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Thread: Here's another, "What have I got here?" thread

  1. #1
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    Here's another, "What have I got here?" thread

    I recently picked up a lot of 3 blades at an estate sale. The "head-scratcher" for me is this one. It's obviously middle eastern but I have no idea if it's military or civilian ceremonial, what the arabic script says, or what the emblems signify on the scabbard. If anyone could point me in the right direction regarding research or has solid info as to country of origin and purpose, I'd be most grateful. Actually, the sword and scabbard are in pretty decent shape with some flaking of the chrome on the blade and a minor bend. So, any ideas? Thank you in advance.
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  2. #2
    Hi Lawrence

    Great finds!
    Can you show some close-ups of the markings on the sword blade?
    I can see a date. Looks like 1327, which would be 1909 in the western calendar.


    The bayonet is I think a WW1-ish 'Butcher' bayonet used by Germany and allies.

    The dager looks like a custon FS knife with a new scabbard and Chrome.

  3. #3
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    Thank you Mr. Wilkinson. From what I've heard thus far, the Sykes Fairbairn was probably Indian Army issue and then chromed, perhaps for parade or ceremonial purposes. I'll do some close-ups on the sword writing as soon as I have a moment.

  4. #4
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    I took a few close-ups of the scabbard throat and the script on the ricasso. I'm just speculating here and though the image isn't in hi rez, it's a figure of a man, perhaps royalty, and the garb suggests Persian to me. I know the shah of the time had a fondness for European cavalry and even had a mounted unit who emulated the cossacks, including the swords. It would therefore not be out of the realm of possibility for the sword to be Persian. Your thoughts? Anyone?
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  5. #5
    That's much clearer.
    Looks like a second '3' so 1337, which would be 1919-ish.
    The design on the scabbard mouth seems distinctive.
    Loking at a completed item on fleabay,, check out tese pictures.
    Notice the crown?
    It was described as 'Tsarist Russian'.
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    Last edited by Gene Wilkinson; 05-25-2018 at 12:37 PM.

  6. #6
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    I'm an old fart and in the search parameters, I couldn't find anything using that number. However, from what I've been able to see thus far, it may be Afghani. I found several sabres with the same grip configuration. I've sent the script to a friend of a friend who may be able to steer me in the right direction, presupposing he can't translate it himself.

  7. #7
    It's a shape often refered to as 'shaska'.
    Have you seen this one:
    http://www.sailorinsaddle.com/product.aspx?id=876

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by LawrenceN View Post
    I'm an old fart and in the search parameters, I couldn't find anything using that number. However, from what I've been able to see thus far, it may be Afghani. I found several sabres with the same grip configuration. I've sent the script to a friend of a friend who may be able to steer me in the right direction, presupposing he can't translate it himself.
    I think it was too old, sorry. I've edited the post to show the pictures

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Wilkinson View Post
    I think it was too old, sorry. I've edited the post to show the pictures
    I had a friend's dad who says it's not arabic but he seems to think it's Farsi. The same friend has some Iranian co-workers so she's going to see if they can't shed some light on the inscription.

  10. #10
    Edit: no longer relevant
    Last edited by Gene Wilkinson; 05-26-2018 at 11:29 AM.

  11. #11
    We have a translation.
    I asked elsewhere for you and here is the result:

    "The first line is Arabic and says: لا فتى إلا علي لا سيف إلا ذو الفقار‎ (lā fata ʾillā ʿAlī; lā sayf ʾillā Ḏū l-Fiqār -- there is no youth like Ali and no sword like Dhu-l-Fiqar)
    The 2nd line is the name Muhammad ReDa and (probably a place) Khaluti
    The 3rd line, from the numbers, reveals that it is probably Persian, as the date is actually 1347. The writing to the right of the date is probably a Persian abbreviation for "year""

    My thanks to 'Akhooha' for this translaton.

    I agree also that if the inscription is Farsi, the third numeral would be a 4.
    Which would make it equivilent to (starting in) the Gregorian year 1928.
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    Last edited by Gene Wilkinson; 05-27-2018 at 12:35 AM.

  12. #12
    Check this out:
    From the sellers title:

    Persian Army Officer Sword With Zoroastrian Faravahar

    Check ebay item: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Antiqu...UAAOSwonBaGMsP
    Last edited by Gene Wilkinson; 05-26-2018 at 11:48 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Wilkinson View Post
    Check this out:
    From the sellers title:

    Persian Army Officer Sword With Zoroastrian Faravahar

    Check ebay item: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Antiqu...UAAOSwonBaGMsP
    WTF?? It's almost the same as mine but from what I've seen locally, I have a sneaky suspicion that it's way overpriced. Mind you, I could be totally out of touch regarding pricing of middle eastern militaria. I do thank you for your research and input thus far. I am much more familiar with commonwealth pricing and values, but oddball items like these are totally out of my comfort zone.

  14. #14
    Hi Lawrence

    We mustn't comment on sellers asking prices.

    But I do think that it is likely that this seller has correctly identified the sword.

    The crown does look like the Pahalavi Crown (picture from Wiki).

    I think that the big breakthrough is the translation I posted yesterday. That is very ineresting.
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  15. #15
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    I've pretty much come to the same conclusion as you in that it's Persian. I believe 1347 in the Hijri calendar corresponds to 1928. The sword in the link you sent me (for which I thank you very much indeed), has slightly different hanging mounts, mine not having the scabbard ring, just an attachment fitting on the piece at the throat. Nor does mine have the ring on the pommel, but the pictured one doesn't have the open ring on the front of the guard. Would you know of any works dealing specifically with Persian swords of the 20th. century?

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Wilkinson View Post
    We have a translation.
    I asked elsewhere for you and here is the result:

    "The first line is Arabic and says: لا فتى إلا علي لا سيف إلا ذو الفقار‎ (lā fata ʾillā ʿAlī; lā sayf ʾillā Ḏū l-Fiqār -- there is no youth like Ali and no sword like Dhu-l-Fiqar)
    The 2nd line is the name Muhammad ReDa and (probably a place) Khaluti
    The 3rd line, from the numbers, reveals that it is probably Persian, as the date is actually 1347. The writing to the right of the date is probably a Persian abbreviation for "year""

    My thanks to 'Akhooha' for this translaton.

    I agree also that if the inscription is Farsi, the third numeral would be a 4.
    Which would make it equivilent to (starting in) the Gregorian year 1928.
    There's some further research in the translation.
    Our firendly tanslator gave you a real starting point for researching this sword.
    Last edited by Gene Wilkinson; 05-27-2018 at 12:17 PM.

  17. #17
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    My thanks to Akooha as well. My friend's father, who is of arabic origin, also stated that it's probably Farsi, but still managed a translation that closely mirrors the one you so kindly provided. He came up with "Mohammed Rada-Khal(ou)k, but not the first line of script.

  18. #18
    Hi Lawrence

    I've missed something obvious.
    As the language is Farsi, and the crown likely Persian......... The dating system could well be using the 'Persian' calendar.
    Now! Not wanting to revise my date again.......
    I'm going to have to.
    As it seems that this is an Iranian Army sword, the date of 1347 would be 1968/9 in Gregorian.
    Which would also explain the nickel plated blade.

    Every day's a school day......... for me!

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