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motan 30th December 2020 11:42 PM

Another old shibriya
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I was looking for this kind of early shibriya for some time and now I finally have it. It is a very early one, around 1900 I think and from a maker well known by shibriya collectors. I can not say more because maker never signed or dated his daggers. Anyway, I already have a smaller and later one from this maker, but it is better quality.
Signs of an early date are the arrow-shaped pommel with disk and ring and the slender and long recurve blade. A very similar, but better one was featured in this forum many years ago (3d pic).

motan 30th December 2020 11:44 PM

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Sorry, I meant to upload this picture

Yvain 1st January 2021 02:55 PM

Very nice shibriya Motan !

My brother gifted me an interesting one for Christmas that I need to show here.

Are those seals at the end of the chains on the second one ?

motan 1st January 2021 10:47 PM

Hi Yvain. Thanks for your response.
If you put up some pictures in this thread, I will tell you what I know about your shibriya. If relevant, I can also redirect you to some older threads on the subject. I must warn you though that good quality shibriyas, though not very valuable, are quite rare, so don't expect too much.

The second shibriya (green background) used to belong to Khanjar1 and was discussed some years ago. The rings attached to the chain are indeed seal rings of bedouin chieftains dated to around 1910, if I remember correctly.

Klop 2nd January 2021 12:13 AM

Hi Motan,

nice daggers. Could you also post a picture of the backside of the handles?
I'm curiuous how the rings on the pommel are attached. Looks like solid blocks of brass with a hole, maybe hammered out like rivets on the backside?


Klop 2nd January 2021 12:18 AM

on second thought, your latest addition seems to have a U-shape bent strip (split pen) holding the ring. In that case I expect bent ends at the rear - which may be covered by backplate and thus invisible....

motan 2nd January 2021 09:38 PM

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Hi Klop,
Of course you are right. These rings are attached with a simple split pen, which is a petty. The majority of the older dagger are quite solid, but the ring is the first thing to get lost. Several of my daggers have a hole or and old repair where the ring should be and are therefore incomplete.
In the smaller dagger I showed in the my second post, the back side of the of the pommel is nicely finished, but this is quite rare. Mostly the bent arms of the split pen are visible. See a pic in this post.

Klop 3rd January 2021 12:32 PM

Hi Motan,

great, thanks for the extra picture!
Yes, when carried every day it's understandable these things get damaged and also repaired again and again. Fortunately this method is cheap and could easily be fixed by just about anyone, no need to search for a dealer or send for repair :-) .

Kind regards,

Yvain 9th January 2021 02:35 PM

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Hi Motan,

Sorry for the late reply, I had to wait for a day off to take pictures of my shibriya under natural light.

It was bought without provenance in France. As you can see, it is a very flashy, ornate, piece, although it exhibits some features characteristic of shibriya from the early XXth century. It does look fairly new which makes me think that it is a new piece in an older style, or that it is indeed old but was harshly cleaned by it's previous owner.

Regardless, it looks very nice in my opinion and the blade is really interesting.

Let me know what you think of it, and feel free to ask me if you need more information !

(Also, I would be very thankful if someone was able to translate the inscription on the sheath, as I don't read arabic myself.)

Sajen 9th January 2021 02:50 PM


Originally Posted by Yvain
It was bought without provenance in France. As you can see, it is a very flashy, ornate, piece, although it exhibits some features characteristic of shibriya from the early XXth century. It does look fairly new which makes me think that it is a new piece in an older style, or that it is indeed old but was harshly cleaned by it's previous owner.

Let me know what you think of it, and feel free to ask me if you need more information !

Hello Yvain,

I am not an expert by shibriyas but this looks to my eyes like a great antique example, special the blade is great! :cool:

I for my part think that this example is just cleaned, let it untouched for some time and the blinky touch is gone.

Motan will be able to tell you more but I like your example.


Kubur 9th January 2021 03:05 PM

1925 and the blade is amazing

I'm sure Motan will tell you more...


kronckew 9th January 2021 06:31 PM


motan 9th January 2021 09:01 PM

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I did not expect THIS. It is a very good, interesting and (relatively) old shibriya, but it is also a puzzling one. I can not tell you too much because my experience with shibriyas is all from looking at many examples, but I have never seen one like this one.

