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Old 18th January 2021, 08:26 PM   #1
Gonzoadler
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Default Curious marriage: a Kard

Hello,

I got this dagger recently which I would refer as a Kard.
Maybe it was made in the early 20th or late 19th century.
I want to ask you if anyone has seen something similar before?
Where this dagger could been made?

The silver scabbard has typical caucasian decoration elements, but a central asian origin seems to me possible, too.
Which daggers have normally such a scabbard? Has anyone an example?
I think of Kards from Bukhara but that could be wrong.

The blade is from a shortened european or russian sabre and was blued before the remounting.
The stack hilt has the shape of a man with a hat which reminds me of a caucasian papakha. It is decorated with glass stones.
There are also iron mountings with gold Koftgari. The decor looks caucasian, too.

Length overall: 40cm
Without scabbard: 37cm
Blade: 26cm

Comments are welcome
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Old 18th January 2021, 08:28 PM   #2
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More pictures:
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Old 18th January 2021, 08:29 PM   #3
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And some from the scabbard.
That's it.
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Old 19th January 2021, 12:16 PM   #4
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The blade and scabbard are very nice, but the hilt is probably a walking stick handle.
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Old 19th January 2021, 06:20 PM   #5
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This is Central Asia. End of the 19th century. By this time, Central Asia was annexed to the Russian Empire. Many people who lived in the Russian Empire moved to Central Asia. Including master jewelers from the Caucasus. In Bukhara and other cities, these master jewelers from the Caucasus began to make silver sheaths in the Caucasian style for the traditional knives of Central Asia: kard, bichaq and pesh-kabz.

Judging by the shape of the scabbard, they were made for the bichaq.
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Old 19th January 2021, 07:53 PM   #6
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Take a look at this old thread as the bolster and a blade possibly recycled from previous mounts bring this type to mind.
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Old 19th January 2021, 08:25 PM   #7
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Thanks for your helpful comments. There are a lot of similar but not equal pieces from Central Asia, so I was'nt completely sure about that origin.
That the scabbard was made for a Bichaq could be more likely than for a Kard, but the examples from the old thread looking really plausible, too.

I think it is possible that the handle was made for a walking stick, don't know if such sticks were common in that region.

It would be great if anyone can show pieces which are partly similar.

Regards
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Old 4th February 2021, 06:24 AM   #8
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Either my eyes betray me, or there is something strange with the blade.
It has a blunt ricasso, so it could not have been shortened from that end.
But the fuller is very short and does not seem to run into the point, so even that end is original. Either it was indeed a saber blade ( Western, not Oriental), with a very short fuller ( in which case colleagues from the European section might be of help), or a bayonet(???).
You are correct, the chasing motifs are Caucasian, and the niello seems to point that way, but the end of the scabbard is tilted up ( Turkish?).

If the handle is from a walking stick, that would hint at other " foreign" parts.

I cannot find any traces of anything Central Asian.
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Old 4th February 2021, 12:00 PM   #9
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Interesting piece. Put a cross guard on the blade and it becomes an European hunting knife.
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Old 4th February 2021, 12:23 PM   #10
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A few more knives from Central Asia in a similar scabard^
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Old 4th February 2021, 12:46 PM   #11
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Plus the iron mountings with gold Koftgari, Central Asian and /or Persian?
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Old 4th February 2021, 02:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Plus the iron mountings with gold Koftgari, Central Asian and /or Persian?
Persian for me...
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Old 4th February 2021, 05:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
A few more knives from Central Asia in a similar scabard^
I cannot find a single one with a similar scabbard. Well, maybe the one on the left, but only because of the nielo.

Anyhow, this is a true "chimera" to me.

The scabbard looks Caucasian... I guess...
the blade looks European... I guess again...
and the hilt looks... I am out of guesses...
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Old 5th February 2021, 12:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
I cannot find a single one with a similar scabbard. Well, maybe the one on the left, but only because of the nielo.

Anyhow, this is a true "chimera" to me.

The scabbard looks Caucasian... I guess...
the blade looks European... I guess again...
and the hilt looks... I am out of guesses...
The blade and the overall look remind me of Scandinavian patterns. I don't believe it is, the blade maybe, but the look is there.....I think it is the contour of the sheath, the line of the handle to the blade, but not the materials that make the sheath and handle. The bolster vs the Scandinavian ferule. I see the niello and the onion blossom at the tip for Caucasian influence.
I would love to know this piece's story. A chimera.

