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Old 14th August 2021, 11:22 PM   #1
kronckew
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Default Afghani Salawar yataghan? Or?

picked up this yataghan last week. 22.5 in. long sharp blade, unmarked, 1.25 in. wide at the all steel grip, t-spine, 3/16 in. thick at the grip, Four inch sheet steel scale grip, held on by three rivets, lenticular shaped steel butt plate held by peening to the tang. May be some sort of filler inside. 250grams in weight. No scabbard. 'Bolster' at oval grip/blade junction is very much like a Khyber knife, as is the t-spine. Un-fullered blade section is Khyber-like in section, though not the tapered wedge of those knives. Looks like a cross between a Turkish and Afghani design. Grip looks like it may have had a wrapping of some sort. Blade is comfortable in the hand with the thumb and forefinger pinching the 'guard. Remaining 3 fingers on the grip and the but fits right in the palm. ready for a chop, slice or thrust.


ANy comments appreciated. Could this be a transitional shape? Would the grip be wrapped, if so what with? Anyone have a similar knife? Age?
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Old 14th August 2021, 11:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Picture = 1,000 words.
Yup, you caught me while I was editing to optimize them. Fixed now.
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Old 14th August 2021, 11:53 PM   #3
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Sorry mate.
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Old 16th August 2021, 07:57 AM   #4
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Afghani “ khyber knives” ( realistically, “selava”) come with various blades: straight, curved one way or another and recurved.
Their handles are also different: simple “ bird head” or karabela-like pommels, without a pommel altogether, with multiple tiny nails, solid metal etc.
We usually attribute them by their handles: ivory and metal we call Indian.
Regretfully, there is no systematic study of their designs, although it is almost certain that they carry important information about multiple tribal fashions.
Also, the genealogy of that weapon had never been discussed, although short swords of same or similar blades are spread from Central Asia ( suleba) to Deccan ( sajlaba) hinting at their Turkic origin.

We really need an academically competent person with knowledge of several local languages, who can go to Afghanistan and spend several years in field research and archives. Realistically, we know more about weapons of any other neighbouring country than those coming from Afghanistan. It still is “ The undiscovered country”, with no new information since Egerton.
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Old 16th August 2021, 08:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ariel View Post
We really need an academically competent person with knowledge of several local languages, who can go to Afghanistan and spend several years in field research and archives. Realistically, we know more about weapons of any other neighbouring country than those coming from Afghanistan. It still is “ The undiscovered country”, with no new information since Egerton.
Indeed!

But good luck doing any research in Afghanistan now... and in the coming decades too!
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Old 16th August 2021, 09:26 AM   #6
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Afghanistan is on my do not travel there list at the moment, even though most of them are wearing face masks in an friendly extended COVID-19 compliance attempt. They do seem eager to discuss historic ethnic arms, including edged ones


Thanks for the comments.


Kabul Tourist Board's new Welcoming Committee:
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Old 16th August 2021, 10:30 AM   #7
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Hello. My opinion is that this is indeed an item from Afghanistan. And this item can be called a "khyber knife". They are extremely variable, both in the shape of the handle and in the shape of the blade.
If you are interested in the arms of Afghanistan, you can learn a lot from this book: "Edged Weapons of Afghanistan 19th - early 20th Century".
If you are interested, I will write you the details in PM

It is a little more detailed than Egerton's data on arms of this country
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Old 17th August 2021, 01:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew View Post
Afghanistan is on my do not travel there list at the moment, even though most of them are wearing face masks in an friendly extended COVID-19 compliance attempt. They do seem eager to discuss historic ethnic arms, including edged ones


Thanks for the comments.


Kabul Tourist Board's new Welcoming Committee:
Regretfully you are correct. Even more regretfully, this situation has very deep roots: even Egerton did not venture there and British army had only small penetration raids into Massouds’ areas at his time. Then there were 2 Afghan-British wars.... Things got better sometimes in the 1920-1950s , but at that time nobody in the museum/collectors crowd was interested in Afghan arms. But the past ~50 years Afghanistan became a “ toxic trap”, and no sane person would go there then, now and in the foreseeable future.
Thus, no real research was done there even on the vast flow of “bringbacks” of various quality and of unknown provenance bought in Kabul by NATO soldiers with no academic training and aspirations.

As a result we are forced to dig out snippets of ( often unverified and contradictory) information from Egerton’s book, some Moser’s descriptions, a bit of memoirs by British officers and “ politicals” and occasional mentions of Afghanistan news in general newspapers.

That’s why I am saying that there was no progress in our knowledge of Afghan weapons since Egerton and Moser. Afghanistan never had her “ Elgood” on Indian and Balkan weapons, “Astvatsaturyan” and “Rivkin” on the Caucasian ones, “ van Zonneveld” on Indonesian, “ La Rocca” on the Tibetan and a host of professional arms historians on African, Persian and Turkish weapons. Perhaps, Rivkin/ Isaac book on the history of the Eastern sword is the best attempt to conduct evolutionary analysis of that weapon.

They all had in common the ability to conduct field trips, access to provenanced examples and documents, the ability to read inscriptions and most importantly academic backgrounds.

It’s gone for Afghanistan.
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Old 17th August 2021, 07:19 AM   #9
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Kabul Tourist Board's new Welcoming Committee:
That's very funny

Unfortunately very true and sad
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Old 17th August 2021, 07:24 AM   #10
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Regretfully you are correct. Even more regretfully, this situation has very deep roots: even Egerton did not venture there and British army had only small penetration raids into Massouds’ areas at his time. Then there were 2 Afghan-British wars....
It’s gone for Afghanistan.
Not to forget the war with Russians...

I'm not sure that it is gone for Afghanistan, gone for Americans and Westeners, yes.

But some countries will deal with them, look at Russians and Chinese.
They work in Syria, so I won't be so pessimist... Keep hope, at least for research and economy, not for human rights...
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Old 17th August 2021, 07:29 AM   #11
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It is a little more detailed than Egerton's data on arms of this country


Of course

But you forgot something:

Many books on arms and armour are auto / self published by collectors and dealers. They just pay to have their books and collections published.

Your book is printed by a very reputable publisher from St Petersburg, the same who published Astvatsaturyan...

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Old 24th August 2021, 07:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt View Post
Hello. My opinion is that this is indeed an item from Afghanistan. And this item can be called a "khyber knife". They are extremely variable, both in the shape of the handle and in the shape of the blade.
If you are interested in the arms of Afghanistan, you can learn a lot from this book: "Edged Weapons of Afghanistan 19th - early 20th Century".
If you are interested, I will write you the details in PM

It is a little more detailed than Egerton's data on arms of this country
Hello Mahratt,

I purchased a copy of your book from the publisher not
long after its publication and would be grateful to know if there is a transcript of the Russian text into English and if so how can I obtain a copy.

Kind regards

Miguel
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