Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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ariel 11th August 2019 06:14 PM

Balkan Kilij
7 Attachment(s)
Haven't shown some of my newer stuff in a while.
So, here it is.

Ottomans had their weapons seeded all over their Empire.
Here is Balkan Kilij 19 century.
Everything is brass clad. Blade decorations are remarkably similar to Sarajevo work ( see fragment of an unrelated dagger with Sarajevo written on it).
One side of the handle has an " emerald " ( most likely just glass) inserted into the pommel, but on the other side it is lost.

Blade has pretty crude silver koftgari, with major losses, no name , no date, but an iranian-inspired snake / dragon. Blade is also pretty crude: hammer indentations are all over.
This sword was not made for a local rich pasha, but for a pretty minor functionary, who wanted to look important:-)

Battara 11th August 2019 08:01 PM

Interesting piece Ariel. Not often I see one of these.

David R 11th August 2019 11:21 PM

Thank you for posting this one. We see so much high class stuff that we forget that it was not the norm.

A bit like when you see the munitions armour and weapons from any era and nation, and wonder who the heck carried/wore that?

Kubur 12th August 2019 10:57 AM


Originally Posted by ariel
Here is Balkan Kilij 19 century.
Blade decorations are remarkably similar to Sarajevo work ( see fragment of an unrelated dagger with Sarajevo written on it).
pretty crude silver koftgari,

Olala Ariel not you!
If i remember you have a very similar scabbard for another sword...
IMHO your kilij-pala is Syrian.
There is nothing from the Balkans.
The link with Sarajevo is a silver koftgari, but in Sarajevo the work is better.


ariel 12th August 2019 01:12 PM

Allow me to disagree.
First, I have never seen a Syrian sword with abundant use of brass on the handle and scabbard and “stones”. Balkan and Hungarian,- yes.
Second, Syrian koftgari decoration is different: almost always it shows a bunch of rays coming out of the central dot.
I fail to find a difference in the quality of koftgarl between my sword and the Sarajevo dagger, and the motives are identical. Even if there were some differences, they fall into the same group and the quality will necessarily differ between workshops.

TVV 12th August 2019 06:55 PM

Ariel, do you think this could be a kilidj made for parade purposes, similar to the ones with over the top coral decoration? Assuming it was meant for a right handed person, and thus worn on the left, you have shown the reverse side which is next to the body and thus not meant to be seen - is the other side identically decorated? Or was this made for a left handed person?

As to the origin, it could honestly be from anywhere within the Ottoman Empire - just like Kubur I do not see any characteristic Balkan features.


ariel 13th August 2019 03:03 AM

Both sides identical.

Much more luxurious examples are often identified as “ Hungarian magnate”. This one is too simple for that, so I downgraded it to neighboring Balkans.
I got a pm from a knowledgeable person suggesting that virtually all is Persian.

Overall, it’s like adopting a mutt: looks like a smaller version of a German Shepherd, but not quite.

This sword was made to represent an Ottoman Pala, but whether its grandma was a chihuahua and great grandpa a mix of a spaniel and bullmastiff will forever remain a mystery.

Saracen 14th August 2019 10:27 AM

Ariel, it seems that the hilt is restored much later.
And then the official is not so shallow :)
The design of the scabbard seems to me Greek.

Ариэль, похоже что рукоять восстановлена значительно позже.
И тогда чиновкник не так уж и мелок :)
Оформление ножен мне кажется греческим.

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