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Old 6th August 2015, 09:59 PM   #1
Kubur
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Default Pala made in Bosnia and/or Bulgaria

Dear All,

Do you have any example of pala made in Bosnia or Bulgaria?
And if you have some examples, could you kindly post them?

Thanks
Kubur
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Old 7th August 2015, 01:12 AM   #2
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Kubur,

You pose an interesting and very difficult question. I do not know enough about Bosnia, but here is my best attempt at an answer regarding Bulgaria.

As much as it has been written on the production of firearms in Bulgaria, in centers such as Sliven, there is little to nothing ever published on the production of edged weapons in Bulgaria. This is most likely due to lack of research, as Gabrovo, among other towns, is mentioned as a bladesmithing center. Also, since gunsmiths thrived, one has to assume that bladesmiths should have had equally good conditions to practice their craft: the raw materials, technology and economic infrastructure were in place in the Ottoman Empire.

I assume that if one searches the esnaf (guild) records of the Ottoman Empire for the lands predominantly inhabited by Bulgarians (say, corresponding to the Bulgarian Ekzarchy as established in 1870 within the Empire), there will be lists of bladesmiths, some of them specializing in swords. Elgood in his book only examines Western Balkan centers, so he includes towns like Tetovo, Debar Skopie, etc., but provides little on the Bulgarian arms manufacturing centers outside of Macedonia.

That being said, finding a pala example that can be attributed to Bulgaria 100% may be difficult or impossible. Unlike with yataghans, I am personally not aware of any features that can distinguish palas based on their place of production. There is a pala in the Bulgarian National Military Museum in Sofia with a Cyrillic inscription in Bulgarian, but it proves nothing, as it was probably captured from an Ottoman soldier or officer as a trophy and the inscription added later.

To find a pala with a maker's inscription which lists his name AND a his hometown, situated in what is nowadays Bulgaria, will be hard, and even if you do, I doubt it would look any different than a pala made and mounted in any other part of the Empire.

Regards,
Teodor
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Old 7th August 2015, 10:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Dear All,

Do you have any example of pala made in Bosnia or Bulgaria?
And if you have some examples, could you kindly post them?

Thanks
Kubur

This Pala is made in Bosnia!
Kurt

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...highlight=Pala
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Old 7th August 2015, 04:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVV
Kubur,
To find a pala with a maker's inscription which lists his name AND a his hometown, situated in what is nowadays Bulgaria, will be hard, and even if you do, I doubt it would look any different than a pala made and mounted in any other part of the Empire.
Regards,
Teodor
Dear Teodor,

I thank you for your detailed and informative answer.
I wasn't thinking at an inscription.
I was thinking at the style of the hilt, the decorations on the scabbard...
Let's say, different criteria that would let us think that a pala can be produced or at least mounted in Bulgaria. Because, of course, the blade could come from another part of the Ottoman empire...

Best,
Kubur
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Old 7th August 2015, 04:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt
Dear Kurt,

Your Pala is a pure beauty.
With such inscription on the provenance and origin, it's just a wonder.
BUT what the inscription says? And please, tell me if I'm wrong.
The inscription says that the pala was made for an Ottoman governor, a wali, in Bosnia. But it is not written that the pala was made in Bosnia. Your pala looks like the Ottoman Turkish pala. IMHO

Best,
Kubur
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Old 7th August 2015, 08:41 PM   #6
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Hello Kubur.

I think the sword pala became known in the balkans in the late 18th century and which was known balkan swords Kilij thin and Slim blade (photo).The pala sword come in the balkans, as blades and that the balkans had this great production yatagans and knives,balkan had large centers decorate these weapons to other markets in empire .I think some differences with turkish swords there but not sure at all the same because the artificial joint text had on the market throughout the north and east empire.The balkans had differences in handle and suspension points, in others we see religious symbols yet the scripture and not in Ottoman blade.

Stelios
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Old 8th August 2015, 12:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Dear Kurt,

Your Pala is a pure beauty.
With such inscription on the provenance and origin, it's just a wonder.
BUT what the inscription says? And please, tell me if I'm wrong.
The inscription says that the pala was made for an Ottoman governor, a wali, in Bosnia. But it is not written that the pala was made in Bosnia. Your pala looks like the Ottoman Turkish pala. IMHO

Best,
Kubur
I suspect this Pala is made by a local blacksmith.
His name is "Osman ibn al hac Mohammed "
Also, the blade is not wootz, but like the most Balkan Yatagan made from torrisons Damask.Also the inscriptions similar those of Yataganen.
Kurt
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Old 6th September 2015, 10:21 AM   #8
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Hi Guys,

Now you will understand my question...as I received my Pala.
I was looking for a pala for a long time.
This is not the best one and far bellow Kurt or Dominique examples.
No beautifull and fancy inscriptions on the blade but at least it's an original piece. This one has a very strange grip lile the Ottoman knifes from Bulgaria or Bosnia. I looked for other examples like this, but I couldn't find any...
I will be grateful to any member who can provide me any similar example...

Best,
Kubur
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Old 6th September 2015, 02:27 PM   #9
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Your pala grip has that Bosnian look to it, first one like it that I have seen. Is the grip walrus ivory or something else?
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Old 6th September 2015, 05:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Is the grip walrus ivory or something else?
Look is like walrus ivory IMHO.
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Old 6th September 2015, 07:01 PM   #11
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Hi
Yes it's walrus ivory and absolutely the look is very Bosnian, despite the fact that I have seen some Bulgarian knifes with the same design. It's more likely Bosnian because if the small "nails" on the joint of the grip...
Kubur
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Old 7th September 2015, 07:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi
Yes it's walrus ivory and absolutely the look is very Bosnian, despite the fact that I have seen some Bulgarian knifes with the same design. It's more likely Bosnian because if the small "nails" on the joint of the grip...
Kubur
Kuber, from the looks of it you have a Balkan pala, I can not remember seeing another one like it. It makes sense that the grip would be the distinguishing part.
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Old 7th September 2015, 07:55 PM   #13
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I have never again seen in Pala such a handle. Although the Balkans knives were with this decoration in the late 19th century. The colors in the decoration are close to what they have knives from Bulgaria in my opinion .
Stelios
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Old 7th September 2015, 10:08 PM   #14
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Hi Both,

I'm like you very confused.
For sure Balkans, in between Bosnia and Bulgaria.
Maybe Macedonia? It's in the middle...

Another funny stuff is the big crack on on the both side of the grips.
The grips are fixed with the same little nails that you can see on the joint.
To my opinion, the grip was broken before the craftman fixed it and he had to put more nails to maintain the different parts.
It reinforces the idea that the grip was done by a knife specialist more than a guy used to do grips for swords...
Is it make sense for you?

Best,
Kubur
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