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Thread: Help identifing sword.

  1. #1
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    Help identifing sword.

    Firstly Id like to say hello as Im new to this forum as well as Middle Eastern weapons.

    Here I attach some pics of 2 swords that I just purchase recently during a visit to Istanbul.
    The smith mention this is a copy of someone sword which I cant catch it since I cant speak any Turkish and he speak very2 little of English. One thing for sure this sword is extremely sharp, it cuts my finger twice. Also both swords have a very strange langlet.

    Questions are, is this kind of langlet usual with this type of swords have you guys ever see something like it? And what is the name of this sword?

  2. #2
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    1st sword
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    Last edited by Henry S; 10-26-2006 at 06:38 AM.

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    Last edited by Henry S; 10-26-2006 at 06:56 AM.

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    2nd sword
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  13. #13
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    I'm in no way a specialist, but the first one seems to be a kilic.

    You said this is a modern made piece?

    The grooves look machined rather than forged, but it seems like a functional sword.

    Nice finds, congratulations!
    Last edited by Paul Hansen; 10-26-2006 at 10:28 AM.
    Hwere r fuse feorran cwoman
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  14. #14
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    It looks to me like the first piece is a copy of an early-style kilic, probably 15th century. The second seems to be a copy of a pala, but I think it has Persian influences.
    When wrestling is ended, the owners and the winner camels return home with proud and happiness while spectators are delighted of having an exciting day.

  15. #15
    both blades are modern copies of 15-16th century classical "kl". but these copies are too thick and looks too heavy to be perfect copies. Handles are far from perfect also. guards are too thick and made by wrong material. generally these blades look a little rough and amateurish comparing to grace and elegance of classical period Ottoman "kl"

    Yet it is the first time I see a genuine effort to recreate "kl"(or any other kind of sword) by a local Turkish smith. t was just the thing I was looking for. I would be glad if you give me any information to help me to contact with the maker.
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    Last edited by Sancar Ozer; 10-26-2006 at 12:23 PM.

  16. #16
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    I agree Sancar, everything on these swords looks too thick. I wonder how much they weigh - all that steel can't be light.
    When wrestling is ended, the owners and the winner camels return home with proud and happiness while spectators are delighted of having an exciting day.

  17. #17
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    close but no cigar

    The example with the less-curved blade and polygonal-sectioned grip is indeed a copy of the 15th cent. Ottoman or Mamluk styles. It appears as though the person who made this saber was consciously trying to imitate the well-known and oft-published example attributed to Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II Fatih (the Conqueror), who led his armies to triumph at Constantinople in 1453. For photos of the "real McCoy", please refer to Unsal Yucel, ISLAMIC SWORDS AND SWORDSMITHS (Istanbul: IRCICA, 2001), p 128. The saber in question is in the Topkapi, inv. no. 1/90. Comparing images of that weapon and the one on this post, the obvious difference beyond materials and mode of manufacture are the dimensions. Yucel provides basic dimensions in his catalog of weapons but aside from the swords associated with the Prophet Muhammad, his Companions, and the early Caliphs, he does not list the weight.

    Alina is spot on, the reproduction is way too "beefy" compared to the original. For those of you who want dimensional data on these and other Eastern swords, there is no better work than Wojciech Zablocki's CIECIA PRAWDZIWA SZABLA (a true cut with a saber), Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Sport i Turystyka, 1988. Pan Zablocki was a former Polish Olympic fencing champ and has written a lot about the functional characteristics of historical swords. Each saber anaylized in his book is represented by overall and hilt illustrations, plus additional pics of unusual blade features, plus cross sectional diagrams and dimensions. Unfortunately, he doesn't list weights.

    As regards to the other specimen, with the deep curve, it looks like an imitation of a later kilij. The blade profile reminds me of the Persian equivalent of that weapon, the qalachuri, which was popular to a limited degree up through Qajar times, although specimens are no wise as prevalent as the familiar shamshir.

  18. #18

    The East?

    Originally posted by Philip Tom
    For those of you who want dimensional data on these and other Eastern swords, there is no better work than Wojciech Zablocki's CIECIA PRAWDZIWA SZABLA (a true cut with a saber), Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Sport i Turystyka, 1988. Pan Zablocki was a former Polish Olympic fencing champ and has written a lot about the functional characteristics of historical swords. Each saber anaylized in his book is represented by overall and hilt illustrations, plus additional pics of unusual blade features, plus cross sectional diagrams and dimensions. Unfortunately, he doesn't list weights.
    Since Zablocki does not list the weight, given that weight is extremely important to weapons, historians, archaeologists, practitioners of said weapons, and weapon makers, his text loses some value for these persons. Why the author did not include the weight information, for someone who is serious about arms and armor, is a little more than strange. That said, I am sure the text has very good information in it. I think thre were some posts with images from the book in another thread here.

