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francantolin 15th April 2021 07:05 PM

yatagan hilt and scabbard, opinion welcomed
3 Attachment(s)
Hello dear members and glad to see you, hear you again !

I wanted to show you this yatagan,

the blade seems really nice, authentic and old but
the velvet cover is recent I think
and I doubt about the hilt ears of the hilt who seems made of wood and the scabbard mounts maybe made of just low grade silver.

An old blade on a recent ( and cheap ) assembly ?

francantolin 15th April 2021 07:09 PM

4 Attachment(s)
scabbard is really longer than the blade...

Gonzoadler 15th April 2021 08:13 PM


the mountings of the scabbard looking old to me and the decoration on the back of the hilt, too.
The velvet is new, I agree.
With your pictures I can't say if the the handle shells are new,
could be.
Nevertheless a nice Yatagan.


ariel 16th April 2021 07:46 AM

Based exclusively on the pics I think you worry too much: low grade silver is common on Turkish and Balkan yataghans. The velvet is likely to be new or a later replacement. Wooden cheeks are most likely replacements during the active life of this yataghan. Originally, I guess, they were either horn or walrus ivory, but these materials are very fragile and it is not unusual to see cracks in the middle, broken off ears etc. The wood looks worn, with kisses of time and heavily patinated.
I think this might be an old fighter. Gosh, I know quite a lot of 40-60 year old women with more pearly white full teeth implants, tightened skin and silicone-injected lips!
I might be wrong, but for changing my opinion I would have to hold it in my hands.
Look at the wooden inserts of the scabbard: they may tell you more.

David R 16th April 2021 12:53 PM

It looks perfectly righteous to me, and a damn sight better workmanship than you often see. The grips could still be horn, when it gets old and worn it has a tendency to delaminate and look like dark wood.
As for low grade silver. Ottoman "silver" coins could be as low as 22% in silver content, and they are probably the source for most so called silverwork.
Velvet cover, try and peek underneath, there might be some nice leather-work there, there was with one of mine.

francantolin 16th April 2021 09:15 PM

Thank you all for your comments !
I will try to remove the mounts and velvet and see how the wood parts looks like ,
I'll post a picture.

Kind regards !!

Kubur 16th April 2021 10:13 PM


Originally Posted by francantolin
Thank you all for your comments !
I will try to remove the mounts and velvet and see how the wood parts looks like ,
I'll post a picture.

Kind regards !!

NOOOO my friend
the mounts are excellent, original and Ottoman
don't do that
and for the velvet please send us more photos
first rule on this forum dont trust people
including myself
and this rule applies in real life too

ariel 17th April 2021 04:59 AM

Do not remove anything, just look at the wooden inserts at the opening of the scabbard. The original ones will be paper thin and darkened. Thick, solid and white would indicate contemporary replacement. The same with the velvet covering: if there is an opening, gently peek in. If not, leave it alone: coverings were replaced repeatedly during the working life .
David is 100% correct: the cheeks might be of horn, but you will see it right away.
I hate polishing and removing patina from the blade, after all, the baby earned it. My only exceptions would be suspicion of the “ turkish ribbon” ( rare) or wootz( even more so).
Very nice one!

francantolin 4th May 2021 06:25 PM

4 Attachment(s)
I finally received it !
A long way from home but hopefully it's okay !

I'll post some pictures:

first the blade inscriptions and the back of the blade ,
I can read a date but maybe I'm wrong: 1143 hegiria lower left in the cartouche

Glad if someone can translate a little ( maybe a verse-sourate on the other side)

francantolin 4th May 2021 06:37 PM

6 Attachment(s)
A picture of the scabbard wooden inserts,
seems old,
the chape must be silver or silver alloy,
I clean it a little, I found
two interesting small stamps,
Sherlock investigations ;)

Maybe it helps to fix the origin ( Turkish or Balkans for me but it's a large area... ) ?

francantolin 4th May 2021 08:20 PM

3 Attachment(s)
And the hilt,
not wood ( thank you , you were right !!)
but made of horn ,
and maybe gilted parts ? ( really nice carved-chiselled )

they are bright-shiny without cleaning
( but maybe the were cleaned not long time ago ;) )

Kind regards

mariusgmioc 4th May 2021 08:27 PM

Judging from the photos, it is an excellent 19th century Ottoman Yataghan. And my guess (based on the style of decoration) is that's from the Balkans. But this is just a guess.

To me, all parts appear to be original except the velvet which is a later replacement.

Definitely original scabbard.

Yes, fittings are gilt silver.

What is interesting with Ottoman silver alloys is that they tend to be much more resistant to oxidation than silver. High grade silver alloys oxidize and turn black in a few months but Ottoman silver alloys will keep their shine much longer, for years. Occasionally they may develop a faint yellowish patina from the copper/brass in their composition.

I suggest you take better photos of the koftgari and ask Kwiatek to help you with the translation of the text.

Gonzoadler 4th May 2021 08:53 PM

With the new photos I would say even the velvet is old.
It has a decorative stitching which is hard to craft and convincingly signs of wear.
The bright colour is no knock-out-criterion.
With the old photos I had'nt believed that.
Very nice piece, dont change anything:)
And if you don't like it, I do.;)


francantolin 5th May 2021 06:41 AM

Thank you Marius and Robin for your comments !

Good idea for the make a post just for the translation,
I'll try to make good pics, not always easy with my camera ,

kwiatek 5th May 2021 01:51 PM

An owner's inscription:

sahib mehmed ağa
tawakkaltu 'ala allah 1243

"The owner Mehmed Ağa.
I put my trust in God. 1243 (1827-8)"

Verses in cartouches

On the left, Arabic verses:

يا خفي الالطاف
نجنا مما نخاف

ya khafi al-altaf
najina mimma nakhaf

On the right, Turkish verses:

Adem geldi kadem basdı cihana
Ecel geldi bıçak ucu (?) bahane

"Mankind comes and places his foot in this world,
The tip (?) of a knife can be the excuse for his departure"

The Turkish verses are a variation on an inscription that you see on tombstones, but with what looks like 'the tip of a knife' substituted by 'a headache'! The word that I've read as 'tip' is not very clearly written, it might be something else. I've never seen this inscription on a yataghan before, thanks for sharing.

francantolin 5th May 2021 02:21 PM

Thank's a lot Kwiatek !!!!!
Really interesting :)

Saracen 10th May 2021 09:19 PM

1827 is a very interesting date for the Yatagan.
Only one year has passed since the liquidation of the Janissary Ojak.
At this time, the population actively destroyed any janissary attributes, including the tombstones of the janissaries.
For the former Janissaries and the Bektashi Order (99 Orta as part of the Janissary Ojak), Albania became a refuge at that time.
I think it is allows very carefully to assume that Albania is the site of the appearance of the Yatagan with this date.

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