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Yvain 28th May 2021 07:59 PM

Kurdish jambiya : disappointment, but learning opportunity
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Hi everyone,

So today I received this kurdish jambiya. I found it on a second hand website for less than 20 euros, and bought it despite the bad pictures because I assumed that they weren't faked or reproduced much.

However I was disappointed when I received the package, as it feels really cheap. The hilt is made of light wood painted black, the sheath is crudely made, and the blade is very harshly polished. I can't really describe all the issues, but it does feel like a cheap knock-off.

Needless to say that it won't stay with me for long (not a big loss though), but I'm now curious of what's going on here. Is it a fake made to fool careless collector, a copy made for tourists, or even maybe a very crude modern made item intended to be carried by the locals ? I have no idea but would love your opinion on the subject !

Bob A 28th May 2021 08:37 PM

Not everyone can afford top of the line knives. I don't know the extent of the tourist trade in Kurdistan, but you didn't over-pay.

Since the knife displeases you, by all means pass it along.

Yvain 28th May 2021 09:17 PM

Don't get me wrong, most of the weapons in my collection are humble functional pieces, but this one feels different. Most of the low grade weapons I own don't look that good from afar but are well made and you can truly appreciate the thoughts and craftsmanship that went into their creation. This one however looks the part, but a lot of shortcuts seems to have been made in terms of craftsmanship and choices of material. It kind of reminds me of modern koumyas (made for visitors) or arabian jambiyas (actually carried by the locals, but as a status symbol and not really as a weapon)

francantolin 29th May 2021 06:36 AM


The hilt is made of light ''bad'' quality wood
but I find the blade not that bad,
( and less than 20 euros is correct for no ? )

If you don't like it , you can give it to a charity resale association
( who sure will sale it again for 20 bucks... )

Kubur 29th May 2021 06:55 AM

Well, like my Italian friend said, your dagger is not as bad as you described.
To respond to your question it's not a copy but something for collectors and / or tourists, because of all the bits added on the hilt and scabbard...

Yvain 29th May 2021 10:07 AM

Thank you Kubur, this is indeed the most logical explanation!

Francantolin, indeed I suspect the blade to be older, and that it was harshly polished and reused.

I realise that I sound stingy ^^' but since I don't have a lot to invest in my collection I always buy at bargain prices, unless it's something I really, really, want. I guess having seen a lot of high quality kurdish jambiyas here raised my expectations unreasonably. Anyway, regardless of the value of the knife, I learned something new, which is always nice!

Tim Simmons 29th May 2021 08:21 PM

For a long time like you my budget always meant gambling at what appeared to be the bargain basement. Some you loose but you can win handsomely especially in what at the time is the current unpopular areas. Keep it up, I did very well in my last piece post here. Research in other areas pays off.

David R 30th May 2021 12:05 AM

I think you did OK for the money, old decent blade and scabbard with a tarted up soft wood hilt.
I would check the blade out in a small area for wootz or other patterned steel. Given current events in the area, we might not be seeing much from there in the future.

Hombre 30th May 2021 08:33 AM

€20... You canīt complain or be disappointed...:)

francantolin: "If you don't like it , you can give it to a charity resale association
( who sure will sale it again for 20 bucks... )"

Or sell it to me...:D:D

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