Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Looking for help in identifying a dagger I just purchased in Istanbul

  1. #1

    Looking for help in identifying a dagger I just purchased in Istanbul

    Hello Hello:

    I'm a brand-newbie to this forum (and to antique knives). I just returned from Istanbul, Turkey. While there, I picked up an intersting (at least to me) knife from one of the antique shops in the Çukurcuma Square area of the Asian side of the city.

    The shop keepers knowlege of English was about as good as my Turkish (non-existent in both cases). I couldn't get any information from him on the knife.

    I'd really appreciate any help from the experts out here in identifying this knife, it's geographic origin, estimated date and anything else that anyone can tell me about it. I paid 200 Turkish Lira (~$110 US) for the knife. I find it interesting to note that the bottom of the knife is not sharp on the edges - in fact there is a double ridge of metal with a trough in-between. The top edge of the knife is a bit sharp, but not sharp enough to do any harm to anything. Any information on that edge would be greatly appreciated.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8176276...7631700274538/

    I thank you very much and look forward to hearing about this knife.

    joe arena

  2. #2
    Hi Joe,
    It's a Kindjal on the smaller side but very nicely made.
    Can you show some really close up shots of the blade?

  3. #3
    Çukurcuma is not on the Asian side, it is in Beyoğlu; I think you mean Bahariye, which is the neighborhood for most antique stores at the Asian side.

    Anyway, first of all, I must say you are very very lucky to find a genuine article at an Istanbul antique store. Most bladed antiques at those stores are either fake or extremely overpriced. And for some weird reason, finding a Napoleon war era French cavalry saber or a small sword is easier to find than a Turkish blade in those stores.

    This kama looks genuine, though I don't think it is older than late 19th to early 20th centuries. Blade itself look cleaned, which antique dealers in Istanbul often do, even if it completely destroys things like remnants of koftgari or inscriptions on the blade.
    (O.k. now I'm officialy stopping complaining about antique dealers of Istanbul )

    My guess is, this is a turn of the century Sürmene knife locally called "Sivri"(which simply means pointy). Kama was a popular form in Turkey, especially at 19th century; but this one's scabbard made me think of Sürmene.

    Sürmene knives are usually a set of two knives, one kama(or sivri) and one knife(bıçak). Some are relatively simple but some are very ornated. Handle is usually made of water buffalo horn.

    They still make miniaturized (roughly 20 cm)versions of those knives in Sürmene.

    Name:  099610a3.jpg
Views: 1557
Size:  19.9 KB
    "The relationship between West(Occident) and East(Orient) is indeed an example of a relationship of power and domination. Orientalism is thus a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between the Orient and the Occident. It is a Western style of dominating, restructuring and building hegemony over the Orient.İt is an accepted grid for filtering through the Orient into Western consciousness, into the general culture."
    From "Orientalism" by Edward Said

  4. #4

    Additional photos of the Kindjal/kama/sivri

    First of all, thank you for correcting me. I was in Cukurcuma, and I always confuse going over the small bridge (with the seafood restaurants on the below level) with going into Asia. You'd think that after three trips to that great city, I'd remember.

    The first poster asked for some closeups of the blade. I did the best I could here.

    I'd love to know more about the double edge on the sides of the end of the blade.

    (and if I'm not already asking for too much), I'd love to know what is inscribed on the front of the blade. Is it just free form, or is it supposed to mean something ???

    I'd also like to know if $110 US was a fair price for the dagger.

    I've added three more pictures to the end of this flickr set.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8176276...7631700274538/

    Thanx again,
    joe arena













    Quote Originally Posted by Sancar Ozer View Post
    Çukurcuma is not on the Asian side, it is in Beyoğlu; I think you mean Bahariye, which is the neighborhood for most antique stores at the Asian side.

    Anyway, first of all, I must say you are very very lucky to find a genuine article at an Istanbul antique store. Most bladed antiques at those stores are either fake or extremely overpriced. And for some weird reason, finding a Napoleon war era French cavalry saber or a small sword is easier to find than a Turkish blade in those stores.

    This kama looks genuine, though I don't think it is older than late 19th to early 20th centuries. Blade itself look cleaned, which antique dealers in Istanbul often do, even if it completely destroys things like remnants of koftgari or inscriptions on the blade.
    (O.k. now I'm officialy stopping complaining about antique dealers of Istanbul )

    My guess is, this is a turn of the century Sürmene knife locally called "Sivri"(which simply means pointy). Kama was a popular form in Turkey, especially at 19th century; but this one's scabbard made me think of Sürmene.

