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Old 13th August 2020, 02:23 PM   #1
Rareis
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Default Koummya (information/opinions)

Hello!

As a knife and blades collector I'm a fan of this forum. Until now I have found all my answers from earlier topics, but recently I have got as a gift one Koummya dagger that I can not read.

The scabbard seems like a fine craftsmanship, but I could not find any silversmiths markings/hallmarks on it. The scabbard is made of thick silver and has no wooden inserts to support the blade, but the blade fits snug and has no rattle.
The blade itself has a bird or butterfly mark on it that I have not seen before.

So specialists if you would, please give me your opinion on this blade - a real deal or a tourists piece?
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Old 13th August 2020, 04:20 PM   #2
Lee
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I think this is the 'real deal' intended for local wear and use and not a tourist special. It does not appear to be of the highest order of craftsmanship, but does appear to be respectable handmade work, and maybe is not as old as some we see in these pages. I have not seen that blade mark before.
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Old 13th August 2020, 05:17 PM   #3
Bob A
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I'd agree with Lee.

Perhaps the craftsmanship of the silver work is not extremely fine, but it makes up for that with bold and handsome design. Guessing mid-20th century.

I wouldn't mind at all having it in my collection.
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Old 13th August 2020, 09:47 PM   #4
Sajen
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Sorry, I disagree. I for my part think that it's a well made and better koummya worked for collectors (instead for those who travel), mid 20th century would be my guess. The blade is a good one, workmanship of the fittings ok.

Regards,
Detlef

PS: Forget, I don't think that the scabbard is from silver, have you tested it? I guess it's german silver.
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Old 13th August 2020, 09:55 PM   #5
Yvain
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Could it be an older blade in new mounts ? I thought it was done frequently in North Africa, and the blade does look older than the rest in my opinion.
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Old 13th August 2020, 10:47 PM   #6
Rareis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Sorry, I disagree. I for my part think that it's a well made and better koummya worked for collectors (instead for those who travel), mid 20th century would be my guess. The blade is a good one, workmanship of the fittings ok.

Regards,
Detlef

PS: Forget, I don't think that the scabbard is from silver, have you tested it? I guess it's german silver.
Thank You Detlef for your interesting opinion. I have not tested the scabbard with the right methods, but the scabbard is not magnetic. As I understand German Silver is magnetic metal...The scabbard (from one side) and the attachment rings are quite worn aswell - so if it is a well crafted piece for the collectors, it has been thought of.
The French gentleman who gave it to me as a gift is a genuine world traveller and a fierce collector. From every part of the world he brings back several blades from antique shops and local collectors. He has specialized on Ottoman era mainly, but has dozens of blades from all over the world.
He had 2 koummya from the travels and that is one of them. The other one looked a like, but had several markings on the scabbard (but non on the blade) This one has marking on the blade, but not on the scabbard
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Old 14th August 2020, 06:14 AM   #7
Sajen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rareis
Thank You Detlef for your interesting opinion. I have not tested the scabbard with the right methods, but the scabbard is not magnetic. As I understand German Silver is magnetic metal...The scabbard (from one side) and the attachment rings are quite worn aswell - so if it is a well crafted piece for the collectors, it has been thought of.
Hello Rareis,

German silver isn't magnetic, see here for German silver: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_silver
Nickel is magnetic but the percentage from around 20% is too low to let become the alloy magnetic.
I am not firm enough with Moroccan culture and until which time koummyas were worn but guess that it would be around the middle of 20th century.
I have a similar worked example like yours and it's for sure not from silver and the colour in your pictures let me doubt that yours could be from silver.
A silver test is cheap, you can order the liquid online. Test it to get sure.
I am far away to be an expert for koummyas but have handled several pieces in my collector time. There are members who are very more knowledgeable, hope they will join in.

Regards,
Detlef
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