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Old 14th July 2005, 02:07 PM   #1
Jens Nordlunde
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Default Different types of Peshkabz'

A discussion on another thread, gave me the impression that there was some confusion as to what a Peshkabz was/is.

In P.Holsteins book Contribution A L’Etude des Armes Orientales, 1931. Vol. II, plate XX, the author shows a few types, both when it comes to different grips but also with different types of blades.
From left to right:
#94 Peshkabz, Afghan or Peshawer.
#107 small Kard Indo-Afghan.
#6 Peshkabz, Indo-Afghan, Lahore, Punjab.
#25 Peshkabz, Indo-Afghan or maybe Afghan, Peshawer.
#141 Peshkabz, Indo-Afghan, Lahore.
#32 Peshkabz, Indo-Afghan, Punjab or maybe Afghan.
#12 Peshkabz, Indo-Afghan, Bhawalpur, Sind. See Egerton, plate XIV, #717. On page 138 Egerton writes, “Presented by H.H. the Nawab of Bhawalpur.”
#15 Peshkabz, Indo-Afghan, Delhi the Mongol period.
#235 Peshkabz, Afghan.
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Old 19th July 2005, 03:41 AM   #2
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Pesh Kabz, Choora, Karud.....
Any difference?
I remember, couple of years ago Artzi posted a very clear and precise definition of each. Being foolish, I did not print it and now cannot even remember the source.
Artzi, wherever you are, can you (re)enlighten us, please?
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Old 19th July 2005, 09:55 AM   #3
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Pesh Kabz, Choora, Karud.....
Any difference?


You can add "khanjar" and "khanjarli" to that list.

BTW, what do you call the example in the bottom of the photo (#197)?

n2s
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Old 19th July 2005, 11:41 AM   #4
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I'd guess both(especially Khanjarli) are totally different animals.
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Old 19th July 2005, 05:25 PM   #5
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Ariel:

Ask and it appears: http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001923.html

Unfortunately, the pictures are no longer linked. Perhaps Lee may have copies in the archives somewhere and can restore the excellent pictures Arttzi had posted.

That old thread was started by you, Ariel, and you made a prophetic comment about forgetting the thread and its information.

Ian.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Pesh Kabz, Choora, Karud.....
Any difference?
I remember, couple of years ago Artzi posted a very clear and precise definition of each. Being foolish, I did not print it and now cannot even remember the source.
Artzi, wherever you are, can you (re)enlighten us, please?
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Old 19th July 2005, 06:02 PM   #6
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i would think that no single opinion could yield an acceptable definition, as it would surely depend on whatever book, or number of books he had refered to. maybe people can post all the definitions from noteable authors and see if a medium can be reached. there were a number of 'glossaries', some dating back to the 19thC and taken from travels in india and earlier writings. maybe after this, we can iron out any conflicts and reach a 'vikingsword' agreed terminology, as apposed to a rawson, egerton or pant.
anyone want to start?
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Old 19th July 2005, 06:42 PM   #7
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"That old thread was started by you, Ariel, and you made a prophetic comment about forgetting the thread and its information.

Ian."

Rather embarrassing....
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Old 19th July 2005, 11:52 PM   #8
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In fact, maybe I can help...

____________________________

Oriental-Arms, EEWRS forum, 26/12/2003

Choora
, Pesh-kabz, Karud and Khyber Sword Here are examples of the whole family:



The major Characteristic of each are as follows:

Khayber Sword :
Rather a sword not a dagger. It ranges from 20 to 45 inches in length (The one shown above is 21 inch long, one of the shortest I have seen). Triangular blade with a T spine. Full tang with grip slabs and some times with long metal bolsters. It is very well distributed from North India to Central Asia, but mostly shown up (and properly so called) in Afghanistan.

Karud
Primarily a Mail Piercing dagger. 10 -18 inches long (The one shown above is 18 inches). Blade abruptly narrowing at its base, with a pronounced T spine and many times with edge reinforcement rib. Massive handle, one piece or two grips on a full tang. It is well distributed in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Persia and Central Asian Countries. They all show a similar blade and differs mostly in handle materials and scabbard decoration. The one shown above is from Afghanistan, early 19 C.

