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Old 22nd December 2021, 04:48 PM   #1
Tea
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Default Persian KILIJ

Hi all,

I just concluded a deal on what I suppose would be a Persian Kilij from zand empire?

I am happy to hear your thoughts/ any information that might be of use.
Also I noticed that the handle is quite squared off is this common?
any ideas about the disc on top of the handle?
anybody who might be able to translate the inscription?

Thanks in advance for your precious insights.

Also any Ideas where to find someone who could remove the rust and maybe do some other small restorations without damaging any of the gold koftgari? For this sabre I don't feel comfortable doing it myself. (if possible somewhere around Belgium)
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Old 22nd December 2021, 09:08 PM   #2
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Hello Tea,

To my eyes, the blade definitely doesn't look Persian. The style and technique of the damascening is definitely not Persian. More likely Turkish or even Indian. Better photos and a possible translation may reveal more about it.

The hilt doesn't appear to be neither Persian nor Turkish but a phantasy later replacement with a total disregard to practical use. The square cross-section would make it extremely uncomfortable to use. As with regards to the bronze flower-shaped disks adorning the pommel, I find them strikingly similar to some old drawer knobs (see photo). And no, for swords those are very uncommon... maybe unique.

The cross-guard may be Persian but has rather strange proportions, with very flimsy langets and crude workmanship.

Last but not least, the scabbard appears to be a mixture of styles as well, with the classic Turkish wire stitching on the side and rather Persian, but of very crude workmanship, suspension rings. The upper part of the scabbard is clearly a replacement and the lower part appears to have been strangely designed without a chape.
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Last edited by mariusgmioc; 22nd December 2021 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 22nd December 2021, 09:34 PM   #3
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Thank you Marius for the comment.
In my eyes it looks a lot like another sabre which was sold on this website:https://www.ashokaarts.com/shop/pers...nd-kilij-sword

But then again the crossguard might also be a mismatch.
Hereunder a few of the pictures available on the website
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Old 22nd December 2021, 10:16 PM   #4
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I just sent a message with a link to another "kilij" with a persian style crossguard.
As for the sabre of this post I guess what you say makes a lot of sense: the hilt was almost certainly redone with whatever was at hand. Including a new crossguard.

Any ideas about the blade in itself? (period,...)
(hopefully someone might be able to help with the translation)
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Old 22nd December 2021, 11:21 PM   #5
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Hi, I looked a little further and found a few other sabres with a yellman and similar crossguard and handle construction (exept for the square cross section of course)
How would these sabres be classified?
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Old 23rd December 2021, 02:27 AM   #6
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There are Ottoman swords mixing Ottoman handle/ crossguard with Persian or Persian -style blade. Ottoman called them Kilij Adjemi : Persian Kilij.
Thus, I would not be surprised to encounter an Ottoman blade with a Persian ( or Persian -style) handle. As a matter of fact, we see them quite often as likely tourist examples of Qajar swords.

Here things are a bit more complicated: the blade and the stiching are Ottoman, but the only almost certain Persian component is the crossguard. The handle itself is a free fantasy of the Ottoman style. Even worse, Marius’ comments raise doubts about its historical authenticity ( I join him here): the drawer knobs make my antennae twitching:-)

To remove the rust gently, without damaging koftgari, buy a jar of Renaissance metal de-corroder from University “something” ( half price vs. the British source).
Get a brush, smear the goo all over the blade, wrap it tightly in Saran Wrap or a similar stuff, secure the wrap with a tape and leave it for 5-7 days. After thar wash it under stream of water scrubbing it energetically with some soft towel .
All active rust will go away together with some dark spots.
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Old 24th December 2021, 06:04 AM   #7
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Default Persian Kilij

I recently sold this Persian handled Kilij with markings mentioning Abbas. Blade more like a Turkish Pala.
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Old 27th December 2021, 06:50 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies,
Now I have the blade in my possession I can post a few more detailed pictures. Maybe those will help to determine it's true origin.

a few points I'd like to make:
The handle:
there is indeed little doubt that the handle was remade.

the blade:
- can someone translate the inscriptions?
- the first third back end of the blade (the straight part) was originallaly decorated with koftgari only a few remnants of gold remain as wel as a 3D flower. This was probably intended to show of some koftgari even while the saber was fitted inside the scabbard.
The design was probably very similar to what can be seen near the yelman with the same 3D flower mirrored (but with gold inlay still present)

the scabbard and the crossguard:
- a few remnants of koftgari gold inlay are still present on the eyelets. All eyelets seem to be decorated similarly on both sides I took a picture of the best preserved side and tried to draw what I can make of the few remnants thar are still visible.
- It seems that the leather is interupted at each eyelet
so we have bottom piece of leather at the chape/eyelet/other piece of leather in between/eyelet/piece of leather near the throat (without stitching)
- I see no traces of an old piece of metal chape on the bottom piece of leather. (no visible difference of aging)
- the throat of the scabbard seems to be decorated with gold covered parchment?

It's not very clear to me whether the top part of the scabbard was redone or whether some metal fittings are missing. What's certain however is that the leather at the top, near the throat of the scabbard is not in the same state as the rest of scabbard. either because it aged differently (covered at some point? / glued istead of stitched) or because it was remade. What are you opinions about this?
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Old 29th December 2021, 02:00 PM   #9
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Could it be something made/put together in Afghanistan?
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Old 29th December 2021, 02:42 PM   #10
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To my eye the blade looks like it has been resharpened many times. The natural curve of the belly flattens. It is not a bad thing, the shape to me tells a story.
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Old 31st January 2022, 10:41 PM   #11
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It has a very nice 18th / 19th century Ottoman Pala blade with Qajar guard but blade itself definitely Ottoman one. Qajar variations has different specs on blade as David shared in up comment and forms are differnt even there are some more more close looking blades to Ottomans but their form differencies are easily visible by eye.
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Old 18th March 2022, 09:00 PM   #12
Tea
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Hi Thanks for the comments.
@ Baskurt Do you mean that the blad was probably made in the ottoman Empire even though the blade was used in Persia
Or do you mean the combination is highly unusual and thus the guard and braces where never meant to go with this blade.

I clearly see a difference indeed between the blades shown on the other pictures which, I guess are supposed to be made in Persia and the blade of this topic.

What would be your opinion on the sabre pictured hereunder.

BTW any Idea who could help with the translation. Any way to determine whether the inscription is ottoman or Persian?
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