Ethnographic Arms & Armour

Ethnographic Arms & Armour (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/index.php)
-   Ethnographic Weapons (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=2)
-   -   Unusual Quaddara (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=27100)

ariel 7th July 2021 04:24 PM

Unusual Quaddara
 
4 Attachment(s)
Need your help.
Recently, I won this Quaddara and am confused.

Traditionally, Quaddara is a short Persian sword/long kindjal with a typical " kindjal-like " handle.. According to Kirill Rivkin, it originated in Azerbadjan ( South Caucasus, a mostly Shia, but Turkish speaking region. From there it spread to the adjacent Iran, and was featured in Ashura. It was also used by local "police". All Quaddaras I know are straight-bladed, single-edged weapons.

This one is complete with original scabbard. Total length in scabbard 22.5"
Blade 15" x 1.3/4"

It is profusely decorated in gold/silver koftgari and has multiple inscriptions on the blade and the scabbard elements.
I will contact Kwiatek to help reading them and define the language.
The seller from Georgia bought it in Derbent, an ancient city belonging to the Arabs, Persian, Ottomans etc. but acquired by Russia in 1813 from Iran as a result of Treaty of Gulistan. Currently, it is a main city of the Daghestani province of the Russian Federation.

My questions:

1. Even though it is what is traditionally called a Quaddara, ( Iranian) , the blade is of yataghan construction and the fullers are very complex, reminiscent of Turkish ( Trabzon) Surmenes. Where would you put it?
2. There is a diffuse thin layer of rust affecting both the blade and the scabbard.. I am afraid to clean it for fear of losing the silver/gold decorations. I gently cleaned only the fullers ( no decorations in them), but left the rest untouched.
Anybody has an advice how to clean it gently without disturbing the koftgari?

My thanks for any and every piece of information.

ariel 7th July 2021 04:31 PM

Quaddara ( cont)
 
3 Attachment(s)
Continued

Interested Party 7th July 2021 05:10 PM

Very nice. The diversity of this region never ceases to amaze me!

1) Ariel, I'm afraid I don't understand your question. Are you asking about a) conjecture on where the piece was manufactured/mounted or b) on the terminology of how to refer to this unique style?
a) I don't have the competence to narrow your search geographically. Sorry. Your pictures do not show a spine or edge view. Is it a full tang and exposed as is I believe standard for a quaddara? If so, is there a scarf joint visible on the tang? That would seem to be an indicator on where the blade was produced and if it was remounted later in its life. The heavy point. to me, would indicate an original purpose as a quadarra. It looks hefty, like it was originally a quaddara, is it? I noticed the suspension rings would have it in an upright rather than a cocked position. Is there leather on the scabbard? How is it sewn?
b) Quaddara seems appropriate or quaddara with a yataghan style blade. Are there yataghans with this fuller configuration?


2) In a post about a year ago I was advised to clean coins with petroleum jelly. I wonder how this would treat the koftgari? It is something I have been thinking about. I have been looking for appropriate pieces to test this and a vinegar clean on, but as of yet I haven't found the right subjects.

I look forward to hearing about the inscriptions on these pieces.

ariel 7th July 2021 06:06 PM

Sorry for being not specific enough
My question relates to the place of manufacture: is it Iranian or Turkish? The mix of styles is obvious.
Far, far behind there is the possibility of Daghestani manufacture , simply on the ground that it was recently acquired in Derbent. I fully understand that the likelihood of it is vanishingly low: definitely there are no actual examples of Daghestani weapons of that nature, and the item might have been traveling far and wide during its life.
I cannot see the area of transition between the blade and the tang: it is covered by the " bolster". The lateral sides of the tang are open; they are heavily patinated. I can find no evidence that the handle is anything but original. In fact, one side of it was cracked and repaired.
The spine of the blade has no decorations; instead there is a deep rounded channel ( fuller-like) going all the way along the length.

mariusgmioc 7th July 2021 09:16 PM

Very interesting piece.

I do not think there is any solution that would allow cleaning it without damaging the koftgari.

