Russian 19th Century Kindjal. Caucasian Short Sword. Maker Marked

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The Kindjal is known by several names depending on where in the Caucasus it hails from. Kindjal and Quama are the most often used. It is the traditional sidearm of the Caucasus region. A Caucasian man was expected to wear a kindjal and to be proficient in its use.

A variety of blade lengths and widths are found amongst kindjal. Late 19th Century and newer examples tend to be more like daggers while older examples are most definitely short swords. The kindjal is believed to be based on the ancient Roman gladius and it certainly bears many similarities. Its exact origins are debated but it is likely to have originated in the norther Caucasus or Persian Gulf area. This kindjal is likely to be of Russian origin and has a researchable maker’s mark.

The 432mm double-edged blade has a lenticular cross section with a single off-set fuller on each side. The blade is 51mm wide at the base and tapes to a needle sharp spear point. The blade is stamped with a clear maker’s mark and is in good condition with use related scratches and patches of tarnish. There are some small contact nicks on the edges and the sword remains very sharp.

The facing grip scale of the hilt is carved from marine ivory, probably walrus tusk. The rear grip scale is buffalo horn. The scales are tightly fixed to the tang by three rivets. The top and bottom rivet pointed domes while the middle rivet is capped with what may be a family or regional mark that resembles a heart.

The sword is complete with is leather covered wooden scabbard with steel mounts. The stitching is intact and tight. The leather has use and age related scuffs and marks and what looks like a Cyrillic letter cut into the front. This could have been the owners mark. The steel chape of the scabbard has a punched dot decoration. The top of the scabbard has a ridged band incorporating a loop for suspending the scabbard.

This is a beautiful example of a Caucasian kindjal, probably hailing from Russia and dating from the early to mid-19th Century.

Because one of the grip scales is made of ivory, this kindjal is only for sale within the United Kingdom.


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