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Old 26th June 2022, 11:18 AM   #1
francantolin
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Default A kind of pesh kabz, opinion and translation please

Hello dear members,

I please ask tour opinion about what seems to me an indian or afghan pesh kabz with an armour piercer tip.
Seems an old model but the blade seems not as old,mauve a " tourist " item.
On the "date" side , I can read ont three numbers:
a 1 a 3 and a 9
So if it is 1390 writes , it was made on 1970...
( but where it the fourth number ??

Glad if somebody can translate the cartouche
( seems not the best craftmen work... )

Kind regards
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Old 26th June 2022, 12:35 PM   #2
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Islamic dating very often omits not the last number but the first one: millennium.
Rather than reading the date as a 139(?) it is ( IMHO) more likely to be 1139, i.e. 1726-27 Gregorian.
The general appearance does not seem to agree with late 20 century, but the 18th one is quite probable. How about a good pic of the entire thing, blade, handle, scabbard, photographed directly from above?
You may want to send a pm to Kwiatek, I bet he can read the cartouches and verify my dating.

Last edited by ariel; 26th June 2022 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 26th June 2022, 01:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francantolin View Post
Hello dear members,

I please ask tour opinion about what seems to me an indian or afghan pesh kabz with an armour piercer tip.
Seems an old model but the blade seems not as old,mauve a " tourist " item.

Kind regards
Hello.

I think your guess is correct. This is a tourist item.
As you can see for yourself, the blade is made not in Eastern traditions, but in imitation of European blades. Although, perhaps, calling this knife "tourist" is not true. Maybe it was used as a weapon in the late 20th century.
The question of inscriptions on blades is always not very simple. 1) there is never 100% certainty that the date printed on the blade corresponds to the year of manufacture (we all know about the blades of Assadullah)
2) as my acquaintances Afghans told me, the numbers that are applied to the blade or the metal elements of the handle are sometimes an ideogram denoting the name of the owner.
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Old 26th June 2022, 02:06 PM   #4
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Any reason not to show us the whole piece, francantolin ? Can we see the entire piece ?
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Old 26th June 2022, 05:17 PM   #5
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My two pennies worth - zero in arabic script is a dot, which can be overlooked or omitted. Thus AH1309 is a possibility.
Regards
Richard
PS. I can see 'amal' which indicates it is a date of manufacture.
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Old 26th June 2022, 08:36 PM   #6
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Indeed, there is a long gap between 3 and 9 and a missing 0 there is a theoretical possibility. Howevver, I cannot recall any Islamic date written with a number in the its middle omitted.
However, whether 1139 (1726 G) or 1309 ( 1891 G) , both are far, far earlier than 1970’s:-)

The armor-piercing tip also makes the end of the 20th century unlikely: the age of armour was over long before that. I see nothing sharing its appearance with any European features except for the ricasso, but “indian ricasso” might be a direct possibility.

Waiting for Kwiatek.
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Old 27th June 2022, 06:42 AM   #7
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Thinking aloud: having an "armor-piercing" point does not guarantee that the dagger was made in the days when armor was used ...
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Old 27th June 2022, 12:30 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your messages,

Mahratt, this one is your's ?
Do you think it is a "recent" 20th century model ?
The final tip is not large/strong enough ?
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Old 27th June 2022, 12:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francantolin View Post
Thank you all for your messages,

Mahratt, this one is your's ?
Do you think it is a "recent" 20th century model ?
The final tip is not large/strong enough ?
Hello, francantolin

No, this is not my dagger. But there are a lot of these items, made in the early 2000s for American soldiers who served in Afghanistan, on e-bay. The one I posted is definitely a tourist one.

Your dagger, I think, could have been used as a weapon. But from its appearance, I tend to think it's late 20th century.
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Old 8th July 2022, 09:07 AM   #10
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Hello dear members,

I finally got it ! ( I only had the seller pictures thats why I couldn't post more before)
The blade seems good and not recent work with what seems to me a large enough diamond section piercing mail tip.
Strange global shape indeed ,what I found interesting ,

For the inscriptions/engravings,
They are of better quality than I thought: deeply and finely engraved; I show them to a friend who read and makes arabic calligraphy and he couldn't translate the cartouche so maybe is it in afghan/ farsi ?

The scabbard sure, is a later ''invention''
Made of three part of what I think was a
bayonett or cutlass scabbard ( old european model ?)

So maybe all is an afghan mix ?
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Old 8th July 2022, 09:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francantolin View Post
Hello dear members,

I finally got it ! ( I only had the seller pictures thats why I couldn't post more before)
The blade seems good and not recent work with what seems to me a large enough diamond section piercing mail tip.
Strange global shape indeed ,what I found interesting ,

For the inscriptions/engravings,
They are of better quality than I thought: deeply and finely engraved; I show them to a friend who read and makes arabic calligraphy and he couldn't translate the cartouche so maybe is it in afghan/ farsi ?

