Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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rickystl 15th August 2021 07:04 PM

Ottoman Suma Rod
6 Attachment(s)
On the heels of Norman's recent Thread, here is a new addition to the family.

This is a two-piece, pistol loading rod used while on horseback. It's similar to others you see with one exception: Instead of the handle section being allowed to unscrew exposing a twizzer type tool, this one is spring-loaded having a hidden, 4-sided push dagger as a last resort type of weapon. Very cool.
The scabbard portion (if you want to call it) has moderate engraving. The handle/grip portion is niello silver with an old patina, and lots of very fine engraving which would have taken a long time to accomplish. You can see the flat spring used to keep the dagger portion secure in the shaft. Likely Ottoman.
Another neat dual-use item. Any comments welcome. And thanks for looking.


rickystl 15th August 2021 07:05 PM

2 Attachment(s)

Norman McCormick 15th August 2021 07:28 PM

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Hi Rick,
Very neat piece, I was unaware that a blade was sometimes concealed in these. I have attached two photos of some I found the 'plainer' of the two is tagged as Greek the other Ottoman. The one tagged as Ottoman looks thin enough to be a vent pricker rather than an offensive blade in fact the 'hilt' doesn't look to be in any way suitable for a stabbing weapon. Maybe dual purpose?
My Regards,

vasilisnik 15th August 2021 07:31 PM

Very nice find.
It is of greek origin.
We call it "χαρμπί"
The niello face on it has apotropaic meaning.
It is there to protect the man who carries it against evil powers.
There are stories and folk songs that indicate the use of these as weapons apart from the use as loading rods.

Kubur 16th August 2021 08:36 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Hi Rick,

Nice catch for your firearms collection!
I confirm Greek it is!
They are very addictive be carefull!
I have two of these, one Bosnian and another Greek, from Epirus.

All the best,

rickystl 16th August 2021 05:06 PM

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Thanks for noting the Greek province. Much appreciated.

While we are on the subject of suma rods, here is the only other I own. I bought this from Artzi several years ago. He believed it is an earlier example, probably Ottoman. There is no hole in the grip area for a suspension loop. There is just a narrow section at the top of the grip to tie a throng unto. Otherwise just carried in the sash.


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