Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Algerian Kaybele/Ifflyssen? (

kronckew 15th October 2020 05:57 PM

Algerian Kaybele/Ifflyssen?
2 Attachment(s)
Found this orphan and it decided to come live with me. Not your normal flyssa.
The wire-work on the grip and decorations on the blade made me think it's Algerian.
So far it's an internet affair, so no other info or dimensions until it wends its way from the continent...

Any comments appreciated. Thanks to all.
(Vendor's photos)

mariusgmioc 15th October 2020 06:31 PM

Yes, Algerian indeed, but in the style of European military daggers.

Very interesting! :)

Sajen 15th October 2020 08:39 PM

Hello Wayne,

Think that it's tourist grade, second half 20th century. Similar to the so called wedding nimchas.


Sajen 15th October 2020 08:48 PM

See also the third blade from the 1. post in this thread:

kronckew 16th October 2020 06:06 AM

Doubt mine is your typical non-functional curved 'wedding nimcha' & doen't have a 'nimcha-like' grip. The wire-work is the same, but that is typical algerian.

As the ref. thread notes No. 3 is NOT a touristy wedding nimcha, but a proper 'knife'.

Yvain 16th October 2020 07:20 AM

"Proper knife" and "made for visiting French colonizers" aren't mutually exclusive. Camille Lacoste, in her article "Sabres Kabyles" (, describes the evolution of the flissa after the conquest of Algeria, outlining the development of new forms adapted to this growing market :

-grip attached by the mean of an hidden tang instead of the traditional integral bolster and flat short tang

-no brass cover on the grip and non-traditional shapes (there is also old flissa grips without brass covers, but they are then shaped in the traditional way)

-the appearance of a small iron guard

Moreover, still according to Lacoste, the Iflissen lost their monopoly on blade making after the 1850's, and those modern flissa were also frequently made by the At Fraoussen or the At Yenni.

However, Lacoste, writing in the 1950's, states that this development of new forms started one century earlier. So this could indeed be an 19th century flissa (judging from the apparent good quality of the blade, I don't believe it was made during the second part of the 20th century, but it's hard to tell from those pictures), though, it is not of a traditional design and was most likely made for French visitors.

Kubur 16th October 2020 07:29 AM

3 Attachment(s)
I agree with all the above.

This knife is a proper knife, from the turn of 1900. They are very common and most of the time very cheap, the price of a cigarette pack.

They are from the same family of the flyssa with a large wooden hilt and a European naval cutlass guard. They are also similar to the weeding nimcha or weeding flyssa as you wish.

Some of them look earlier, like the one with the Ottoman low grade silver sheat (with berber design), from the end of the 19thc.

The French were in Algeria since the 19thc. As I already said the tourist thing means nothing otherwise you can remove half of the Indian weapons from this forum.


Sajen 17th October 2020 01:40 PM

2 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by kronckew
Doubt mine is your typical non-functional curved 'wedding nimcha' & doen't have a 'nimcha-like' grip. The wire-work is the same, but that is typical algerian.

As the ref. thread notes No. 3 is NOT a touristy wedding nimcha, but a proper 'knife'.

Hello Wayne,

It wasn't my intention to offend you in any way and my age guess was a little bit to late, mid. 20th century or before sounds better and I feel also better by it. ;)
And I think as well that we need to remove more as 50% of all threads when we would exclude blades worked only for collecting purpose. ;) :D
Attached two pictures from similar daggers, all very functional like yours.


kronckew 17th October 2020 02:40 PM

Well, we are getting closer together. ;)
Vendor's description started off at:

dagger / saber (1) - Iron (wrought) - Second half 19th century
Indonesian dagger/sabre from 19th century with a beautiful drawing on the blade professionally restored.
Uniquely, this object was made by hand by an individual planner (see the irregular decorative points on the blade).

Late 19th-early 20th is OK. :D

Yvain 17th October 2020 10:39 PM

What's up with vendors claiming everything is from Indonesia ? Same thing happened to me when I bought my Agadez knife ! 😆

kronckew 18th October 2020 10:28 AM

Their 'experts' knowledge tends to be a bit limited, so they guess and make things up to, in their minds, enhance the sale and/or encourage the bidders... I've also seen a lot of 'Short Cavalry Swords' (brass hilted briquets) recently. Seems 'Cavalry' sells better.

I have a high status presentation Burmese dha that I 'won' on eBay for less than the postage from a lady here in the UK (so the postage was really low). I wrote to her later apologizing for not having paid enough, I was so embarrassed. She'd listed it as an Egyptian Machete. She wrote back saying she hadn't had a clue, so she asked her 'expert' son, who came up with the Egyptian thing. She also commented she was going to kill him! :D

(I was not embarrassed enough to pay her any more tho - Not Caveat Emptor but Cave Vendor! :) )

I also have a touareg dagger that was sold to me as a 'Collectable Indian sword' But I knew it wasn't :) ). link: Indian?

Originally hosted on Photobucket, they started charging and obscured the photos, tho if you right click and pick 'view image' from the popup menu, you can see them OK.
At least you can in firefox.

Sajen 18th October 2020 10:47 AM

By wrong descriptions I've won the rarest blades! :) ;)

Here one sample:

It was described as Sundanese arm dagger! ;)

Sajen 18th October 2020 10:52 AM

This one was described from a German auction house as African bolo:

kronckew 27th October 2020 08:27 PM


Just got word from the vendor who says the item was severely damaged before shipping and the auctioneers should have not sold it as they were notified before I bid on it.

I've asked to cancel and refund my payment.


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