Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Pesh-kabz but from where/when?! (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=26728)

mariusgmioc 16th February 2021 06:05 PM

Pesh-kabz but from where/when?!
 
4 Attachment(s)
I have some ideas but I would appreciate your input! :)

mahratt 16th February 2021 06:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
I have some ideas but I would appreciate your input! :)

Congratulations, Marius!
Great pesh-kabz! I think this is India. Second half of the 19th century. This is a very good example!

Battara 16th February 2021 07:23 PM

I totally agree with Mahratt. Mughal India. Very nice too!

mariusgmioc 17th February 2021 06:37 AM

Mughal India, yes.

However, from all I know by 19th century the production of quality wootz pretty much stopped in India, and this blade displays a very nice Kara Taban pattern.

So my guess is that it is from around 1800. :shrug:

Drabant1701 17th February 2021 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Mughal India, yes.

However, from all I know by 19th century the production of quality wootz pretty much stopped in India, and this blade displays a very nice Kara Taban pattern.

So my guess is that it is from around 1800. :shrug:

That is indeed a very nice dagger. Regarding age, the scabbard looks second half of the 19th century to me :shrug:
As for the wootz very nice for sure. Bur as far as I can tell from books even nicer wootz was made in india up to the late 19th century. In Elgood´s Rajput arms and armour there are several blades of very high quality wootz that he dates to the second half of the 19th century, even late 19th century.

mariusgmioc 17th February 2021 10:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Drabant1701
That is indeed a very nice dagger. Regarding age, the scabbard looks second half of the 19th century to me :shrug:
As for the wootz very nice for sure. Bur as far as I can tell from books even nicer wootz was made in india up to the late 19th century. In Elgood´s Rajput arms and armour there are several blades of very high quality wootz that he dates to the second half of the 19th century, even late 19th century.

I believe that these high quality wootz blades were re-mounted in the late 19th century.

Does anyone have precise information when wootz stopped being produced in India?!

mahratt 18th February 2021 05:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
I believe that these high quality wootz blades were re-mounted in the late 19th century.

Does anyone have precise information when wootz stopped being produced in India?!

Marius, I was specifically looking for information about this.
It is important to separate two issues.
1) there was a mass production of damask steel in India. It stopped in the middle of the 19th century
2) in separate principalities of India for maharajas and their entourage, arms and armor of wootz steel undoubtedly continued to be made until the end of the 19th century. It was impossible for such a short time to lose the skill of working with wootz steel. Perhaps, they stopped making wootz steel itself (as a material). But in the arsenals there were enough blanks (wootz ingots) from which it was possible to forge blades.

ariel 1st March 2021 10:01 AM

Hi Marius,
Very, very nice!
I agree with you: my first choice would be a remounted older blade; the second a totally old one protected from the elements in some european collection.

mariusgmioc 1st March 2021 10:23 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by ariel
Hi Marius,
I agree with you: my first choice would be a remounted older blade;

Yep. This is also my first choice.

With the observation that the old blade could have been remounted somewhere in the 20th century as well.

While I somehow agree with Mahratt that the wootz production didn't stop overnight, and there were old wootz ingots as well as older blades available, from all I know, the loss of wootz technology appears to have been a rather swift process, that spread over no more than a few decades. And this appears to have happened at the end of 18th century and the very beginning of 19th century.

And even if older wootz ingots and blades were available throughout 19th century, it was the technology of turning the wootz ingots into the final blade product that it was equally lost. That's why centuries old attempts to reforge older wootz blades have failed miserably, until the technology was PARTLY rediscovered by Anosov, Verhoeven and Pendray.
It should be noted that at the time Anosov, who is credited to be the first metalurgist to scientifically attempt to rediscover the technology, published his research on wootz steel in 1841, the technology was assumed lost since several decades.

However, the existance of an abundance of old wootz blades in Indian arsenals, could perfectly explain the presence of 19th century weapons with old, watery wootz blades as the technology of reshaping (through cold working processes), re-polishing and re-etching a blade remained unchanged. See below for example the photos of another Indian pesh-kabz (in almost mint condition) with what I believe to be a re-mounted blade.

Last but not least, I have seen and also owned Persian and Indian wootz blades quite certainly made in the first half of 19th century and they displayed the crystalline type of pattern, not the classic watery type. A very good example for this type of wootz would be the Persian khanjar illustrated in the thread at the link below.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ighlight=motif


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