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Old 15th January 2021, 04:02 AM   #1
Skiendubh
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Default Khyber knife?

Years ago, I bought a "Khyber Knife". It is 23" overall, with an 18" blade, of typical profile. However, recently I found out that Khyber Knives are 'T' shape in cross section, mine is flat. So, is this a non typical Khyber Knife, a blade from another region which is of similar profile, but flat, or is it a nicely made, and aged , fake? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 15th January 2021, 07:58 PM   #2
Bob A
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Pictures would be useful if you can upload them.
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Old 17th January 2021, 09:59 AM   #3
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Skiendubh:

If you are having trouble uploading files, please read the sticky near the top of the Ethnographic Forum index about uploading pictures. If you still have problems please PM me and we can sort it out. Please note the maximum file sizes allowed--this is the most common problem with uploading files.

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Old 11th February 2021, 12:37 AM   #4
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Thank you Bob A and Ian, for your replies. I did try to upload a picture, unsuccessfully. I'm sorry Ian, but I didn't know where to find the sticky note, whatever that is, and what is a PM? Can you supply a more easy to follow instruction for a newbie like myself to follow? I tried to ask FAQ for an answer, no luck there either. Your help is greatly appreciated. Skiendubh.
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Old 12th February 2021, 12:47 PM   #5
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Posting Images Instructions
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Old 12th February 2021, 01:13 PM   #6
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Go to "Ethnographic Weapons" third post down. You will have to resize your pictures to less than 1280 on the largest side.



Sorry duplicate instructions. Delete if possible.

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Old 19th March 2021, 01:54 AM   #7
Skiendubh
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Default Khyber knife?

Here is the picture of my "Khyber"? knife. Hopefully someone will recognize what it is.
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Old 20th March 2021, 12:30 PM   #8
Jim McDougall
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Welcome to the forum! Excellent pen name, skean dubh!!!

Your weapon is of course the well known Afghan 'Khyber knife', which is an odd term as these are essentially deadly short swords and often quite large, far beyond the 'knife' description.

In the Afghan regions, these were used by various tribes throughout the Khyber Agency of the British Raj, which while including the Khyber Pass proper, also the surrounding regions. So it is difficult to assign a specific region or tribe to single weapons unless there is specific motif in decoration.

These were used throughout the 19th century and well into modern times, but remain indigenous to Afghanistan, where locally they are termed 'silliwar', hence the colloquial British term 'salawar yataghan'.

Yours is probably end of 19th c.into 20th and used tribally during the many Afghan wars and insurgences from 1879 onward. The use of these is most well known with the Afridi and Waziri tribes, and are mentioned as Khyber knives by Kipling in his well known prose.
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Old 20th March 2021, 04:29 PM   #9
David R
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It's not a typical piece certainly.... but you do get a fair bit of variation with tribal weapons. The hilt makes me suspect that it was made closer to central Asia than those usually seen.
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Old 20th March 2021, 05:02 PM   #10
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On the blade there is a hole near the hilt.
Perhaps this means reusing the blade,
and explains the not a typical form blade for this Khyber knife
the hole is a trace from the langeta of the hilt of the Khanda or Firangi sword (?)

Last edited by Saracen; 20th March 2021 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 21st March 2021, 12:29 AM   #11
Ren Ren
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Holes like this make me strongly associate with Soviet provincial museums. Through them, objects were attached to the wall so that they would not be stolen.
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Old 21st March 2021, 12:41 AM   #12
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Yes), and at the bottom right in the photo is the bolt with which this khyber knife was attached to the wall)
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Old 22nd March 2021, 08:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saracen
Yes), and at the bottom right in the photo is the bolt with which this khyber knife was attached to the wall)
? - Bolt Looks a bit big for the hole

I'd go for the Russian museum theory. The lack of a T-spine is unusual, never seen one like that before. Grip looks a bit chunky & odd near the pommel end too. Museum replica from a picture? Looks more like a largish pesh kabz (which also usually had a T-Spine), also a 'khyber' area knife/sword.

More dimensions/weight would help, blade thickness at the grip and near the tip (ie. is it distal tapered), is it sharp? Full exposed tang or hidden tang, end peened? Shame there is no scabbard, it helps define it.

(I believe they were T-spined because the blades were fairly thin, and generally not the best steel. It added rigidity and allowed for a thinner, finer edge angle for slicing rather than stabbing.) See also What is a Khyber Knife

Mine for example. A more typical one. Note the very slight S recurve to the spine, one reason they are considered by some to be Salawar Yataghans. 22 in. blade, 5.5 in. grip:
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Last edited by kronckew; 22nd March 2021 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 22nd March 2021, 11:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
? - Bolt Looks a bit big for the hole
This is not a problem for Soviet workers in provincial museums.
I like Ren Ren's idea too, but reusing old blades is not a rare thing.
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Old 22nd March 2021, 12:40 PM   #15
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Thank you Saracen! These are interesting examples.
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