Gonzoalder you always find interesting pieces.

Last edited by Interested Party; 5th February 2021 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 5th February 2021, 05:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
I cannot find a single one with a similar scabbard. Well, maybe the one on the left, but only because of the nielo.
Correctly. Because there is not a single pchak in the photo. Only kards and karud.
But, in Caucasus, I cannot remember knives of such a shape that would fit this scabbard ... But in Central Asia there are such knives

By the way, I think from the knives that I showed in the photo against the background of the carpet, there is no question that their scabbard is from Central Asia?
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Old 7th February 2021, 02:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
Correctly. Because there is not a single pchak in the photo. Only kards and karud.
But, in Caucasus, I cannot remember knives of such a shape that would fit this scabbard ... But in Central Asia there are such knives

By the way, I think from the knives that I showed in the photo against the background of the carpet, there is no question that their scabbard is from Central Asia?
What area did the niello for central Asian scabbards? Or was it a technique that was spread over a vast region without an epicenter to help pinpoint the craftsmanship?
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Old 8th February 2021, 03:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interested Party
What area did the niello for central Asian scabbards? Or was it a technique that was spread over a vast region without an epicenter to help pinpoint the craftsmanship?
These were large cities that were capitals of khanates: Bukhara and Khiva. Although it is possible that individual masters could work in such a technique in other smaller cities as well.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 07:18 AM   #18
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There were famous Bakhmud and Abdalla Tubchiev brothers who went to Central Asian khanates ( Bukhara, I vaguely remember) at the end of 19 century. They worked there as jewelers. In Central Asia they learned enameling techniques and brought it back to the Caucasus. In exchange they taught the locals Caucasian silverwork and niello.
They also worked for several years in Istanbul.
Both died when the Caucasus became “ Soviet” and all those years they made enameled scabbards and handles for the local and “ Moscow” bonzas. Thus, this kindjal is very, very highly likely can be dated to the beginning of the 20th century or even later.

It is almost always the itinerant masters who introduce new techniques, decoration motives, materials etc.

Just like Persian bladesmiths at the Moghul court who taught their Indian colleagues how to forge fancy wootz patterns instead of the customary “salt and pepper” one.
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Old 4th March 2021, 10:25 PM   #19
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I have a strange feeling about it.
The face is peculiar, Central Asia was and still is Islamic. Even drawings of human faces are frown upon, but this is a 3-dimensional sculpture. Usually ( Hungarian, Philippine, Mughal etc) face is turned toward the edge. Here it faces the spine. There is a rivet through golden koft decorations.
And why on Earth would anybody put a fragment of European regulation blade into a Caucasian / Turkish kard scabbard?

I usually try to find positive things to say. Here I find one strange feature after another.

Could it be a composition of unrelated parts?
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Old 5th March 2021, 08:05 PM   #20
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Hello,
I think it is a regional work. Central Asia sounds likely to me, as some members confirmed. But that is a debatable point, because it looks like a marriage/composition. I'm agree with that, ariel. But all parts except the blade are of a central asian or maybe caucasian origin (in my opinion) and I don't think it was made in the western world. Daggers from Central Asia were shown, which are made of recycled parts, too. This and some Bichaks with similar scabbards are arguments for this region.
What is your guess were and why it was made?
In every case it wasn't made recently to deceive anyone. The seller was no collector and the price was (very) moderate

Regards
Robin

Last edited by Gonzoadler; 5th March 2021 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 6th March 2021, 03:16 PM   #21
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It depends on your definition of “ deceive”.
Somebody might have made ( or ordered) it for private use as a hunting knife .
Then it went from hands to hands and the original story was forgotten.
Advertising this knife as Central Asian to get more money would be a deceit.
Selling it as a curiosity or relying on the description by the previous “deceiver” would be just ignorance.
There is nothing Central Asian here. Showing examples of other daggers of unknown provenance does not help: this is a usable knife composed of unrelated parts by somebody who was just attributionally ignorant or just didn’ t give a dam ( sic!) about authenticity. Walking stick handle is a good possibility, especially with cheap round glass “stones” on the top.
But, in the immortal words of “ Forged in Fire” , “ It will ke-e- ell” :-)
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Old 6th March 2021, 04:41 PM   #22
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I agree with ariel. My opinion is that the item is assembled from three parts (quite possibly a long time ago). The scabbard is undoubtedly made in Central Asia. The hilt and blade have nothing to do with Central Asia. I think аriel is right in suggesting that the handle could be part of the cane.
It would be ideal to match this very good sheath with an old Central Asian pichak knife.
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Old 6th March 2021, 08:05 PM   #23
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Hello,

