Modern Kindjals

Greetings to All!

In #1, (photo below) a rather decorative piece, the grip panels are of a plastic that closely simulates ivory. It is a molding. The blade is nickel plated, highly buffed. The sheath ornaments could be pairs of dye castings, soldered together, the joints cleaned up with a file and then plated with a suitable color. The leather, I believe, is simulated. I can almost guarantee that it was not made anywhere near the Caucasus, but probably in Spain (or possibly India). The blade is non-magnetic (die-cast??) but has the density of steel - giving the piece a good heft, its edges are purposely extremely blunted, no sharp point, the handle portion machine ground to shape, plated overall and buffed to a mirror polish. The relief design on the blade near the handle could have been as die-cast or, possibly coined - and is plated with what appears to be gold. Small wonder it is sold 'for decorative purposes only!

#2 I saw (and photographed) in a local custom knife shop, owned by a friend. This is recent Caucasian work. The scabbard apears to be of silver, hand made, reasonably traditional. The back is plain, highly buffed. The steel blade is made of flat stock, 3 grooves are machine ground on each side, plated and buffed. The edge and point are there. The blade is set into the hollow handle with what looks like a hot melt material or a casting polymer of dark brown color. The handle fits very accurately over the lip of the sheath, which indicates that some careful hand fitting was involved. It is possible that the piece had been silver plated after all the decorations had been soldered in place.

#3 is well done Kubachi silver/niello work with a different design on each side. The metal band which takes a leather loop for the belt can be unlocked and flipped over to the other side. This way, the wearer has 'two suits of clothes'! The blade, though on the light side, is very well formed, with precisely cut grooves and relief etching near the hilt with Arabic inscriptions, undoubtedly to the praise of Ali. The point is inflected, as on many kindjals, for the purpose of petetrating chain mail. (Would not work if the mail rings are riveted).

See the discussion on nomenclature of the kindjal also.

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