Pesh-Kabz
A development of the Karud, with a re-curving blade and slightly down curving handle, which perfect it to be the best mail piercing blade (my private opinion). Similar blade narrowing at its base, pronounced T spine but sometimes it reaches only half of the blade length as in this case. Reinforced edge and sometimes thickened tip. Two slabs grips. It is well distributed in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The one shown above is Mogul Indian 18 C.

Choora
This is also a development of the Karud, but usually smaller, 10-12 inches long. Similar blade. It has a very typical handle with grips composed of two or three sectors of metal, ivory, horn or a combination of all, with the pommel tips extending down more than in its brothers. Its distribution is limited to the areas around the borders of todays Pakistan and Afghanistan. The one shown above is late 19 or early 20 C. It should be mentioned that later made such daggers are widely found in various antique arms fairs with a variety of grip materials ranging from wood to modern plastics.

Here is a close-up of the handles:



On purpose I selected all the items with Ivory grips. The grips material (as well as scabbard construction and decoration are the key for these items origin: Whole metal grips in India. Ivory in India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Walrus in Persia and Central Asia, Rhino horn in Bukhara, Horn in India and Afghanistan etc. it should be however also mentioned that as with many other blades , also here one find in many occasions a combination of all the above: Khayber sword with Choora handles and the like.

-------------------------------

I think that trying to find some kind of (hopefully reasonably well-founded) agreement regarding these definitions may be, at least, a good exercise in analysis and discussion of the different features of each object and their significance. Intrascendent as they may be to the original makers/users/namers of the actual items, definitions are definitely useful to us...
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Old 20th July 2005, 12:02 AM   #9
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hi marc,
glad you stepped in . this is a good beginning, and i hope we can push it further, past one persons opinion.
as a start - hobsons anology -

PESHCUBZ, s. A form of dagger, the blade of which has a straight thick back, while the edge curves inwardly from a broad base to a very sharp point. Pers. pesh-kabz, ‘fore-grip.’ The handle is usually made of shirmahi, ‘the white bone (tooth?) of a large cetacean’; probably morse-tooth, which is repeatedly mentioned in the early English trade with Persia as an article much in demand (e.g. see Sainsbury, ii. 65, 159, 204, 305; iii. 89, 162, 268, 287, &c.). [The peshkubz appears several times in Mr. Egerton’s Catalogue of Indian Arms, and one is illustrated, Pl. xv. No. 760.]


1767.—

“Received for sundry jewels, &c. … (Rs.) 7326 0 0
Ditto for knife, or peshcubz (misprinted pesheolz) 3500 0 0.”
Lord Clive’s Accounts, in Long, 497.
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Old 20th July 2005, 02:48 AM   #10
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I'm trying to get a pic of what I thought was a peshcubz,
but I find it is a choora. Horn handle with nice pique
work and sheath.

Also, seems to me that there is little difference between
a Khayber sword/knife and a Kard other than the T blade
back???

Rich S
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Old 20th July 2005, 03:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich
.

Also, seems to me that there is little difference between
a Khayber sword/knife and a Kard other than the T blade
back???

Rich S
I think size is the primary difference, Rich. (Sometimes it does matter. ).
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Old 20th July 2005, 12:44 PM   #12
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Here's a pic of my choora (ex: pesh :-).
Blade 9 inches with very faint remnants of
etching. All steel mounts with silver picque
work in handle.

Leather covered wooden sheath with brass mounts.
It is unusual to have the sheath mounts different
from the knife? I do think they are an original
set given the perfect fit.

Any idea what period or location this might be
from? Definitely not my strong point. Picked it
up a couple years ago just because it was a neat
knife.

http://home.earthlink.net/~steinpic/choora.jpg

Thanks
Rich
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Old 20th July 2005, 04:32 PM   #13
Jens Nordlunde
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Hi Rich,

Yes you have a Choora - you may even have both .
I agree that the Pesh-Kabz is a tricky one, as it seems like Holstein has chosen to call all daggers from NNW India and Afghanistan shown, for Pesh-Kabz.

Now, if we take our old trusty Stone, and read out aloud, here is what he says.