The scabbard sure, is a later ''invention''
Made of three part of what I think was a
bayonett or cutlass scabbard ( old european model ?)

So maybe all is an afghan mix ?
I think you are right. This dagger is made in Afghanistan. But, it is enough to compare your item with traditional pesh-kabz daggers to see the differences. I marked them with arrows in the photo.
I think that your dagger is made in the middle of the 20th century under the influence of European models of knives and daggers.

However, I am sure that this item was not made for tourists and was used as a weapon.
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Old 8th July 2022, 02:24 PM   #12
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We can speculate until cows come home, but as long as the cartouches are not read we will remain in the dark.
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Old 8th July 2022, 07:00 PM   #13
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Unfortunately, the inscriptions of the 20th century are unlikely to tell us anything interesting about the dagger. In this case, they are secondary. First of all, we should pay attention to the external signs of the dagger.
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Old 9th July 2022, 01:17 PM   #14
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I still believe that decoding the texts will bring valuable information. Thus, I took a liberty to send a pm to Kwiatek ( no response yet) and asked some of my colleagues , native Urdu, Farsi and Pashto speakers , to lend a hand.
Will see what transpires.
Both scabbard and handle are obviously old replacements but the blade is an interesting one and francantolin’s personal assessment of it is careful and honest and deserves as good an answer as possible.
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Old 9th July 2022, 02:09 PM   #15
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For the ones who did read my post, I deleted it so please look upon my comment as not written
Looking forward to the contributions of both gents in the future, much obliged

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Old 9th July 2022, 03:00 PM   #16
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gp,
I am not ignoring them: I just expressed my general point of view. There is no need or obligation to refer to each and every previous post. Nothing personal, just different views on the practice of attribution.

Unless an item is obviously fake or “tourist”, it deserves careful consideration. Not making an effort to decipher the inscriptions ( especially with an uncertain date) prevents complete assessment of an item. Francantolin asked a legitimate question and specifically asked for translation.

I have consulted with knowledgeable people who can help, and I shall report the results. After that any person can keep his opinion, but at least we shall have full information that the new owner asked for.
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Old 13th July 2022, 05:04 PM   #17
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Hello,

Thank you Ariel for your messages,
I did some research on internet,
I found this interesting caucasian knife
Dates 1880
with an afghan damascus blade and a renforced tip.
There is a ricasso too and the horn handle looks like
mine
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Old 13th July 2022, 05:53 PM   #18
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The handle is interesting,
It has been modified later,
Maybe in central asia- caucasian and made for battle
with an indian or afghan older blade.
Maybe wootz, pictures seems ok...

Sure and would be really helpful ,
The translation of the cartouche.
For the date, I will add a dot and make 1309 🙂 .
No, I am kidding but it must be something like that !!
Not mid 20th century made ( for the blade )
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Old 13th July 2022, 06:12 PM   #19
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Very nice set, including the Caucasian " gazyrs" i.e decorated tubes with premeasured amounts of gunpowder. Although its dating is uncertain ( " circa 1880"), ithe dagger is definitely quite old, well before the 20th century. Both the reinforced tip and the " ricasso" are very prominent. Reinforced tips are seen on Persian and Indian Zirah Bouk khanjar and peshkabz blades. They are very solid and have nothing to do with the puny recent tourist items. The latter are little blobs perched on top of the long and thin distal part of the blade and likely would break off with any contact with metal mail.

And I agree with the Afghani origin of the blade: the decorative elements are " perforated", the feature adopted by the Afghanis from either Persia or S. India, (or both) sometimes in the 17-18 centuries and continued thereafter.

I still do not have any translations, but will report them as soon as I get them.
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Old 13th July 2022, 06:18 PM   #20
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Thanks for the enlarged views of the blade of your pesh-kabz. I saw them literally 5 minutes ago. I have a suspicion that it might be wootz. Can you polish and etch it?
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Old 13th July 2022, 06:50 PM   #21
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The shape of the steel hilt has originally a shamshir hilt shape

Indeed, I never saw a ''shamshir" hilt on a pesh kabz or a zirah bouk .
A remanied blade ?
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Old 13th July 2022, 07:46 PM   #22
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There are plenty of khanjars and pesh kabzes with "shamshir-like" handles. Pics attached; I got them randomly from the Internet. Plenty more were omitted:-)

