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Title Silver-mounted Daghestan sabre
Nationality Russian
Period c 1860
 (This item is subject to special postage, click here for more information.)

This bone-hilted sabre is from the north Caucasus region of Daghestan. The Emir Shamil (an imam) raised a revolt in 1834 and fought the Russians until surrendering in 1859. This emirate was ceded to Russia by a treaty with Persia circa 1803, without any consultation with the indigenous people, igniting many years of conflict extant to this day.

The blade is of local manufacture and may well date from the late 18th century. These blades routinely turn up in Arab swords from the Gulf area, but the silver mounts have totally different workmanship to that found on Gulf examples. Another feature, which I have never seen on Arab swords before, is the metal strip covering the seam on the back of the scabbard. On Arab examples, this is always in either brass or silver-worked wire. This is not a Persian blade, as it is virtually straight and has two fullers on each face plus a short fuller on the rear edge for the first six inches or so, very much a hallmark of this type of blade.

Its condition is fine for its age. However, the middle mount has been replaced at some stage, perhaps in its working life, and the top mount has old lead solder repairs and small splits and bruises to the metalwork. The bottom mount likewise has a considerable amount of bruising, typically associated with a sword being worn in the saddle. The scabbard leather appears to be the pebbled donkey-skin variety typically found on swords and kindjals in this region.

The photograph (from a French book called Les armes blanches du monde islamique by Alain Jacob) shows Shamil seated between his standing sons clutching a sabre very similar to this one.

NB: This is only Russian in the loosest sense, ie by right of conquest, the nationality of the region being still fiercely debated by the Chechen rebels, who are the direct descendants of Emir Shamil's revolt. Until 1723, Daghestan was a tributary province of the Ottoman Empire, composed of Avar and Chechen tribes. It was later ceded by the sultans to Persia.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Edged Weapons : Swords : Russian : 19th Century]


Received it safely this morning and extremely happy with it!

S S, UK, 06.01.2010

Your package arrived safely and in perfect condition this morning - and it's brilliant - and I am very pleased with it.

J P, UK, 02.02.2008