CHOORA. The knife of the Mahsud, a tribe of the Khyber. It is like the Persian peshkabz; but made in the Khyber.

KARUD. Persian, a straight-bladed peshkabz (Moser XII).

KHYPER-KNIFE. I will drop that, as it is irrelevant due to the size.

PESH-KABZ, PESHCUBZ, PESHQABZ. A form of dagger used in Persia and Northern India. The name is Persian and means “foregrip”. The blade is of T section and is quite wide at the hilt, narrowing suddenly just below it, and then tapering regularly to a very slender point. As a rule the blade is straight, but not infrequently has a pronounced reverse curve. The hilt is often of walrus ivory (Persian, shirmani), and is heavy and has neither guard nor pommel. This knife is obviously intended for forcing an opening in a mail; and as a piece of engineering design could hardly be improved uponfor the purpose.

I think the conclusion must be, that all the knives Holstein shows fit to Stone’s description, number three from right less than the others when it comes to the ‘suddenly narrowing’ of the blade, but still. To the Persian name Peshkabz can be added, that many of the knifes had local names, like Karud and Choora, but they are all Peshkabz’s, and what make them this, is the big hilt and the T spine on the blade. But if this is so, why does he call a Choora a Peshkabz, as the Choora’ hilt looks different, besides not having a ‘fat’ hilt?

Funny that Stone writes ‘A form of dagger used in Persia and Northern India’. He must have, as they did in the early days, regarded Afghanistan as being part of India, since he does not mention Afghanistan in particular.
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Old 21st July 2005, 12:09 AM   #14
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Here is an illustration:a small Khyber (blade 15 inch) and a large Karud (blade 12 inch). Both are pretty simple, but Karud is of much better quality. Both have T-spines and bone handles. The blade of Khyber was sharpened so often that is narrowed down a lot. Khyber has an old label attached: beautiful Victorian handwriting, and the ink became brown due to age "Mada Khel" (a place and a tribe in NE Afghanistan. Also, the scabbard has bits and pieces of Arabic, no more than 2-3 letters at a string, the rest faded.
The main difference between the two is in the handles: karud's is 2-3 times thicker. I can barely hold it well. Also, karud has a swivel attached to the handle. It has no hole in it, so it is not for a lanyard. Any ideas? Somehow, I have a gut feeling that Karud is of Uzbeki origin. Just a feeling....
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Old 21st July 2005, 04:29 AM   #15
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Hi Jens,
Excellent post and great illustration from the very rare Holstein book!
It seems there has long been a great deal of confusion on terminology and categorizing of these highly diffused weapons. I think Artzi has put together one of the most concise glossaries, but again, with such hybridization of these forms it seems more than difficult to be conclusive.

It seems to me that the karud, the primarily sword hilted mail piercing dagger was quite likely, as noted, the inspiration for the pesh kabz. The karud had an abruptly narrowing straight back reinforced blade that was strictly business for mail piercing. These seem to have developed in Persia and Central Asia and diffused into Afghanistan. The smaller choora which appears to be favored in tribal regions in Afghanistan has the same straight back T spined blade and a differently profiled hilt shape, typically with distinct sectioned construction.

The pesh kabz, while its regional disposition is highly diffused and unclear, seems characteristically to have a recurved blade which often, but certainly not always, does have the familiar T spine and sometimes reinforced blade point. The recurved blade on these is very interesting as this form is of course very similar to the bichwa daggers of India. While this term allegedly alludes to the scorpion sting, the shape actually is believed to derive from the buffalo horn, which was actually used in some proto-daggers of this type (Pant, p.153). In many weapons it is fascinating to note how in many cases the interesting forms are simply characterizations fashioned in metal of natures own living weapons from animals. It would seem that the recurve and armor piercing point on the pesh kabz would be in favor of the deadly upward thrust and it would be interesting to know the views of the martially inclined on that.

To add yet another element in the discussion of these various daggers we must also recall the kard, which was a flat bladed knife with straight blade that was highly favored in early Persia, Armenia, Turkey, Central Asia and India with most examples found of 17th-18th c.These occasionally were thickened at the point to pierce mail. It has been suggested that the term karud may derive from kard...possibly the karud itself evolved as a more defined weapon from these? The kard seems to have equal potential for utility use, much as the very similar Bukharen knives of this family, the bytshak.