    Sürmene knives are usually a set of two knives, one kama(or sivri) and one knife(bıçak). Some are relatively simple but some are very ornated. Handle is usually made of water buffalo horn.

    They still make miniaturized (roughly 20 cm)versions of those knives in Sürmene.

    Name:  099610a3.jpg
Views: 1557
Size:  19.9 KB

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    10,682
    Would you please post the pictures directly on this forum thanks?

  6. #6

    pictures uploaded to the SF website - Istanbul kindjal dagger

    Thank you all for your help. I've attached pictures of the knife directly to this website.

    I look forward to hearing back.

    joe arena
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  7. #7
    Joe, I can't see an inscription but there is some freestyle floral decoration on the blade, which is consistent with 19th century art.

    I am not familiar with foreign antique markets,(I have a vague idea that Turkish antique arms seem to be cheaper abroad than it is in Turkey) but this kama's price seem relatively fair, if you consider the market and the good condition of the blade.

    May I ask if the handle was made of horn or wood?
    "The relationship between West(Occident) and East(Orient) is indeed an example of a relationship of power and domination. Orientalism is thus a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between the Orient and the Occident. It is a Western style of dominating, restructuring and building hegemony over the Orient.İt is an accepted grid for filtering through the Orient into Western consciousness, into the general culture."
    From "Orientalism" by Edward Said

  8. #8
    The handle appears to be bone. There is no grain to be seen. Funny, I first started looking for an antique Ottoman knife in the antique section of the Grand Bazaar. What a mistake that was. The cheapest knife that I saw (less fancy than the knife that I eventually bought) had a starting price of $500 US. Apparently the Grand Bazaar is not the place for antique bargains.

    Thanx,
    joearena

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by joe arena View Post
    The handle appears to be bone. There is no grain to be seen. Funny, I first started looking for an antique Ottoman knife in the antique section of the Grand Bazaar. What a mistake that was. The cheapest knife that I saw (less fancy than the knife that I eventually bought) had a starting price of $500 US. Apparently the Grand Bazaar is not the place for antique bargains.

    Thanx,
    joearena
    Wise words, my friend
    "The relationship between West(Occident) and East(Orient) is indeed an example of a relationship of power and domination. Orientalism is thus a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between the Orient and the Occident. It is a Western style of dominating, restructuring and building hegemony over the Orient.İt is an accepted grid for filtering through the Orient into Western consciousness, into the general culture."
    From "Orientalism" by Edward Said

  10. #10
    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for the close-ups and extra pictures. It's a nice dagger you've got there.
    As has been said, the market for atiques in Isanbul is rather 'strong' so I'd say that you've got yourself a real bargain there.
    The hilt slabs are horn by the look of them. Some large bovine like the black buffalo horn that it widely used for hilts.
    If you search for Kindjal, Kama, Qama, Quadara you'll see various associated knives and swords.
    Although complex multi-fullered blades are reasonably common, the blade on yours with it's outer ridges at the tip and fullers that totally meet creating a hollowground recess is in my experience very unusual.
    I would estimate it's age as circa 1910-1920. The decoration towards the hilt looks etched to my initial gaze and I don't see any other indications of a piece that would be much earlier than that, age cracks or delamination of the horn hilt scales and other things.
    Although less common on smaller pieces you might find some activity in the steel, differential hardening is not unusual (of the edge like a Hamon line on a Japanese blade). I'll attach a couple of pictures to show what I mean. Either way I wouldn't worry, it's a very nice dagger and the price was a bargain.
    Congratulations.

    ATB
    Gene
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Last edited by Gene Wilkinson; 10-07-2012 at 04:13 PM.

  11. #11
    Gene & Sancar:

    Thank you both very much for the wonderful information that you provided to me. I'm going to print this page and keep it with the knife.

    Have a great one.
    joearena

  12. #12
    You are most welcome, Joe
    "The relationship between West(Occident) and East(Orient) is indeed an example of a relationship of power and domination. Orientalism is thus a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between the Orient and the Occident. It is a Western style of dominating, restructuring and building hegemony over the Orient.İt is an accepted grid for filtering through the Orient into Western consciousness, into the general culture."
    From "Orientalism" by Edward Said

  13. #13
    Hi Joe,
    As Sancar said, you're very welcome.
    ATB
    Gene

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •