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Old 1st January 2022, 07:12 PM   #1
RobT
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Default Bedouin? Saber

Happy New Year All,

I am posting this allegedly Bedouin saber to see if its features will serve to confirm that it is indeed Bedouin and because the sheath has a rather unexpected binding. The blade is 28.25" long with 2 fullers (Montmornecy style). On both sides of the blade near the hilt is scribed a sun and a striking bird (either a raptor or gamecock). The hilt scales are cow horn and are attached to the tang with 5 steel rivets (2 are mostly hidden by the guard and pommel bands). The 3 fully exposed rivets were originally surrounded by brass panels (on both sides) but now only remnants of the brass remain. Brass bands encircle the guard and the grip but the pommel band is copper. A handwritten (apparently in magic marker) inscription on the back of the sheath throat says, "3/16/71 Bedouin Sword Presented to Cody by". The sheath is wood covered with what appears to be reptile hide. It has a brass chape and throat. There are also 2 brass bands (one of which has been soldered to the throat. Large amounts of solder on the bands (on the convex side) indicate that suspension devices were once present). The REALLY odd feature is that the hide has been stitched together with spirals of metal wire (apparently copper) as I have seen done on kinjals. A few people have commented that the sword has a shashka look about it.

Sincerely,
RobT
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Last edited by RobT; 1st January 2022 at 07:17 PM. Reason: error in the number of hilt rivets
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Old 1st January 2022, 07:57 PM   #2
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Looks much like my Bedouin sabre (missing a band on the pommel area) and my Bedu yataghan. Both have extensive inscribed decorations not apparent in the overall pics.


More in their earlier posts at:


https://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...hlight=bedouin
and
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Old 1st January 2022, 08:33 PM   #3
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Can't find earlier post on the bedu yat, so here's some more shots of the markings:
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Old 1st January 2022, 08:48 PM   #4
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Default You Nailed It

Kronckew,

Thanks a lot. Your blade is a close match to mine (albeit a good bit more upscale). From what I can see, your sheath is stitched like mine also. I find it rather odd that such disparate groups as Russians and Mediterranean/Africans could come up with a similar form of stitching.

Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 1st January 2022, 09:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobT View Post
Kronckew,

Thanks a lot. Your blade is a close match to mine (albeit a good bit more upscale). From what I can see, your sheath is stitched like mine also. I find it rather odd that such disparate groups as Russians and Mediterranean/Africans could come up with a similar form of stitching.

Sincerely,
RobT
A common Muslim tradition??
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Old 1st January 2022, 11:55 PM   #6
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Default Hadn't Thought of That, but

David R,

A good point. I hadn't thought of a Moslem commonality but if it were true, why only two rather rather isolated instances instead of a broad swath across different Moslem cultures? One would expect some geographical and/or cultural links. Perhaps they are there but no one has seen fit to mention them explicitly as it pertains to this type of stitching.

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RobT
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Old 2nd January 2022, 12:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobT View Post
Kronckew,
From what I can see, your sheath is stitched like mine also. I find it rather odd that such disparate groups as Russians and Mediterranean/Africans could come up with a similar form of stitching.

Sincerely,
RobT
Products made using this stitching technique were well known in Russia under the name "Kazan work". Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, is the largest leather and leather goods manufacturing center with over 1000 years of history. Probably only Cordoba in Spain can compare with it in Europe.
Also this stitching technique was used in Ottoman Turkey, Algeria and Morocco.
As far as I know, Lilia Sattarova is studying the history of this technique and some of her works have been published in English.

Sincerely,
Serge
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Old 2nd January 2022, 02:27 PM   #8
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I have just remembered that I have a couple of examples of the sewing style in my collection, one of them for the scabbard of a Yataghan, and the other a late period Turkish Kilij.

Looking at that last photo, I think the mark is a rather ham-fisted attempt at a "Tughra"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tughra
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Old 2nd January 2022, 03:30 PM   #9
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Default This Forum Is Fantastic

David & Ren Ren,

Thanks so much for the information. Since I have only seen the stitching technique on kindjals, I didn't know it was so widespread. I will add this to my database.

Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 3rd January 2022, 04:34 AM   #10
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I am not surprized at all by the appearance of wire stirch on the scabbards of Bedouin Sabers.
This stitch was endemic all over the Ottoman Empire. Sinai and Negev, the origins of those sabers, were included in the Ottomans borders until 1918.
We see such stitch on the scabbards from Syria, Iraq , Aravia etc. Thus, it presence on the scabbards from Sinai and Negev is almost expected.

I did not know about such stitch in Kazan, but its active trade with Crimean Khanate ( vassal state of the Ottoman Empire), and, likely, directly with the Ottomans may explain it. That likely continued even after 1552, when Kazan fell to Ivan The Terrible who slaughtered ~110,000 of its inhabitants, and the entire Kazan Khanate became part of Russian Empire.

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Old 3rd January 2022, 12:06 PM   #11
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It is in vain that you did not get acquainted with Sattarova's publications. Leather production flourished in the Volga Bulgaria long before the Kazan khans and continued under the Moscow tsars and Russian emperors. The 10th century Arabic author Al-Muqaddasi wrote about the famous Bulgari leather. Birch tar and "ворвань" - the fat of seals and walruses, obtained on the coast of the Arctic Ocean, were used in the manufacture of this type of leather. This made it unique and famous from Mongolia to Western Europe.

The photo shows a sample of "Kazan work" - a pair of luxurious traditional Tatar boots "ichigi". From Kazan, they were sold throughout Russia, as well as to Bukhara and other Central Asian states. Pay attention to the "Kazan stitching" or "Tatar stitching".
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Old 3rd January 2022, 02:08 PM   #12
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Beautiful !
Do they still manufacture such boots in Tatarstan ? We would be talking about many thousands $$$ per pair. There are Air Jordans and Nikes selling for $ 1 million.
The market is ready.
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