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Old 27th March 2016, 03:02 PM   #1
Miguel
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Default 18th Centuary Ottoman Kard.

Hello Everyone,

I would like to share some photos of this item with you and hope that you can provide me with more information about it.

I was told by the seller some years ago that it was 18th C and possibly of Kurdish origin. It is a very nice piece and well made. The hilt is of light green jade having a black gem stone in a gold or gilt frame on the pommel with a gilt collar between the hilt and blade. The blade is single edged with a an inscription in gold on one side which I would welcome someone to translate if possible. I believe the blade to be wootz ? but I don't really know.

The scabbard is of wood covered with black leather stitched in the Ottoman fashion with gold coloured wire and fitted with silver gilt locket and chape.
Overall length is 14.125 ins with a 10 ins long x 0.875 ins wide blade.
Tirri in his book Maghreb to Moghul shows two similar Kards on page 167 plate 117C which he has put in the Balkan section of the book ?
Thanking you in anticipation.
Miguel
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Old 27th March 2016, 06:50 PM   #2
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Definitely Ottoman. Maybe Balkan? Does look jade, onyx, gilt silver. And yes looks like Turkish wootz.

I am not aware of these belonging to Kurdish sections of he empire though.

The seam on the scabbard doesn't look traditionally Ottoman but more recent.

What a great piece and thanks for sharing!
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Old 27th March 2016, 10:26 PM   #3
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Nice kard, the mounts look Ottoman to me, not sure were the Kurdish description came from.
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Last edited by estcrh; 27th March 2016 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 27th March 2016, 11:29 PM   #4
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For me its a gorgeous Turkish ottoman kard
Really nice
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Old 29th March 2016, 06:58 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for your kind comments and information, I am now pretty certain it is Ottoman Turkish. If it is possible I would be grateful if anyone would mind translating the inscription.
Kind regards
Miguel
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Old 29th March 2016, 07:24 PM   #6
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Hey Miguel,

It says "Saheb Taher Omar Bek"

Owner Taher Omar Bek. :-))

Lovely example.
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Old 29th March 2016, 09:40 PM   #7
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Default Beautiful piece

Congratulations for this beautiful piece!

The blade appears to be pattern welded. If this would be the case then it would be most likely Turkey, not Balkans.

Te grip might be green onyx, which is found in central Anatolia, but is hard to say only from the photos.
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Old 30th March 2016, 07:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.alnakkas
Hey Miguel,

It says "Saheb Taher Omar Bek"

Owner Taher Omar Bek. :-))

Lovely example.
Thank you for the translation I am very grateful.
Kind regards
Miguel
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Old 30th March 2016, 07:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Congratulations for this beautiful piece!

The blade appears to be pattern welded. If this would be the case then it would be most likely Turkey, not Balkans.

The grip might be green onyx, which is found in central Anatolia, but is hard to say only from the photos.
Thank you for your comments. I am not sure of the blade pattern it looks like dark wootz to me but not being very knowledgeable on blade patterns I don't really know.
The handle is green jade.
Kind regards
Migue
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Old 30th March 2016, 08:23 PM   #10
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Is is a picture of one type of pattern weld:
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Old 30th March 2016, 08:24 PM   #11
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Here is one form of wootz:
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Old 30th March 2016, 08:25 PM   #12
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After some polishing and etching, I think you will find Turkish wootz (which is low contrast) in your blade.
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Old 31st March 2016, 07:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
After some polishing and etching, I think you will find Turkish wootz (which is low contrast) in your blade.
Thank you Battara for the examples of pattern welded and wootz blades and comments I am much obliged to you.
Regards
Miguel
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Old 31st March 2016, 08:31 PM   #14
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Restauration of antique oriental Damascus / Wootz blades

