Arme ancienne, de conservation parfaite, et à laquelle la qualité incomparable de l'acier de sa lame donnerait aujourd'hui encore une grande valeur au Caucase.C'est une des meilleures lames de notre collection. Long. : 0,940. Lame : 0,810.


646. - SABRE CAUCASUS (Chacheka), seventeenth-eighteenth century. (Pl. XX) .Beautiful blade of the sixteenth century, slightly curved and ending in language carp. 0.03 off the heel of 17 cm. it is at this point, by a sudden narrowing of the back, reduced to 0.027. Three gutters until shrinkage, then two up to 0.20 of the tip. From this length, the blade is double-edged and has only one channel which stops at 0.10 tip to give him all his force.Sur the right punch of Genoa, which is the most esteemed brand has Caucase.Aussi he was very copied by Syrian infringement, but the Genoese blades, especially those of the sixteenth century are much more beautiful in quality, have more regular gutters and the intervals separate are narrower and end in sharp edge. The perfectly calculated tip is enough back to allow the kick-edged swords and even enough time for the acute point shot, rare in chachekas. Handle one piece, black horn, without warning, forming butt spout knob to hold his hand, and split into two lobes or ears like yataghans, but closer. This is the typical form of the handle chacheka.Fourreau green grief without trim and intended to be spent in the belt. The handle is in between old demi.Arme of perfect preservation, and to which the incomparable quality of its steel blade still give great value to Caucase.C'est the best blades of our collection. Long. : 0,940. Blade: 0,810.
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Old 15th August 2016, 12:42 PM   #86
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Andreas,
Obviously, there were no shashkas in Europe; such blades were used for mass manufacture of garden variety sabers, with handguards and all.

But there was a whole industry in Italy, Germany and Styria producing blades for export to the Orient. And the final product was determined by the end user: the same blade could have become shashka in Caucasus, tulwar in India, nimcha in Morocco etc. They were hugely popular everywhere and the natives quickly caught the drift and started making imitations locally and even putting European marks on them.
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Old 15th August 2016, 01:54 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin Nugent
646. - SABRE CAUCASUS (Chacheka), seventeenth-eighteenth century. (Pl. XX) .Beautiful blade of the sixteenth century, slightly curved and ending in language carp. 0.03 off the heel of 17 cm. it is at this point, by a sudden narrowing of the back, reduced to 0.027. Three gutters until shrinkage, then two up to 0.20 of the tip. From this length, the blade is double-edged and has only one channel which stops at 0.10 tip to give him all his force.Sur the right punch of Genoa, which is the most esteemed brand has Caucase.Aussi he was very copied by Syrian infringement, but the Genoese blades, especially those of the sixteenth century are much more beautiful in quality, have more regular gutters and the intervals separate are narrower and end in sharp edge. The perfectly calculated tip is enough back to allow the kick-edged swords and even enough time for the acute point shot, rare in chachekas. Handle one piece, black horn, without warning, forming butt spout knob to hold his hand, and split into two lobes or ears like yataghans, but closer. This is the typical form of the handle chacheka.Fourreau green grief without trim and intended to be spent in the belt. The handle is in between old demi.Arme of perfect preservation, and to which the incomparable quality of its steel blade still give great value to Caucase.C'est the best blades of our collection. Long. : 0,940. Blade: 0,810.


Thank you Gavin, but automatic translation does have a tendency to produce a somewhat garbled result, to say the least...
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Old 15th August 2016, 02:10 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Andreas,
Obviously, there were no shashkas in Europe; such blades were used for mass manufacture of garden variety sabers, with handguards and all.

But there was a whole industry in Italy, Germany and Styria producing blades for export to the Orient. And the final product was determined by the end user: the same blade could have become shashka in Caucasus, tulwar in India, nimcha in Morocco etc. They were hugely popular everywhere and the natives quickly caught the drift and started making imitations locally and even putting European marks on them.


Sorry Ariel, I'm not familiar with the expression garden variety sabers
My point was, if such 15th - 18th century blades were exported to the Caucasus, what were they exported for if not for shashkas? It seems reasonable to assume that the type existed back then, and I'm saying this because I get the impression from this thread ( I might be wrong) that the shashka is a later development, end 18th-early 19th.
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Old 15th August 2016, 02:49 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas
if such 15th - 18th century blades were exported to the Caucasus, what were they exported for if not for shashkas?
When were they exported?
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Old 15th August 2016, 05:03 PM   #90
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I hate to disagree with Buttin, but my gut is telling me that his dating was overly optimistic: I think that 17 or more likely 18 century at the latest would be more realistic. And again, finding even 16 century blade on a shashka does not mean that the entire "saber" was made as such in the 16 century.

Genoese colonies in Crimea and Abkhazia existed since 12-13 centuries. Documented import of blades was recorded in the 17-18 centuries.

What were the 17 century blades exported to Circassia used for? I do not know. And nobody does. Everybody would love to say " for shashkas", but there is not a single example of a shashka reliably or even tentatively attributed by the handle to anything earlier than the very end of 18 century. Caucasus was in the throes of uninterrupted wars for centuries; weapons were broken, lost, parts used and reused, combined and recombined.... One cannot find neither heads nor tails.
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