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Old 7th July 2021, 05:55 PM   #1
Interested Party
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Default Quadarra or Dashna

I had been saving this piece till I had a chance to do a test etch for answers on its construction, but with Ariel bringing up quaddaras today http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=27100 I thought this would be a good timed to show this piece and hopefully the two threads would feed off each other and fuel a discussion of Transcaucasian short, single edged weapons.

It appears to be a cut down saber in what I would say to be Persian/Caucasian style. The blade has had several forms in its life. There is an obvious scarf joint beginning where the edge ends and the tang begins. Three stress cracks on the spine. The area near the edge across from the cracks has a wavy feel as if it was flattened during repair. The spine curves to left over the length of the blade. The tang and the handle fit very nicely with an onion shaped pommel. Brass and white metal decorate the front of the handle. The back has washers made from what I believe to be 19th century Persian coins. The front of the blade has amazingly poor koftgari in imitation of Tiflis style, attempting duckheads and a vessel. There is a narrow, and a longer, wider fuller present. Both are well made and extend to the end of the blade. It is light and nimble in the hand. A slicer and thruster. Not a chopper. The external fittings of the sheath are brass formerly blackened. The internal fittings (throat and chafe) are iron holding wood, all covered by black decrepit leather sewn with thread.

Blade lenght;38.4 cm
Overall length of knife; 52.5 cm
Blade width; 3.8cm at base, 4.0 above the damaged area.


1) My first question is what would you call it? I do not believe it to be Khevsurian therefore I would rule out dashna, plus it is a bit small and it carries cocked towards the right hand not upright. Is it a quadarra, a kindjal, or a knife?

2) Was the blade shortened due to impact or a flaw in heat treatment? This is almost impossible to answer, as the cracks and waves in the blade can come from either, but in my experience the blade's edge stress-cracks more than the spine in quenching accidents making the damage more likely impact related. Was the blade reprofiled extensively when it was remounted? Anyone have ideas on what was it originally?

3) Tourist piece or functional weapon? Did it begin life as a functional piece? Was it remade to be a functional weapon? The fit of the handle to me argues towards functional but the scarf joint so close to the tang/handle meeting is a questionable choice.

Thanks in advance for any feedback or discussion.
I.P.
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Old 7th July 2021, 05:57 PM   #2
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Old 7th July 2021, 08:21 PM   #3
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I consider it a qaddara all the way. And definitely not tourist.

And as you observe, the blade is most likely a repurposed saber blade.

Where and when?

Maybe you can find out by identifying the coins holding the rivets of the hilt.
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Old 8th July 2021, 06:02 AM   #4
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Qaddara is an original product. Dashna is a repurposed blade. This is not Khevsurian for sure; if it was repurposed, it would likely be from Kakheti ( Eastern Georgia) and a local name for those is Sabarkali.
Separating Dashna ( Sabarkali) and Qaddara is a tricky business: superficially they are identical. The only difference is “ repurposed” vs “ original”, and the only way to figure it out is to check whether the most central fuller can be traced deep into the handle.

If the coins are Persian, this may (!) indicate its Persian origin. But these coins were dime a dozen on Georgian kindjals.

Since the blade ( or the remnant ) is Georgian, and if you find evidence of fuller (s) deep in the handle space, that would IMHO be a good enough evidence of the dagger is a true Sabarkali ( or, if you prefer, a Kakheti Dashna).


My 2 cents....
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Old 8th July 2021, 06:11 AM   #5
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Gorgeous!

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Originally Posted by Interested Party View Post
I had been saving this piece till I had a chance to do a test etch for answers on its construction, but with Ariel bringing up quaddaras today http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=27100 I thought this would be a good timed to show this piece and hopefully the two threads would feed off each other and fuel a discussion of Transcaucasian short, single edged weapons.

It appears to be a cut down saber in what I would say to be Persian/Caucasian style. The blade has had several forms in its life. There is an obvious scarf joint beginning where the edge ends and the tang begins. Three stress cracks on the spine. The area near the edge across from the cracks has a wavy feel as if it was flattened during repair. The spine curves to left over the length of the blade. The tang and the handle fit very nicely with an onion shaped pommel. Brass and white metal decorate the front of the handle. The back has washers made from what I believe to be 19th century Persian coins. The front of the blade has amazingly poor koftgari in imitation of Tiflis style, attempting duckheads and a vessel. There is a narrow, and a longer, wider fuller present. Both are well made and extend to the end of the blade. It is light and nimble in the hand. A slicer and thruster. Not a chopper. The external fittings of the sheath are brass formerly blackened. The internal fittings (throat and chafe) are iron holding wood, all covered by black decrepit leather sewn with thread.