The less damaging might be to try to immerse the blade in Picreator's Metal De-corroder, but that might be risky as well.

ariel 8th July 2021 07:14 AM

How about just oiling it and gently go over it with a soft cloth?
Or Renaissance Wax it?

Dilemma: should I risk damaging it or should I allow it to rust itself to death?

Gonzoadler 8th July 2021 08:56 AM

Hello,

You can clean the blade with oil, but that needs a long time.
The faster way is vinegar, but that has also some disadvantages.
The surface can become dull and you have to be carefully with leather and horn parts and the metal parts should be cleaned with water and oil after whole process.
I can't really see how bad the rust is. If it is bad I would clean it, but you have to accept to lose patina.

Because of the origin: I would say it is persian, but that is just a feeling.

Regards
Robin

Saracen 8th July 2021 02:58 PM

If the rust has already penetrated under the koftgari, then these areas of the koftgari can no longer be saved.
So just lubricate with oil and stop the active rust.

mahratt 8th July 2021 03:01 PM

No one is surprised by the presence of varying degrees of rust on the blade and the perfect preservation of the horn handle?

I would very much like to see a high-quality photo (high-quality - this means a sharpness high-definition photo) of the entire blade and a separate photo of point.

mariusgmioc 8th July 2021 05:05 PM

Hmmm.... now that you are saying....

The photos are very poor quality but I find surprising the fairly pristine condition of the cutting edge, relative to the koftgari area. Usually, the proximity of the cutting edge and mostly the tip of the blade (that is usually inside the chape) are the most affected by pitting.

I also find interesting how even the rust is on the koftgari areas.

But I am known to be on the paranoid side...

Kubur 8th July 2021 05:26 PM

I think it's fine, look at the metal parts of the hilt, they look similar and rusted as well. Just bad photos... Nice stuff BTW

mariusgmioc 8th July 2021 06:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mariusgmioc (Post 264195)
Hmmm.... now that you are saying....

The photos are very poor quality but I find surprising the fairly pristine condition of the cutting edge, relative to the koftgari area. Usually, the proximity of the cutting edge and mostly the tip of the blade (that is usually inside the chape) are the most affected by pitting.

I also find interesting how even the rust is on the koftgari areas.

But I am known to be on the paranoid side...

PS: Yet despite the bad photos and interesting rust distribution, I am inclined to believe it is a genuine antique piece.

francantolin 8th July 2021 08:54 PM

I often used ''gentle'' acids like regular coke for remove rust and keep a nice patina , the koftgari isn't damaged.
a solution with diluted ferric chlorid works too.
vinegar is ok but, as mentioned, often the steel turns dull...

on the other side of the PH scale, baking soda is ok to turn rust over and preserve silver or golden koftgari
,only problem: sometimes it cleans and shine too much. and all patina is lost...


PS: I do that when the kofgari is no more visible and covered by rust, In your case,I find too its ok so just a little oil/''magic''WD40
will be good if you are afraid to lose some kofgari or aged patina...

ariel 9th July 2021 12:32 AM

Marius,
I did not go into explanations of the obvious: the edge was cleaned. There was no koftgari there and there were no technical limitations
As I mentioned earlier, I have used fine sandpaper on the fullers,

ariel 9th July 2021 12:38 AM

Francantolin,
I am intrigued by your techniques of coke and soda. Can you elaborate?

mahratt 9th July 2021 07:00 AM

5 Attachment(s)
I apologize in advance. What I post in this comment is just an opinion. So everyone can continue to think as they want :)
Two replies from the Russian forum, where I posted photos of the "unique quadarra":

1) All metal parts including the blade are aged with acid. You will never find a struck mark of same shape on original item.

2) On a note to "expert": if you see such incomprehensible garbage, then feel free to write "Syria", there they will make "any whim for his money" for the buyer

mariusgmioc 9th July 2021 09:38 AM

Thank you Mahratt for these better pictures!

You raise an interesting issue.

The corrosion on the blade appears to be genuine to my eyes.

