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Old 3rd July 2021, 12:27 PM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 55
Default Fast as a snake

Thanks Jim,
In fact this saber is extremely light in the hand and I feel dances, reminiscent of a snake. The wider bladed Kilij type silvery saber, also in the group picture, is much more too heavy and seems to be suited perhaps for cavalry slashes.

Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
This is of course a Persian Qajar (revival piece as such arms & armor in this category are termed) version of early traditional swords. The term 'shamshir' is a Persian collective term for sabers which is typically associated with the curved blades with sharp point and most often of wootz.

Regarding the serpent, in Persian symbology, these typically represent 'Zahnak' which although an evil creature, but the salient factor here seems to be that it was said to be able to strike more quickly than the blink of an eye.
These serpents are seen in many Persian edged weapon blade motif, and there are some which have two heads.

Interestingly, these serpents are even seen on some 'kaskara' broadswords in Sudan, reflecting the profound influence of Persian weapons through of course religious beliefs there.

The note of 'nagan' (=snake) blades is indeed well known not only in India in Hindu and other religious symbolism, but characterized on many 'wavy' style blades such as in the keris and others.
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