Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
I had to go back and forth to figure out which one is which:-((
Do both of them have chamfered edges? Those were often seen on Afghani pesh kabzes , including Mahsud ch’huras. Blades of that nature were produced en masse and hilted and rehilted repeatedly with whatever handle happened to be available for irrespective of their age and origin.
Just looking at the pics, I am not sure whether wootz on the smaller one is modern. Wootz patterns varied enormously and while a classy Kara-taban is highly likely to be old and Persian, the indistinct and undistinguished ones could have been made any time and anywhere. Attaching a handle is the easiest part.
Single piece rock crystal handles had an unsolvable problem: they were designed for beauty, but strong, large, crudely patinated tangs ruined the image. They had to make their tangs short and skinny ( mouse tail), with all the mechanical problems of Indonesian Kris, only worse. I fully agree with Marius: those were status symbols devoid of any practical value short of spearing a strawberry.
I would be very cautious relying on al Sabah book: they apparently had an agenda to date and attribute their collection items according to the wishes of the owner.