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Old 18th March 2021, 09:31 PM   #1
francantolin
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Default fancy ottoman dagger with corals...

Hello dear members,

I wanted to show you this dagger,
A mix betwwen wonderful components and average stuff:

set with ciselled drop shaped corals and turquoises,
many pieces are missing, maybe later emplacements with green glass beads ?
The blade is just a steel sheet deco piece but is engraved

The work on the drop shaped corals is ottoman work for me.

I found on an old forum's post that these pieces are considered to come from India but I never saw the mix of corals and turquoises in India ( Tibet, Nepal ok ) and this kind of work on corals is not recent cheap tourist stuff and ottoman for me ( late 19th century ?? )
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Old 18th March 2021, 09:35 PM   #2
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Just ottoman,
yes, until we see the tip who isn't turkish at all...
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Old 18th March 2021, 09:39 PM   #3
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The tip is well done too
+ other picture

Were these deco weapons made for house decorations ?
wedding gift for the husband in a marriage ... ?
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Old 18th March 2021, 09:40 PM   #4
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....
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Old 19th March 2021, 07:42 AM   #5
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Hi my friend,

As you said, you like "bling bling" things.

I have a good news and a bad news.
IMOH it is Ottoman. But most probably early 20th c. 1900-1920.
Like a lot of Indian and Persian daggers on this forum, and as you said, most probably decorative.
I don't want to say tourist item, but for sure some Europeans bought some of them as they are very decorative.
We have a full thread about your dagger but I cannot find it.
Your dagger is probably in tombak and the style is very much Ottoman Turkish.
Please look at similar items from the late 19th and early 20th.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...rquoises+coral

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ighlight=coral

Kind regards,
Kubur
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Old 19th March 2021, 05:26 PM   #6
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Hello,
Thank you Kubur for your comments and links,
I hesitate to take all the pieces and transfer it on a kilij I have,
If I can get that price ,
maybe I have piece enough for the the backside !!

Seriously, I find strange that this wonderful piece sold by Christies was ''just''made of gilt copper and not a massive silver scabbard, gold...
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Old 19th March 2021, 05:26 PM   #7
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pics...
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Old 19th March 2021, 08:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francantolin
Hello,
Thank you Kubur for your comments and links,
I hesitate to take all the pieces and transfer it on a kilij I have,
If I can get that price ,
maybe I have piece enough for the the backside !!

Seriously, I find strange that this wonderful piece sold by Christies was ''just''made of gilt copper and not a massive silver scabbard, gold...
You are maybe right, may be it is silver gilt for this sword...

About your joke, you probably noticed that only one side is decorated, always.
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Old 19th March 2021, 08:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francantolin
Hello,
Thank you Kubur for your comments and links,
I hesitate to take all the pieces and transfer it on a kilij I have,
If I can get that price ,
maybe I have piece enough for the the backside !!

Seriously, I find strange that this wonderful piece sold by Christies was ''just''made of gilt copper and not a massive silver scabbard, gold...
It was sold by Christie's not because of the decorated tombac (they are almost always made of tombac) scabbard and hilt but because of the blade... I guess.

However, it wouldn't be the first time a reputed auction house to sell a rather disputable lot.

Regarding your dagger, it has a very flat blade that was probably cut from sheet/band steel. So I would say it is rather touristy.
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Old 20th March 2021, 08:36 AM   #10
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Hello,

Thank you Kubur and Marius for your reply,

Yes as I wrote in the first post, the blade is a decorated simple sheet of steel contrasting ( for me ) with all the work for the scabbard.

Perhaps ( maybe certainly ), these semi precious stones and coral were common and massively produced in the region ( Trabzon ??) maybe cheap stuff so craftmen covered all kind of stuff for a low-reasonnable price.

I will add that it was fashionable at that time! ( For export in Europe too)
( I know, I'm old fashioned ... )

That can explain why we find so many ewer, belt buckles... and muskets, swords with these ornaments, turning them finally just in deco pieces...
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Old 20th March 2021, 10:23 AM   #11
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Presentation swords or not
These swords were used in the late 19th and early 20th c.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ght=pala+coral
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Old 20th March 2021, 10:32 AM   #12
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Yes, you are right.

Both coral (from the Mediterranean Sea) and turquoise (from Persia/Iran) were very abundant and rather cheap in Ottoman Turkey.

Turquoise was massively exported to Europe, to the point it got its name TURQuoise from TURKey (albeit it originated in Persia).

And this type of decorated swords and daggers were equally abundant in Ottoman Turkey (especially in the late 19th and early 20th century) but were mostly reserved for export, presentation or parade (like part of the traditional costume at weddings) items and not for real combat. That's why you can see very few of them in Turkish reputed museums (like Topkapi Palace Museum or Istanbul Military Museum).

However, some are very decorative and collectible as they represent a significant style and trend for the period.
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Old 20th March 2021, 04:32 PM   #13
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Just a tag-end question about the corals:
Why are the red coral pieces almost always lozenge shaped with grooved surfaces?
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Old 22nd March 2021, 06:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Just a tag-end question about the corals:
Why are the red coral pieces almost always lozenge shaped with grooved surfaces?
I do not know the answer but I can speculate the Mediteranean coral had thinner branches and possibly differently toned core, so in order to display the consistent orange colour they needed to be cut along the direction of the branch. Now, why grooved?!?!?
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