Afghan 19th Century Military Short Sword M1889. Kabul Armoury

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This impressive and fearsome Afghan army short sword dates to the late 19th Century. In 1889 these hangers became standard issue for Afghan military forces. The swords are characterized by a broad and heavy bi-fullered blade and slotted knuckle guard.

The 665mm straight blade is 44mm wide at the ricasso and has a thick, flat spine above full-length double fullers. The blade is double-edged for the last 255mm and terminates in a spear point with a slightly raised yelman. The blade was service sharpened and retains very sharp fighting edges.

The high quality blade is in very good condition and is stamped on the ricasso with the Kabul Armoury mark.

The iron hilt has three thin bars to the knuckle bow. The bars converge forwards to form a wide, flat crosspiece with shield langets and a short rear facing quillon. The knuckle bow narrows towards the pommel and terminates in a narrow, scrolled tail that is doubled over and attached to the mameluke-style iron pommel by means of a riveted cylindrical rod. The hilt is gripped with hardwood scales that are riveted firmly in place through the tang. The blade is firm in the hilt.

The sword is complete with its leather covered wooden scabbard. The scabbard has a steel locket and chape, the locket having a central suspension ring. The scabbard is in good condition with age and use related scuffs, tears and wear to the leather and a small loss to the back edge above the chape. The sword sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.

This is a good example of a scarce Afghan army short sword made in Kabul in the late 19th Century.