1. always wear protective vinyl gloves
2. clean the blade thoroughly with White Spirit
(3.) if the surface is rusty, remove all rust with Picreator’s Renaissance Metal De-Corroder, by either completely immersing the blade in the liquid or applying the liquid locally where needed
(4.) if the surface is badly pitted, polish the surface with sandpaper up to grit 2000-5000 (be careful that polishing is removing material from the blade, thus, it is an invasive procedure and should be applied with restraint; wootz is highly susceptible to pitting but slight pitting does not affect the end result too badly)
5. clean thoroughly the blade with White Spirit
6. etch the blade with Nital (solution of nitric acid 3-5% in alcohol) or with ferric chloride (20%)
6.1. protect the areas that do not need to be etched with polyethylene foil (cling film) and/or with Renaissance Wax
6.2. immerse the blade in the etchant solution, or apply the solution with cotton swabs, in quick moves in order to distribute the etchant evenly over the whole surface
6.3. the time for etchant to work should be very short, around 3-7 seconds, depending on the quality of the steel and the quality of the etchant (longer times tend to cause a golden oxidation and can completely mask the watering patterns of the Wootz)
6.4. remove all the etchant by flushing it generously with running water (some suggest to neutralize the etchant by using water with baking soda but I did not try it)
6.5. dry thoroughly the blade with soft, absorbent tissue, and if necessary use a hot air blower (but make sure the air is not too hot since differential dilatation of the components of the weapon can cause major damage)
(6.6.) wipe very gently the blade with cotton swabs and Picreator’s Pre-Lim polishing paste (I use this to remove the golden oxidation that appears occasionally)
6.7. clean the blade thoroughly with White Spirit
(6.8.) repeat steps 6.2-6.7 two or three times
7. protect the whole blade with Picreator’s Renaissance Wax for long term conservation

Observations:
a. The quality of the end result depends mainly on
the quality of the Wootz
the heat treatment of the blade
the quality of the etchant.
b. I had situations where I got very different results, varying from a very high contrast, dark pattern similar to Kara Taban, to low contrast silvery-grey watering pattern over the length of the very same blade. I assume this was caused by the different heat treatment the blade was exposed to.

Any suggestions or comments that would help improve this technique would be welcomed.
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Old 31st March 2016, 08:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
After some polishing and etching, I think you will find Turkish wootz (which is low contrast) in your blade.
Hello Battara,
I am very interested to learn more about Turkish wootz as I was under the impression that all Turkish wootz blades were actually made in Persia and only finished & mounted in Turkey.

Would the wootz of the Biçak in the photos attached be Turkish wootz?

How do you etch wootz blades?
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Old 1st April 2016, 04:15 AM   #16
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There was great trade of Persian wootz into Turkey and even into India. Turkish wootz is low contrast, while Persian wootz is known for being a high contrast wootz like what is in this picture. The bichak you have pictured is a lower contrast Turkish wootz.

Rsword and CharlesS can tell you even more about these (as well as Indian) types of wootz.
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Old 1st April 2016, 06:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
There was great trade of Persian wootz into Turkey and even into India. Turkish wootz is low contrast, while Persian wootz is known for being a high contrast wootz like what is in this picture. The bichak you have pictured is a lower contrast Turkish wootz.

Rsword and CharlesS can tell you even more about these (as well as Indian) types of wootz.
Thank you!

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Old 1st April 2016, 12:22 PM   #18
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Might be completely on the wrong track here, but isn't the inscription on the original kard upside down, so as to speak?
Regards
Richard
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Old 1st April 2016, 03:41 PM   #19
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I've noticed that on some bichaqs the inscriptions are written "upside down". I have one also with a jade hilt and wootz with the gold koftgari inscription written the same way.

Interesting isn't it?
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Old 2nd April 2016, 03:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Restauration of antique oriental Damascus / Wootz blades

1. always wear protective vinyl gloves
2. clean the blade thoroughly with White Spirit
(3.) if the surface is rusty, remove all rust with Picreator’s Renaissance Metal De-Corroder, by either completely immersing the blade in the liquid or applying the liquid locally where needed
(4.) if the surface is badly pitted, polish the surface with sandpaper up to grit 2000-5000 (be careful that polishing is removing material from the blade, thus, it is an invasive procedure and should be applied with restraint; wootz is highly susceptible to pitting but slight pitting does not affect the end result too badly)
5. clean thoroughly the blade with White Spirit
6. etch the blade with Nital (solution of nitric acid 3-5% in alcohol) or with ferric chloride (20%)
6.1. protect the areas that do not need to be etched with polyethylene foil (cling film) and/or with Renaissance Wax
6.2. immerse the blade in the etchant solution, or apply the solution with cotton swabs, in quick moves in order to distribute the etchant evenly over the whole surface
6.3. the time for etchant to work should be very short, around 3-7 seconds, depending on the quality of the steel and the quality of the etchant (longer times tend to cause a golden oxidation and can completely mask the watering patterns of the Wootz)
6.4. remove all the etchant by flushing it generously with running water (some suggest to neutralize the etchant by using water with baking soda but I did not try it)
6.5. dry thoroughly the blade with soft, absorbent tissue, and if necessary use a hot air blower (but make sure the air is not too hot since differential dilatation of the components of the weapon can cause major damage)
(6.6.) wipe very gently the blade with cotton swabs and Picreator’s Pre-Lim polishing paste (I use this to remove the golden oxidation that appears occasionally)
6.7. clean the blade thoroughly with White Spirit
(6.8.) repeat steps 6.2-6.7 two or three times
7. protect the whole blade with Picreator’s Renaissance Wax for long term conservation

