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Old 8th August 2021, 11:18 AM   #1
AHorsa
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Default Caucasian? dagger

Hi there,

does anyone have an idea on this dagger? I once found a similar one on the internet which I think was attributed to Dagestan, but sadly I didn´t save the page and can´t find it anymore.
The grip is made from horn. It has some (islamic?) inlay on the blade. Overall length incl. scabbard is 41cm; excl. scabbard 38cm; blade 24cm.

Any comments highly appreciated!

Kind regards
Andreas
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Last edited by AHorsa; 8th August 2021 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 9th August 2021, 11:12 AM   #2
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Seems to be rare
Can anyone identify the letters? Doesn´t look arabic to me

Kind regards
Andreas
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Old 9th August 2021, 12:05 PM   #3
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They are Arabic and there is a date:

١٢١٣ = 1213 Hijri year = 1798-1799 Gregorian.

However, I believe the date is spurious as the blade looks much more recent.
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Old 9th August 2021, 01:50 PM   #4
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Great! Thank you!

I am not sure about the age. But the blade was definitely cleaned.
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Old 9th August 2021, 02:45 PM   #5
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It says

Muhammad Ja'far 1213 (1798-9 AD)
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Old 9th August 2021, 04:21 PM   #6
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Great thank you! Would this be the name of the original owner, if one assume that the inscription is right?
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Old 9th August 2021, 05:40 PM   #7
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Pleasure! Yes, I think is is the owner's name
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Old 10th August 2021, 11:22 PM   #8
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It is a Khandjar , Persian or North Indian. Velvet covering of the scabbard makes me put North India first. I have never seen any Caucasia weapon bearing a name Muhammad Ja’far, it just did not belong there.The broken handle is likely original. Most Khandjars in the museum collections have walrus, ivory or silver handles. But museums tend to exhibit weapons of rich and famous, a minority of the general population; those who were not very rich were very happy with a dagger with good blade and modest handle.
There was an article in a Russian journal , claiming that the presence of a non-walrus handle or even a walrus one but with the granulated layer adjacent to the tang of a shamshir is a sure sign of replacement. I would disagree with that statement. IMHO, it is just a sign of limited means or personal taste.

I have no objective reason to believe that the date is spurious.
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Old 11th August 2021, 01:18 PM   #9
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Great Ariel! Thanks a lot for bringing light into the darkness of its geographical background!
Do you think the scabbard (or its covering) is the original one or has it been replaced during the time?

Kind regards
Andreas
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Old 11th August 2021, 05:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel View Post
It is a Khandjar , Persian or North Indian.

I have no objective reason to believe that the date is spurious.
I agree with Ariel about Iran, or Indo Persian, but the cooper /gold inlay of the inscription and the scabbard tip are similar to Iranian khanjar from 1900.
So for me, the inscription is ??? spurious...
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Old 11th August 2021, 06:06 PM   #11
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No offense, but
Muhammad Ja'far was doing top notch objects

https://collections.vam.ac.uk/search...%2c%20Muhammad

So for me it is more a revival of a classic, like a Chanel bag made in China.

More seriously it is a very good counterexample of the dha that I posted, inscriptions can say a lot but they need to be tested in context.

I probably lost half of the forum members on that one



I forgot, you have a very nice dagger!
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Old 11th August 2021, 07:22 PM   #12
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Muhammad Ja’far is a very common name in many places and there is no indication this is meant to be the maker rather than the owner
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Old 11th August 2021, 07:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwiatek View Post
Muhammad Ja’far is a very common name in many places and there is no indication this is meant to be the maker rather than the owner
It's true.
My main problem is the date, it doesn't match the style and quality of the object.
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Old 13th August 2021, 12:24 AM   #14
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As noticed by Kwiatek, there certainly were more than one Muhammed Jafars between Iran and Bengal and between 1798 and 1898.

I do not think we can be certain that the scabbard is original or not but it looks very fitting and taking into account that scabbards and organic handles were the most perishable components of any bladed weapon and were changed from time to time, this one is IMHO either original or replaced during the working life of the dagger. Doesn’t look new or even recent to me.

This is not a masterpiece dagger for the Victoria & Albert Museum, but a solid working dagger dating IMHO to the 19 century and witnessing quite a lot of real action.
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Old 13th August 2021, 09:16 PM   #15
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Thank you all for your opinions, all the information and the interesting discussion!

Kind regards
Andreas
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