Blade lenght;38.4 cm
Overall length of knife; 52.5 cm
Blade width; 3.8cm at base, 4.0 above the damaged area.


1) My first question is what would you call it? I do not believe it to be Khevsurian therefore I would rule out dashna, plus it is a bit small and it carries cocked towards the right hand not upright. Is it a quadarra, a kindjal, or a knife?

2) Was the blade shortened due to impact or a flaw in heat treatment? This is almost impossible to answer, as the cracks and waves in the blade can come from either, but in my experience the blade's edge stress-cracks more than the spine in quenching accidents making the damage more likely impact related. Was the blade reprofiled extensively when it was remounted? Anyone have ideas on what was it originally?

3) Tourist piece or functional weapon? Did it begin life as a functional piece? Was it remade to be a functional weapon? The fit of the handle to me argues towards functional but the scarf joint so close to the tang/handle meeting is a questionable choice.

Thanks in advance for any feedback or discussion.
I.P.
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Old 8th July 2021, 04:31 PM   #6
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If you consider the hilt as the last stage / last owner; and if the hilt is Persian as I think, then it is a qadarra.

Despite the very nice and complicated story: sword blade, reused and decorated in Caucasus...Then rehilted in Persia.
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Old 9th July 2021, 04:12 PM   #7
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If you consider the hilt as the last stage / last owner; and if the hilt is Persian as I think, then it is a qadarra.

Despite the very nice and complicated story: sword blade, reused and decorated in Caucasus...Then rehilted in Persia.
I think the koftgari is maybe the final addition to this piece. That is why I called it "Tiflis style". The gold work is very thin. Plus it seems an odd place to decorate a sword, but not unusual for a dagger. I think this dagger was the forte of the original (and judging from the spine, fairly straight) saber. It could have been broke by concussive force taken on the edge of the blade, pretty much in the sweet spot for striking or just below. All this is conjecture. Or Kubur were you saying that you believe that this piece was remade in the Caucasus and then re-hilted again in the Persian sphere of influence for a third incarnation?

Thanks Marius, Ariel, and Kubur for opinions on what is the proper name for this dagger are very much appreciated.

Ariel 1) is "sabarkali" a Persian, Georgian, or Transcaucasian word? 2) "Kakheti Dashna" what does kakheti mean?
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Old 9th July 2021, 07:34 PM   #8
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what does kakheti mean?
It is a region in georgia with and the main georgian group there is kakhetians
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Old 11th July 2021, 11:23 PM   #9
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the blade is original. not a sabre blade..
it is a typical Persian qama. as to rude decoration.. all things caucacus were the rage in iran for quite some time and iran has a large population of caucascan peoples that inhabit most of the country... georgians.. circassians. ect ect. in some regions they still form notable populations today.

the scarf welding in the tang indicates some age as its unlikely post ww2 this would be bothered with due to the sharp decreace in the cost of steel. pre WW2 persians already were importing penknife blades and blanks from sheffield and english made steel strips and bars were sold in every village so scarf welding was probably on the way out by then already.

cracks on the edge can be from a bad quench.. can be from poor tempering and somebody hitting the blades flat with something hard ... could have been present at the time of making due to poor forging.. to cold normally... or ffom inclusionsin native made steel.. . and became visable after the blade was flexed.


on any account its a very typical qama from iran than can be even purchased.. exactly the same.. today for smallish amount from any knife makers shop or knife seller.. there is hundreds of small workshops making these and also pocketknives.

the handles are normally buffalo horn but also now orange.. yellow, brown and cream coloured synthetic materials.. delrin and phenolic are also popular..

these have been popular pilgrimage souvenirs in iran atleast for 250 years and people buy them as gifts... unlike the weapons in the caucasus that only began to be tourist baubles after ww2 weapon laws were passed in the ussr. ive seen quite afew poorly decorated 19th century ones from iran with functional blades.. in iran today even the worst qama will have nice fullering though.
zanjan is a major e centre of production of these. see example below
https://zanjanhome.ir/%D8%AA%D9%88%D...C%D8%A7%D9%86/
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Old 11th July 2021, 11:32 PM   #10
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the synthetic handles i mentioned
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