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TVV 29th March 2020 02:44 AM

Pesh Kabz - Afghanistan or Bukhara
3 Attachment(s)
Here we have a pretty standard pesh kabz with a wootz blade. I believe one of the hilt scales is rhino horn (pictured), while the other one is a replacement with some other brown horn. The rivets are covered by mother of pearl insets on the rhino horn scale. I personally do not know enough about these to be able to determine where they are from - Afghanistan or Bukhara?

Thank you,

ariel 29th March 2020 05:38 AM

The problem is really how do we view the examples coming from that part of the world: ethnicity or geography? The entire Northern Afghanistan was chock full by the native Central Asian tribes. Mazar-I- Sharif was and still is a predominantly Tajik. Cross the Pyanjj river, and you are in a different country. Both sides did it with abandon. Kind of like Rio Grande.

Flindt’s approach postulated that “ Bukharan” handles had 5 large rivets (2x1x2). BTW the rivets in question were not large: they were pretty standard thin ones, only they were surrounded by superficial rivets or just masked by disks.

We cannot attribute such handles specifically to Bukhara either: there were several other large khanates, - Khiva, Samarkand, Kokand,- that must have had their own decorative traditions.

On top of that , Central Asia was mainly populated by two large and often antagonistic ethnoses, Uzbeks and Tajiks, the former of Turkish , the latter of Persian cultural realm. One thing: because of that Uzbeks carried Pchaks ( compare with Turkish Bichaq) and the Iranian- related Tajks carried Pesh Kabz or a variant of Pchak they called Kord ( local pronunciation of Kard). Artzi Yarom noted that C.Asian rhino handles were cut radially. Was it made by a native master within one of the Central Asian khanates or by an ethnic Tajik within the geographical borders of Afghanistan cannot be stated with absolute certainty.

Perhaps, I might be on the strongest available grounds to call it just Tajik ( most likely) Pesh Kabz.

Kubur 29th March 2020 07:58 AM

Very nice piece and you are right it's rhino.
What about the blade's back edge? It's an important part.
I think you forgot Iran, it's another option for your dagger,
We have a specialist Mahrat, i'm sure he will give you all the answers requested.

kronckew 29th March 2020 10:16 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Don't forget the borders at the time these were made were not the same as now, and were a lot more tribal.

1805 -1856
1880 - 1909

mahratt 29th March 2020 11:14 AM

Hi, Teodor.

The handle from the rhino horn was more common in Central Asia than in Afghanistan (although, of course, there were exceptions). The size of the rivets does not mean anything. Large rivets were placed in Central Asia on wooden handles. Small rivets were placed on the hilt of bone and horn. This can be easily seen if you look at a sufficient number edged weapons handles from Central Asia.
Ariel is certainly right when he says that in the 19th century there were no borders in the modern sense. And this makes it difficult to localize weapons from this region.
But it is very important to understand the political structure and national characteristics of the population of Afghanistan and the states of Central Asia in order to understand this issue. In Afghanistan, all men had weapons, both swords and firearms. At the same time, in Bukhara, Khiva and Kokand, the ordinary population did not have the right to carry weapons. The weapon was only in the hands of the army. In case of war, weapons were stored in arsenals. This situation helped the feudal lords of Central Asia to keep the local population in obedience, despite the terribly unfair taxes. The ordinary population could wear household knives “picok” , which they used, for example, during meals.
A knife like yours Theodore could be carried by a fairly wealthy person, because the rhino horn was not cheap material and 100 le ago. It is not possible to say for certain that the owner of the knife is Tajik, Uzbek or a representative of some other nationality. But with a high degree of probability we can say that this was a fairly wealthy resident of one of the khanates of Central Asia.

Jens Nordlunde 29th March 2020 04:44 PM

Perhaps this link can help :-).

TVV 29th March 2020 06:19 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Thank you for your answers and comments. Per Kubur's request, here is a picture of the spine.


ariel 29th March 2020 08:09 PM

This peshkabz might be quite old: one scale replaced, the rhino one has repairs ( multiple rivets). I ‘d not be surprised if it dated to 18th century.
I was intrigued by the earlier statement about the size of the rivets because of Flindt’s statement. I have handled quite a few supposedly Central Asian peshkabzes with simple wooden handles and seemingly large rivets about 6-8 mm in diameter. All of them in fact had regular size rivets with washers around them or just sat in the middle of larger shallow indentations of that size covered with some materiel ( most often mother-of -pearl). We can see it on your pesh’s handle on one of the lower rivets with a missing cover. The idea of 6-8 mm rivets doesn’t make sense to me: it would require 6-8 mm holes in the tang, side by side in the upper and lower rows, significantly weakening it.

I might be wrong but would love to see examples with solid rivets of that size.

ariel 29th March 2020 08:35 PM

I went through the links to our 2005 discussions

Gosh, how much have we learned since....

kronckew 29th March 2020 10:46 PM

Is that a forging fold line on the spine?

ariel 29th March 2020 11:03 PM

Doesn't look like it: seems like just a carved channel.

TVV 30th March 2020 06:45 AM

I can confirm that the spine has an intentionally carved channel.

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