The construction and technique are consistent with 1925 and Jordanian origin, but there are several features I am not sure about. First, I am not sure that the scabbard with the date is the original scabbard of the knife. It could very well be original, but usually some elements of the decoration are similar between the hilt and the scabbard and that is not the case here. The numbers could not be interpreted as anything but 1925, but they are badly written, with the numeral 2 on its side.
Further, the blade is remarkable. I have never seen a blade like this on a shibriya and experts I have asked haven't seen one either. Looks almost Indian. Shibriya blades can be different shape, but are always quite simple. Could it be an older blade from thousands of miles away? Is it an imitation of earlier style? I don't know, but I feel it makes Syrian origin more likely.

The writing says A'mal Khalil (made by Kalil, thanks to my friend Mahmoud for helping), but the word in the second row is unclear because the first letter is ambiguous. I added a pic of one that is similar in hilt shape. It belongs now to A.Alnakkas from the forum. Perhaps A.Alnakkas can join this conversation because he knows a lot about this subject. Thanks for showing it.

Yvain 9th January 2021 09:52 PM

Thanks to all for your comments ! Seems like I was right to suggest it to my brother ;)

Motan, thanks a lot for all this information ! I will take pictures tomorrow to illustrate what I'm about to say.

I do think that the sheath is original to the knife for the following reasons : the material (brass alloy) on the hilt and the sheath are indistinguishable, the hilt slides into the scabbard (approx. 1cm) with a very snug fit, and the border with a zigzag pattern surrounding the central motifs is similar on the sheath and the hilt.

The blade indeed does seem almost Indian inspired (chilanum ?), though I believe it was made in the Levant, as it looks good from a distance, but exhibits rather simple craftsmanship upon closer examination (especially at the end of the fullers).

Anyway, I will try to take details pictures tomorrow. Thanks a lot for your help, and to your friend Mahmoud for the translation ! I'm glad to put a name on who made this beautiful knife !

Kubur 10th January 2021 09:00 AM

Hi guys

I think that the blade and knife are consistent eg. 1925.

The blade is local as mentionned, and the fullers remind me

1/ Ottoman blades

Such as your shibriya

2/ Caucasian blades

Look at the Caucasian influence in Jordan

So, for me your shibriya has a Caucasian influence and probably from Jordan.


Yvain 10th January 2021 10:30 AM

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Hi everyone !

Here is the pictures I promised yesterday.

As you can see on the comparative picture, the border is in the same style, and most likely made with the same tool on the sheath and the hilt. If I could hazard a guess, I would suggest that the difference in style may be due in part to the material under the brass plate, soft white wood for the sheath, and tougher horn for the hilt, which may explain why the incisions are deeper on the sheath.

I also added a picture of the part of the hilt that slides into the sheath, and some pictures of the fullers showing some minor flaws in their shaping. (Also note that the two faces of the blade aren't symmetrical, which is nice but surprising.)


Thanks a lot for the links ! I definitely see the resemblance with the second shibriya in the first link !

motan 18th January 2021 10:40 PM

Just one last time back to this thread in order to summarize.
I tend to agree with Kubur. The blade and the whole of Yvain's shibriya are probably Jordanian and from 1925.
The khanjarli look is only the result of the recurve shape in combination with deep fullers. The fullers themselves may be a caucasian influence, which is known from Jordan, or an imitation of much earlier Ottoman/Syrian dagger types which had this non-continuous type of fullers . Whichever is true, this is a very nice shibriya and this more complex, though not perfectly executed blade type is EXTREMELY rare.
The nice thing about this period in shibriya development (late 19th to WW2) is that there was no standardized or accepted style and the variation is enormous and include the best examples shibriyas in general.

A.alnakkas 19th January 2021 10:57 AM

Lovely thread. My computer is not working so I cannot share images but the shibriya with the fullered blade is the 4th Iíve seen with such a blade. One in my collection dates to 1228 hijri with a similar configuration but different maker.

Like Eytan I think those are older Jordanian types but with blades imported likely from Damascus.

motan 19th January 2021 08:46 PM

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Thanks Lotfy for kind words and for sending me pics. I know the shibriya you talk about from your collection and it is a nice addtion to this thread.
This is a beautiful shibriya that also has a fullered blade. The blade is a fine one and I suspect that it was made in Majdal Shams because of the decoration: colored dots and engraving typical to Majdali daggers. The scabbard and hilt are clearly Jordanian and might even be from the same maker as the first shibriya of the thread.
Though Jordanian shibriyas and Majdali khanjars are totally different styles, some mixed forms are to be expected. Bedouins in the area carried both types and the distance from Majdal Shams to Irbid on the Jordanian side of the border is just 60 miles or so and to Amman it is around 150.
Possibly, the blade of Yvain's dagger was also made in Syria, as I mentioned in a previous post, or perhaps inspired by shibriyas like Lotfy's. Who knows..

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