However, I find it very strange that it is so evenly spread across the whole blade. From my experience, the blades oxidize unevenly, with those parts that are inside the metallic armatures of the scabbard oxidizing much more than the rest, because that's where most of the micro-condensation takes place. Usually, most of the oxidation is at the tip of the blade, on the part that is inside the chape.

I also find strange the level of oxidation and the aspect of it on the scabbard. I have many pieces with koftgari, in various conditions but usually the oxidation is not so uniform and doesn't have this brownish aspect.

Last but not least, for most scabbards, the parts that get damaged first are those covered in textile or leather, while the metallic armatures tend to remain in better condition. Here I see the opposite: the metallic armatures are in poor, corroded condition, while the mid-section leather part is in significantly better condition. If the metallic parts were exposed to such harsh conditions to get so heavily corroded, then I would expect the leather to show some matching degradation and be in much worse condition.

So, while I cannot express a definitive conclusion, I believe there are some points that may raise some suspicion.

As a fellow member would say: "my antennae are twitching."

mahratt 9th July 2021 10:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mariusgmioc (Post 264211)
Thank you Mahratt for these better pictures!

You raise an interesting issue.

The corrosion on the blade appears to be genuine to my eyes.

However, I find it very strange that it is so evenly spread across the whole blade. From my experience, the blades oxidize unevenly, with those parts that are inside the metallic armatures of the scabbard oxidizing much more than the rest, because that's where most of the micro-condensation takes place. Usually, most of the oxidation is at the tip of the blade, on the part that is inside the chape.

I also find strange the level of oxidation and the aspect of it on the scabbard. I have many pieces with koftgari, in various conditions but usually the oxidation is not so uniform and doesn't have this brownish aspect.

Last but not least, for most scabbards, the parts that get damaged first are those covered in textile or leather, while the metallic armatures tend to remain in better condition. Here I see the opposite: the metallic armatures are in poor, corroded condition, while the mid-section leather part is in significantly better condition. If the metallic parts were exposed to such harsh conditions to get so heavily corroded, then I would expect the leather to show some matching degradation and be in much worse condition.

So, while I cannot express a definitive conclusion, I believe there are some points that may raise some suspicion.

As a fellow member would say: "my antennae are twitching."

Yes, Marius. And don't forget that the horn on hilt is in perfect condition. In this case, usually if the item has served 150-200 years, as written by the seller, the handle from horn looks a little different

ariel 9th July 2021 11:50 PM

Marius,
The preferential rusting of the point is the result of storing the ( especially scabbarded ) sword vertically, as was the usual practice of arsenals and private wall- hangings, with moisture naturally accumulating around the point. See Elgood’s description of the rusted/ pockmarked upper surfaces of arsenal tulwars’ discs: dust accumulation there retained moisture with predictable results. If the sword was stored horizontally and wrapped in some tissue the main damage would be to the scabbard soft iron parts and the highly carbonized steel body of the blade, rather than the point. That is why the locket and the chape are covered in diffuse layers of thin rust, while the blade is pitted.
As to the handle, I have mentioned earlier that the seller’s description of it was inaccurate: the horn on one side was cracked and glued by some unknown ( yet:-) substance.

This is not the first time a particular person suggests that I bought a fake. That’s his way of trying to get under my skin:-) I just do not pay attention to the childish vitriolics .

There is not a scintilla of doubt in my mind that the “ quaddara” or what other name we attach to it is 100% old and authentic. How old? IMHO, at least 19th century. I am waiting for Kwiatek to pitch in. Hopefully, then we may know better.

I may have to re-photograph the whole shebang, but the weather here was and still is horrible, with incessant thunderstorms, unbearable heat and sauna- like humidity. The only living creatures enjoying it are the mosquitoes, and swarms of them. On the other hand, watching hundreds of fireflies dancing at night over a wet grass is something to behold!

Interested Party 10th July 2021 12:08 AM

This is a kindjal posted by Arsendaday in March 2016. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...etched+kindjal Post #27
The lines and fuller work look similar.