Observations:
a. The quality of the end result depends mainly on
the quality of the Wootz
the heat treatment of the blade
the quality of the etchant.
b. I had situations where I got very different results, varying from a very high contrast, dark pattern similar to Kara Taban, to low contrast silvery-grey watering pattern over the length of the very same blade. I assume this was caused by the different heat treatment the blade was exposed to.

Any suggestions or comments that would help improve this technique would be welcomed.

Thanks for this info but I would be reluctant to clean and etch this blade in case I damaged it, however I do have some helmets with chain mail around the bottom which is rusted and would be like to know if Picreator’s Renaissance Metal De-Corroder would be suitable for removing the rust?
Regards
Miguel
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Old 2nd April 2016, 03:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel
Thanks for this info but I would be reluctant to clean and etch this blade in case I damaged it, however I do have some helmets with chain mail around the bottom which is rusted and would be like to know if Picreator’s Renaissance Metal De-Corroder would be suitable for removing the rust?
Regards
Miguel
What country are you in?
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Old 2nd April 2016, 08:08 PM   #22
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Picreator's Metal De-corroder is specifically designed to remove the rust but, it is rather expensive.

Here is the link to Pireator's website where you can find more information on their products.

http://www.picreator.co.uk/articles/1_about_us.htm

As with regards to cleaning and etching the blade, is always better safe than sorry.

PS: I don't really believe that is relevant whether the hilt is Jadeite, Nephrite (these two are known under the generic name of Jade), Serpentine or Onyx as they are very similar and sometimes it is very difficult even for connoisseurs to distinguish them. Yet, for your hilt my bet would be Onyx (it is a Turkish knife and they have some beautiful green Onyx deposits in Central Anatolia).
Just be aware that much of what is called "Jade" is not Jade (namely Jadeite or Nephrite) but Serpentine, Onyx and other similar minerals and sometimes even glass (most of the Chinese "jade" figures you can buy on the net are actually glass).

Last edited by mariusgmioc; 2nd April 2016 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 4th April 2016, 07:37 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
What country are you in?

Why do you ask ?
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Old 4th April 2016, 07:38 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Picreator's Metal De-corroder is specifically designed to remove the rust but, it is rather expensive.

Here is the link to Pireator's website where you can find more information on their products.

http://www.picreator.co.uk/articles/1_about_us.htm

As with regards to cleaning and etching the blade, is always better safe than sorry.

PS: I don't really believe that is relevant whether the hilt is Jadeite, Nephrite (these two are known under the generic name of Jade), Serpentine or Onyx as they are very similar and sometimes it is very difficult even for connoisseurs to distinguish them. Yet, for your hilt my bet would be Onyx (it is a Turkish knife and they have some beautiful green Onyx deposits in Central Anatolia).
Just be aware that much of what is called "Jade" is not Jade (namely Jadeite or Nephrite) but Serpentine, Onyx and other similar minerals and sometimes even glass (most of the Chinese "jade" figures you can buy on the net are actually glass).

Thank you for the information.
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Old 9th April 2016, 12:44 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel
Why do you ask ?
Miquel, some derusters are only available in certain regions, there are some very good ones available in North America which you can not get in other areas and vice versa.

Last edited by estcrh; 9th April 2016 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 9th April 2016, 03:55 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Miquel, some derusters are only available in certain regions, there are some very good ones available in North America which you can not get on other areas and vice versa.
I see why you asked, I am in the UK.
Regards
Miguel
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Old 9th April 2016, 07:28 PM   #27
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Here is another small Ottoman kard.
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Old 10th April 2016, 12:34 PM   #28
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In the book Rites of Power. Oriental Weapons. ISBN 978-989-658-056-8. Three of these kards are shown, all three are said to be Turkish from the 19th century.
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Old 12th April 2016, 02:23 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Here is another small Ottoman kard.
Beautiful! Thank you!


Did you check it for wootz?
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Old 13th April 2016, 12:34 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Beautiful! Thank you!


Did you check it for wootz?
Close examination shows no sign of wootz, I have not tried etching but eventually I may try it.
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