I think Artzi's observation is well placed in noting that aside from very distinct examples, many of these hybrid forms may be best identified by materials and form of the hilt, as well as motif and markings.

All the best,
Jim
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Old 21st July 2005, 12:25 PM   #16
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hi jim,
eloquent as ever :-)
artzi did offer a great summary but as the issue keeps cropping up, i thought it would be good to uncover all summaries/glossaries in order to reach a general consensus. holstein/stone/hobson are a good start.

irving from the late 19thC -

pesh qabz - the word is from pesh, front, qabz, grip.
it was a pointed one-edged dagger, having generally a thick straight back to the blade, and a straight handle without a guard; though at times the blade was curved, or even double-curved. the peshqabz is not in the ain i, 110-112, so i presume that it was included under one of the other kinds of dagger, perhaps under kard, a knife, No.34 and fig 28. in egerton i find 23 examples. of these there are 7 straight, 4 curved and 2 double-curved blades; the shape of the rest is not stated.

kard - this was like a butchers knife and kept in a sheath. it was mpore especially the weapon of the afghan. (he cites egrton again, pg 144).
this was the sort of weapon with which, on the 8th oct 1720, mir haidar beg, dughlat, assasinated sayyad husain, mir bakhshi, in the emperors camp between fathpur sikri and amber (jaipur). the author of the jauhar-i-samsam calls the weapon then used a chaqchaqi-i-wilayati. this word is realted to a knife (steinglass, from turkish).


not a great help but its good 19thC account, taken from source and from a studied academic view (irving could read both hindi and persian and had access to much material from both languages, as well as english at the height of orientalism and the asiatic society.
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Old 22nd July 2005, 01:55 AM   #17
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Hi Brian,
Thank you so much for the kind comment!!
The notes from Irving are as you have said, most useful as they are contemporary accounts observed by a scholar well versed in these languages and with access to many examples that were often well provenanced.
I agree that it would be a good idea to put together as much of this period material as possible to discover how much of the information corroborates.

While it seems the kard has existed at least in the early 17th century, probably even earlier as it is such a primary form of edged weapon, I am wondering about how early the mail piercing karud and subsequently the pesh kabz may have developed (are there any miniature or other iconographic references that might be chronologically helpful?).I think it would be interesting to discover more on the chain mail and armour worn in these regions that brought the demand for more specialized armour piercing weapons. It is known that Tatar and Russian edged weapons featured such armor piercing blades in the 17th century, possibly these might have had influence?

It would seem that so far we all have a pretty good idea of basic nomenclature and differences of this group of edged weapons and to learn more on thier development may also help us better identify them.

All the best,
Jim
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Old 22nd July 2005, 02:19 AM   #18
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hi jim,
i have always had the (bad) habit of reading the bibliography first, before opening the first page of a new book. maybe i like to see how learned the author is before tackling what he has to say.
or maybe i just cant handle the suspence and like reading the last pages first (only to find it was the butler that did it again!)

irvings bibliographys are without a doubt the most impressive. its a strange day and age we live in when we take so much for granted (the power of google). learning then needed to be so much more thorough. in the book i mentioned, he lists 114 books he has refered to, 56 of which are persian manuscripts.
i'm not knocking tirris book, but his bibliography reflected the academic merit of his text.
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Old 22nd July 2005, 04:22 PM   #19
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‘Hindu Arms and Ritual’ is down from the book shelf, so why not see what Elgood says about a Peshkabz?

Peshkabz (Persian) Persian dagger also used in northern India with a single-edge tapering blade, sometimes with a recurves. The hilt is often walrus ivory or semi-precious stone. There is no guard. The word appears in Lord Clive’s Accounts. See Hobson-Jobson. Egerton. Moser etc. Allan argues that in a Persian context a peshkabz has a double curved blade. (Allan, James W.: Persian Metal Technology 700-1300 AD. London, 1979.


Brian, I like what you write, that you start reading the bibliography first - to be warned beforehand as you say.


Jim, your many years of collecting books and writing note shows in yout mails.


Jens
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