And yes, the handle is a replacement. Your new pics show it clearly. This, BTW, only strenghtens the idea of a respectable age of the blade.
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Old 13th July 2022, 07:55 PM   #23
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It is always nice to have an old item made in the 19th, and even more so in the 18th century.
But unfortunately, the knife from message #17 and the knife of the topcaster are very different from each other. It's hard to find something in common between them...
It will certainly be interesting to see the blade of the knife in question after it has been polished and etch it. Let's wait.
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Old 13th July 2022, 08:05 PM   #24
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Just to clarify: nobody makes a direct comparison between a dagger from messages ##17/19 with the one presented by francantolin for discussion. It is viewed and discussed on its own.
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Old 13th July 2022, 08:43 PM   #25
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Don't these words:
Quote:
Originally Posted by francantolin View Post
There is a ricasso too and the horn handle looks like
mine
speak of comparison? Maybe I misunderstood because of my bad English? Dear forum members, correct me, please?
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Old 14th July 2022, 10:40 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt View Post
It is always nice to have an old item made in the 19th, and even more so in the 18th century.
But unfortunately, the knife from message #17 and the knife of the topcaster are very different from each other. It's hard to find something in common between them...
It will certainly be interesting to see the blade of the knife in question after it has been polished and etch it. Let's wait.
Hello, sure it's not the same and I didn't said it was caucasian made but here the similarities:

-afghan old blade with ricasso and a not often seen renforced tip on a "european look like battle knife"
-a new hilt made of two parts of brown horn
-a not origina bolster
-scabbard shape with final round tip
( sure, this one is all silver )

You just have to change the shape of the blade...

I'll do an etching but I need nital for reveal what seems to be cristalline wootz
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Old 14th July 2022, 10:53 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francantolin View Post
Hello, sure it's not the same and I didn't said it was caucasian made but here the similarities:

-afghan old blade with ricasso and a not often seen renforced tip on a "european look like battle knife"
-a new hilt made of two parts of brown horn
-a not origina bolster
-scabbard shape with final round tip
( sure, this one is all silver )

You just have to change the shape of the blade...

I'll do an etching but I need nital for reveal what seems to be cristalline wootz
Thanks for the detailed answer, francantolin.

You see this knife from message #17 is a very strange item. Yes, of course, I think it is made in Afghanistan. But it is absolutely not traditional in form. I am sure that it was made, like your knife, under European influence and somewhere at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. However, unlike your knife, the knife in message #17 retains some traditional features.

The shape of the handle of your knife is not at all similar to the shape of the handle of the knife from message # 17. There is a ricasso on both knives, but you must admit that the ricasso is very different. On the knife from message No. 17, the ricasso is decorated in the traditional style. On your knife, the ricasso is undecorated and more crudely done.
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Old 14th July 2022, 09:11 PM   #28
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Francantolin,

Right now anything we say will be pure speculation.
There is a rule:” If it wasn’t written, it never happened”. Fortunately, there is some written information on the blade that can add a lot to our final verdict.

But in any case, I am glad that our positions are getting closer and closer.

For example, ” This is a tourist item” (post #3) was changed to “ I am sure that this item was not made for tourists” ( #11)

Similarly, the proposed dating “ from its appearance, I tend to think it's late 20th century” (#9) was changed to “ your dagger is made in the middle of the 20th century” (#11) and recently to “… like your knife…somewhere at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries” (#27). In short, there is hope for a mutually agreed upon dating.

It is an unusual blade, we do not have a statistically large enough sample with verified datings to place your example in a reasonably accurate group. This is why personal gut feelings may be very misleading.

I am waiting for the translations from my colleagues and hopefully from Kwiatek. They are likely to add a lot. I do not know what they are going to tell us , but I do not think such a simple dagger is going to bear the name of Assadulla: there was no sense to provide a spurious date to jack up its price: it was probably comparable to McDonalds “Happy Meal” :-)
I have no dog in this fight, I am just modestly curious.
I shall go with anything the translation tells us.

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Old 15th July 2022, 06:57 AM   #29
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I would like the participants in the discussion to carefully read the messages of other participants. Carelessness can often lead to embarrassing mistakes. In any case, I hope that this is inattention, and not a desire to distort other people's words to please my own opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt View Post
I think your guess is correct. This is a tourist item.
As you can see for yourself, the blade is made not in Eastern traditions, but in imitation of European blades. Although, perhaps, calling this knife "tourist" is not true. Maybe it was used as a weapon in the late 20th century.
Very often, if one or two sentences are removed from the reasoning, the meaning of the reasoning changes completely. Usually this is used by journalists of the "yellow press".

At the same time, I don’t think that there is a big difference if this dagger was made in the 1950s-1960s or in the 1990s. The important thing is that this item is made under European influence and is absolutely not traditional...

However, this does not mean that it is a bad dagger. It's just that in my opinion it is necessary to really evaluate the objects that fall into our collections.
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Old 15th July 2022, 08:00 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francantolin View Post
Hello,

Thank you Ariel for your messages,
I did some research on internet,
I found this interesting caucasian knife
Dates 1880
with an afghan damascus blade and a renforced tip.
There is a ricasso too and the horn handle looks like
mine
How time flies! A similar knife was sold at the Imperial auction in 2010 with the attribution "knife of the Crimean Tatars". The owner offered to discuss it in one of the Russian forums. It was a heated discussion on 37 pages! Most of the participants - but by no means all! - came to the conclusion that this is a knife from Afghanistan.
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