    Now, you may refer to specific countries or nationalities when you say "other Eastern swords," but if you mean "the East" as in the lands opposite the Western part of the world, the claim that "there is no better work" is testable: compare it to Arms and Armor from Iran. Philip, you need to get a copy. All weapons have exact measurements, including weight (in metric of course). The photos are very good with many close-up shots, all in color. The text is entirely academic. It is, based on all the books I have read about arms and armor, the best overall. Of course, that is just my perspective--I like excellent color photos and rigorous, academic support in such books.

    Sincerely,

    Doug Mullane

  19. #19
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    Zablocki's book covers a comprehensive range of cultures. He begins with a brief cross-cultural (Euro./Asiatic) survey of principal types of fencing techniques, then goes into a comparison of the various styles of blades and hilts of the important types of east European and Near Eastern sabers, dealing with functional characteristics as opposed to decorative motifs. The analysis of over 100 sabers includes material from Poland, Hungary, the Crimea, the Caucasus, Turkey, Persia, Arabia, and Armenia, along with a few representative examples from Italy, Sweden, and Germany for comparison purposes. The author's working definition of "Eastern" does not encompass India or any part of the Far East as far as this book is concerned.

    I, too, wish that he included weights in his individual descriptions. However, the drawings and dimensional data are sufficient for at least one custom swordmaker, Vincent Evans of Cathlamet, WA, to have made several swords based on his data. I have seem and handled them in person, and their heft and balance compares very well with the original versions that I have studied in museums and private collections.

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by Sancar Ozer
    Yet it is the first time I see a genuine effort to recreate "kl"(or any other kind of sword) by a local Turkish smith. t was just the thing I was looking for. I would be glad if you give me any information to help me to contact with the maker.
    Despite the fact that this may not be a perfect replica, I think what I quoted above is the important part: it's very good to see Turkish makers getting interested in making recreations of historical Turkish weapons.

    There may still be some way to go, but let's be realistic: how many recreations of European swords are REALLY on the mark?
    Hwere r fuse feorran cwoman
    to am elinge. - Dream of the Rood


    "Ah, Blackadder. Started talking to yourself, I see."
    "Yes...it's the only way I can be assured of intelligent conversation."
    - Lord Melchett and Lord Edmund Blackadder

  21. #21
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    yes i also agree that it is good to see some modern swords being produced....

    i have to stress that it is important to makers to have the proper dimensions of these pieces..... unless you have a large collection of examples..
    -- the pob, cop, weight, curvature, width and lengths at various points.. etc... all are extremely valuable........ otherwise, forging and recreating similar blades would be alot of guess work..


    Greg

  22. #22
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    Both swords are indeed quite heavy and the finishing was really poor, since they are quite cheap. I'll just hang it in my rood though: D
    Anyway thank you very much for all the input, and doest anyone in here knows the dimension of a kilij? Thickness, width etc. Since I will come back again to Istanbul, I intend to give the smith another try , he deserve it i think hehehe.
    i dont really know the name of the place,but i know how to get there . i found the smith by acident ,just following a chinese guy holding a long wooden box (i thought it must be a sword).


    Henry

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Henry S View Post
    ....i found the smith by acident ,just following a chinese guy holding a long wooden box (i thought it must be a sword).
    Henry
    Now there is a sword hunting technique I have not tried
    Josh

  24. #24
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    Manoucher M would be one who would know the dimensions of a 'typical' kilij. He was very helpful to me when I asked about the typical weight range for such a sword.
    "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art."
    Leonardo da Vinci

    "A little science estranges men from God, but much science leads them back to Him."
    Louis Pasteur

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Henry S View Post
    i dont really know the name of the place,but i know how to get there . i found the smith by acident ,just following a chinese guy holding a long wooden box (i thought it must be a sword).
    Henry
    I guess I really have a bad luck at this kinds of things; I searched this country inside out to find a genuine swordsmith but I found nothing; you came to my city and found him easily. This day forward I am starting to follow every chinese man with wooden box I see

    for the dimension issue; these are dimensions of "kılı" of Sultan Beyazid II from 16th century. this sord is generally excepted as perfect example of classical era "kılı"
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