Interested Party 10th July 2021 12:11 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Pictures attached this time

Ian 10th July 2021 01:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mahratt (Post 264210)
I apologize in advance. What I post in this comment is just an opinion. So everyone can continue to think as they want :)
Two replies from the Russian forum, where I posted photos of the "unique quadarra":

1) All metal parts including the blade are aged with acid. You will never find a struck mark of same shape on original item.

2) On a note to "expert": if you see such incomprehensible garbage, then feel free to write "Syria", there they will make "any whim for his money" for the buyer

Mahratt,

The demonstration of a second example of this type of sword (as shown by "Interested Party") would seem to negate both arguments from the Russian forum that you quoted. Both the fullers and what appears to be a struck mark on this second example indicates that the subject of this thread is not a unique example made to order in Syria. We seem to be seeing a very unusual style based on an Ottoman blade.


As far as acid etching is concerned, the blade and scabbard are too rusted to make such an assessment IMHO.

ariel 10th July 2021 02:19 AM

Interested Party,
Thanks for finding the old kindjal pics.
The complicated system of fullers is very similar to my example. In turn, as I have noted earlier, there is an uncanny resemblance to the Trabzon Surmene daggers.
Very interesting. Quite likely, that the coins under the bosses are Iranian.

Do my eyes fool me, or is there a yataghan-ish curving of the blade?

What especially puzzled me ( pleasantly) was Arsendaddy’s aside that he considered this type of daggers to be the Caucasian ( Trabzon????? - my addition) progenitor of the Iranian qaddara. I have mentioned before Kirill Rivkin’s opinion that Georgian singe-edged kindjals migrated to Azerbaidjan and from there to Iran, and Vakhtang Kiziria’s version of Kakhetian Sabarkali fulfilling the same role.
These three Caucasian aficionados seem to tell the same story, but from different angles. If their common story has legs, mine may be quite older than the traditional “ 19th century”.
Waiting for Kwiatek.

ariel 10th July 2021 03:13 AM

Ian,
The two Russian forumites ( if they exist at all) suggesting that there are some circumstantial hair-splitting inconsistencies may not be entirely blamed. They may be just exhibiting a somewhat paranoidal attitude to dating and authenticating of any objects.
I visit ( passively) Russian old weapons Fora, and in 95%of cases anything shown there immediately defined as fake on the basis of imaginary minor inconsistencies and personal peculiarities. And, what is indeed sad, they have a reason to be paranoid: contemporary Russian antiquarian business is permeated with obviously crude fakes, almost on the order of magnitude with India ( even taking into account the 10-fold difference in populations). Several identical shiny shashkas are put on the same auction one after another, each as a “unique example”, Chinese “katanas” as Koto, munition quality tulwars as belonging to one shah or another, composite pieces as 15th century etc. Add to it self-proclaimed “experts”, who will add a certificate of authenticity for anything the seller wants, frequent incompetence of the museum experts etc, etc.

In that climate it must be awfully hard to recognize even a real gem. I don't blame them, I sympathize with them, but take everything they say with not just a grain, but with a pound of salt.

Interested Party 10th July 2021 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ariel (Post 264241)
Interested Party,
Thanks for finding the old kindjal pics.
The complicated system of fullers is very similar to my example. In turn, as I have noted earlier, there is an uncanny resemblance to the Trabzon Surmene daggers.
Very interesting. Quite likely, that the coins under the bosses are Iranian.

Do my eyes fool me, or is there a yataghan-ish curving of the blade?

What especially puzzled me ( pleasantly) was Arsendaddy’s aside that he considered this type of daggers to be the Caucasian ( Trabzon????? - my addition) progenitor of the Iranian qaddara. I have mentioned before Kirill Rivkin’s opinion that Georgian singe-edged kindjals migrated to Azerbaidjan and from there to Iran, and Vakhtang Kiziria’s version of Kakhetian Sabarkali fulfilling the same role.
These three Caucasian aficionados seem to tell the same story, but from different angles. If their common story has legs, mine may be quite older than the traditional “ 19th century”.
Waiting for Kwiatek.

