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Old 14th March 2021, 01:11 PM   #1
ASomer
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Default Koummya and Janbiya

Hi,

I just bought these daggers. Three of them are Maroccan Koummya and one I guess is Yemen? Janbiya.

Can anybody shed some light on the age and if they are merely tourist grade daggers?

Obviously the condition is pretty bad.

Thanks
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Old 14th March 2021, 05:47 PM   #2
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The Koummya in the middle seems to be the oldest, maybe it is antique. It has also some authentic signs of wear. The other two are touristic pieces, eventually 1970s or later. The Jambiya looks indian or pakistani to me and is not that old, too.
Regards
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Old 14th March 2021, 06:28 PM   #3
Jim McDougall
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The koumyya's are from the Maghreb in North Africa, that is Morocco into Algeria, and technically are a form of khanjhar.
The right item is termed khanjahr in the regions in eastern Yemen into Oman and northeast to Bahrain. This, as noted, not that old and seems Omani, though not following the typical styling too much.

The term janbiyya is used for the daggers to the west from Yemen into the Hijaz, and there are regional dfferences.

Koummya tend not to be very old as they have been produced n huge volume as souvenirs. Even the middle one may have antiquty into the 20s at best.
Very specialized area of collecting and look forward to observations by the guys here most knwledgeable n them.
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Old 15th March 2021, 03:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for your help!
It is always nice to learn something new from more experienced collectors.
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Old 16th March 2021, 02:24 PM   #5
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I have owned a few of the souvenir Koummya over the years, and rather liked them though disappointed in the blades. In fact I bought a relatively new one recently via this forum, which I am very happy with.
The old style real weapons do turn up from time to time, the difference being a forged blade, rather than one filed out of flat stock. This is the one I bought about 15 years ago at an open air antique (and junk) fair.
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Old 16th March 2021, 02:27 PM   #6
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And one with a 30cm ruler for scale.
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Old 16th March 2021, 04:31 PM   #7
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To me, all three Koummyas look rather low end touristy 20th century.

More about Koummyas you can find at the link below:

http://vikingsword.com/ethsword/koummya/index.html

The Jambiya does not appear to be ethnographically specific/traditional and it is definitely not Omani or Yemeni, in my opinion. The workmanship doesn't appear to be neither Indian or Pakistani but more like African.

Last edited by mariusgmioc; 16th March 2021 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 16th March 2021, 05:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
To me, all three Koummyas look rather low end touristy 20th century.
Hello Marius,

The one in the middle is definitely old/antique, have a look to the holes where the rings let the traces of long time use.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 16th March 2021, 06:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Hello Marius,

The one in the middle is definitely old/antique, have a look to the holes where the rings let the traces of long time use.

Regards,
Detlef
I agree, but the scabbard only, not the dagger.
The scabbard is from the 19th and the dagger from the mid or late 20th c like the others.
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Old 16th March 2021, 06:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
And one with a 30cm ruler for scale.
This is a good stuff, David

You should buy the scabbard from Asomer, it will be perfect for it.

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Old 16th March 2021, 06:58 PM   #11
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Jambiya handle inlaid elements are made in Indian style.
They are a bit primitive, but I agree with Gonzoadler. Pakistan is likely.

Mariusgmioc, I really like your Koummya in the neighboring topic
Congratulations)
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Old 16th March 2021, 07:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Hello Marius,

The one in the middle is definitely old/antique, have a look to the holes where the rings let the traces of long time use.

Regards,
Detlef
Hola Detlef,

I somehow overlooked the scabbards.

Indeed, the scabbard of the middle one has some significant wear but that doesn't necessarily make it old. The metal of the scabbard is brass and tin alloy, which are soft metals, and if it was mounted on steel rings one may get this wear after a few months of wearing.

Anyhow, the blade appears to be flat, cut & filed from sheet/band stock.
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Old 16th March 2021, 08:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Hola Detlef,

I somehow overlooked the scabbards.

Indeed, the scabbard of the middle one has some significant wear but that doesn't necessarily make it old. The metal of the scabbard is brass and tin alloy, which are soft metals, and if it was mounted on steel rings one may get this wear after a few months of wearing.

Anyhow, the blade appears to be flat, cut & filed from sheet/band stock.
Hello Marius,

I guess the scabbard is from brass and silver, such a wear don't come from a few month of wearing and I am with Kubur that the scabbard is 19th century but you and Kubur could by correct by the blade. But I would like to see better pictures.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 16th March 2021, 11:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
I guess the scabbard is from brass and silver,
Regards,
Detlef
Again Detlef is correct brass on one side and brass covered with silver sheet on the other.

Asomer, can you please put the dagger from the left side in the scabbard in the middle? I have the feeling that there is a missmatch...
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Old 17th March 2021, 07:28 AM   #15
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Often tin alloys are very difficult to distinguish from silver even at close inspection. Very often it is impossible to say for sure that it is silver based only on a low quality photo.

However, there are very clear signs (see photo) we are not talking about sheet silver, but about tin alloy (more precisely solder) applied crudely in molten state directly on the brass scabbard. And what appears to be surface wear is in fact the result of the poorly reproduced shapes of the brass below and subsequent abrasive cleaning.

But maybe ASomer can tell us more precisely what it is?
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Last edited by mariusgmioc; 17th March 2021 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 17th March 2021, 08:55 AM   #16
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Hi Marius,

You have very good eyes, it was badly restored with lead.
But I guarantee you that this type of koummya have a silver sheat on one side.
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Old 17th March 2021, 05:23 PM   #17
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I am also sure that it is silver plated on one side!
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Old 17th March 2021, 07:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Often tin alloys are very difficult to distinguish from silver even at close inspection. Very often it is impossible to say for sure that it is silver based only on a low quality photo.
I own a 19th century koummya, brass scabbard with very worn silver accents in front, the silver plating is attached on a layer tin or similar metal. The same effect you can notice by the koummya in question. I guess it was done to let the silver look thicker. A test would show that in up is silver where it is not worn, believe me, it gets dark like I know it only from silver. But you are correct, under the silver is something similar to tin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
But maybe ASomer can tell us more precisely what it is?
Yes, this would be great!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 19th March 2021, 11:48 AM   #19
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Hi thanks for all the interesting insights.

To be honest I have no idea what it is, I guess it could be silver plated brass.

I am attaching some more photos of the back side and the blade.
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