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Old 12th June 2021, 04:43 AM   #7
ariel's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 5,120

I mostly agree with Jim about the relative " newness", and I think we need to look at the separate parts.
The chape: it has a drag, which is a purely European feature, acquired by the Afghanis from the British military, late 19-early 20 century and continued later.
The blade is Indian, which is no brainer: there are scores of Afghani pulwars with imported blades. It carries Indian stamp, but no Afghani ones. It looks either pristine or grossly overcleaned. I am surprised that there is no rust/patination under the langets: these areas are the most difficult to clean. No pitting, the edge is intact. No signs of repeat sharpening. Brass inlay is very clumsy, with no losses whatsoever. The blade does not seem to go down into the scabbard all the way. Am I correct?Dry wood? But with all of the above I have a nasty feeling that the scabbard was not made for this specific blade, on the contrary the blade was chosen as best as they could for a particular scabbard. There is a stark contrast between the condition of the scabbars'd metal parts ( bumps, patination, discoloration, some losses, rotten dry wood etc) and the pristine condition of the blade.

The handles are easily available and present no difficulty to combine with a blade. Again, no patination or pitting at all. I would be most interested in the condition of the filler: full, smooth or dry, crumbly, with areas of losses? BTW, what is the material of the filler? The old way to prepare the filler was to mix lac, a little bit of wax and crudely powdered bricks or such, and those are easily made locally, and the filler doesn't hold intact forever.

Overall, I have an uncomfortable feeling that this sword is an assembly of a relatively old scabbard ( end of 19-beginning of 20 century) with much newer blade and with overcleaned (?) handle of uncertain age. Manufacture of "antique" swords is perhaps one of the main sources of foreign currency in modern Afghanistan, with the exception of opium. That part of the world is awash in spare parts for whatever weapons one's heart desires, and Indian/Pakistani/Afghani armorers are also in great supply.

My 5 cents. A disclaimer: I could be able to express a more accurate opinion had I been able to hold this sword in my hands. Dating antiques by examining pictures is a dicey proposition.
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