I see a curve too. That said its back appears straight while the back of you blade appears curve. So it could be recurved or simply well used. There is also how poor photos can create distortions, so please take my analysis with a grain of salt. The handle restoration indicates use during its working life. The fullers though are very similar.

I thought the Trabzon reference was interesting. That said I found this as I have been combing through old threads for a different interest. What I found is that in the 2004-15 range Trabzon seemed a bit of a catch all attribution. I found one thread with a very Gurian looking piece thrown in with Trabzon. Though in this case it seems more likely as the OP's quadarresque style doesn't have another home. It will be interesting if we get information concerning the inscriptions to help fact check our theories.

mahratt 10th July 2021 09:48 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Interested Party (Post 264232)
Pictures attached this time

These daggers are quite common for Trabzon region.
The spine is straight till the thinner sharp edge which has a slight curve as well as the cutting edge.

mahratt 10th July 2021 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian (Post 264235)
Mahratt,

The demonstration of a second example of this type of sword (as shown by "Interested Party") would seem to negate both arguments from the Russian forum that you quoted. Both the fullers and what appears to be a struck mark on this second example indicates that the subject of this thread is not a unique example made to order in Syria. We seem to be seeing a very unusual style based on an Ottoman blade.


As far as acid etching is concerned, the blade and scabbard are too rusted to make such an assessment IMHO.

Ian, I did not write (not to upset our dear Ariel) that serious collectors of Oriental arms have long known that all lots from this seller were made in recent times. But, as I wrote earlier, everyone has the right to believe the version the seller provided.
Unfortunately, Ariel represents that Russia is still in the 1990s.

P.S. My opinion is that the days when you could buy a unique item for "2 cents" on marketplaces like e-bay are long gone. Now everyone has the internet and any seller knows for sure if his item is unique or not. And also knows that a unique item cannot be cheap.

ariel 11th July 2021 05:32 AM

Slander, especially attributed to anonymous sources, is very high on my list of despicable behaviors.

Just an aside.

ariel 11th July 2021 06:03 AM

Interested Party,

Seems to me that the spine of the terminal third of the blade is tilting down just a little, and the edge follows the same direction. Of course, physical examination of the dagger itself would be much more informative.
As to the consequences of the “ heavy use”, that can be confirmed ( or rejected) through measurements of the width of the blade at different points.

But in general, there is an uncanny resemblance of that and mine “ qaddaras” ( for want of a better word). It suggests that it was a general, albeit extremely rare, subtype rather than sporadic improvisation by an isolated master.

And of course the inscriptions might be of crucial importance.
While the existing contour and decorations do suggest Persian provenance, as a rule Persian blades had no fullers, while Turkish Surmenes had a very elaborate system of those.

mahratt 11th July 2021 08:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ariel (Post 264279)
Interested Party,

Seems to me that the spine of the terminal third of the blade is tilting down just a little, and the edge follows the same direction. Of course, physical examination of the dagger itself would be much more informative.
As to the consequences of the “ heavy use”, that can be confirmed ( or rejected) through measurements of the width of the blade at different points.

But in general, there is an uncanny resemblance of that and mine “ qaddaras” ( for want of a better word). It suggests that it was a general, albeit extremely rare, subtype rather than sporadic improvisation by an isolated master.

And of course the inscriptions might be of crucial importance.
While the existing contour and decorations do suggest Persian provenance, as a rule Persian blades had no fullers, while Turkish Surmenes had a very elaborate system of those.

Ariel, I hope that after you translate the inscriptions from this item, there will be a fascinating article in a scientific journal in which you will state your theory based on this subject. I'm already looking forward to it.

That is, of course, if you are sure of authenticity of this quadarra. You can't have such an unusual item just lying around in a private collection. It should serve science. All the more, as I remember you have experience (albeit small) in publishing articles related to Arms. I think "Weapons History Journal" will gladly give you an opportunity to make a publication.


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:49 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.