I'm also largely agree with your comments. Of course we can't clarify every detail of the history of my dagger but ariel constructed a plausible version. The hilt looks still caucasian to me because of the papakha.
Yes, the scabbard would be a very good replacement part for a central asian Bichak, but I dont have any
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Old 8th March 2021, 12:59 AM   #24
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For me, this is an absolutely Ottoman scabbard made by a master from Dagestan. After the annexation of the territories of the North Caucasus to the Russian Empire in 1865 and before the start of the First World War, the Islamic population of the North Caucasus actively migrated to the Ottoman Empire. This migration was much more massive and prolonged than the migration to Central Asia and received the name "Caucasian muhajirism".
The narrow form of the scabbard and, especially, the absolutely Ottoman form of the end of the scabbard tell me that the Ottoman bichaq lived in them, and not the Central Asian pchak.
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Old 8th March 2021, 01:05 AM   #25
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... or Ottoman Kard
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Old 8th March 2021, 03:08 PM   #26
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Agree.
It raises yet another digression. South Georgia and Northern Anatolia had a signigicant number of islamized Georgians ( besides Lazes), the so -called Meskheti Turks. In 1944 more than 100,000 of them were expelled to Central Asia to prevent their potential (!) espionage, collaboration with the Turks and other anti-Soviet activities. In general, the usual Soviet paranoia about “disloyal nations”. Likely there were a few jewelers among them:-). In that case the scabbard could date from 1950s or even later.

That might be the reason why Kwiatek found translation strangely “Caucasian”.

I wonder whether the origins of the peculiar throat of the scabbard might be found in the construction of local knives. Otherwise, I have difficulty to imagine how the entire thing functioned: there must have been an uncovered upper part of the edge. 50:50 chance that every time the owner tried to pull the kard/bichak ( ?) out he needed a Band-Aid:-)

Last edited by ariel; 8th March 2021 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 8th March 2021, 04:30 PM   #27
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It would be interesting to see a Ottoman knife in a scabbard of the same decor. Unfortunately, I am not aware of such samples. But, probably, Ariel and Saracen will demonstrate such items.

In the 1940s, in the republics of Soviet Central Asia did not make knives in silver sheaths. The tradition of making elements of national knives in Central Asia from silver ended at the end of the 1920s.

Of course the inscription is "strangely Caucasian". As I wrote earlier, similar scabbards in Central Asia were made by masters who moved from the Caucasus to Bukhara and Khiva.

I don't understand why these fantasies about the Meskhetian Turks are needed? Information that Caucasian jewelers worked in the late 19th - early 20th centuries in the khanates of Central Asia is in scientific sources. Information about the mythical "jewelers of the Meskhetian Turks" - Mr. Ariel's fantasies, which are not confirmed by any facts.

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Old 8th March 2021, 08:46 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
I wonder whether the origins of the peculiar throat of the scabbard might be found in the construction of local knives.
In the construction of the solid silver scabbards yataghan, Ottoman kard and bichaq. A removable the peculiar throat of the scabbard is needed to install wooden inserts in the scabbard.
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Old 9th March 2021, 05:24 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saracen
In the construction of the solid silver scabbards yataghan, Ottoman kard and bichaq. A removable the peculiar throat of the scabbard is needed to install wooden inserts in the scabbard.
It is not clear why post a photo of this Ottoman knife in the subject. His scabbard has no resemblance to the scabbard of the item in question ...
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Old 9th March 2021, 07:14 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saracen
In the construction of the solid silver scabbards yataghan, Ottoman kard and bichaq. A removable the peculiar throat of the scabbard is needed to install wooden inserts in the scabbard.
I understand very well what Saracen has in mind.

Saracen, the throat is called the locket and it is common in most of scabbards in the world.

These two Indian karuds have the same system and a curved tip/chape.

Problem, they are not Ottoman daggers!
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