The Kindjal is known by several names depending on where in the Caucasus it hails from. 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. Much variety in the degree and type of decoration can also be seen amongst kindjal. The plainer form of the kindjal tends to be associated with those from Russia while those from Georgia, where they are known as quama, are often decorated with gold or silver inlay along the blades. This kindjal/quama is likely to be of Georgian origin.
The 467mm double-edged blade has a lenticular cross section with a single off-set fuller on each side. The blade is 50mm wide at the base and tapes to a needle sharp spear point. The blade is faintly etched on one side with a maker’s panel and scrollwork. Originally the etching was gilded, the base of the blade retaining its original gilt. The blade is in good condition with light use related scratches and patches of tarnish. The edges remain very sharp.
The horn hilt is in excellent condition and is tightly fixed to the tang with three rivets. The top and bottom rivet have a rosette flower head pattern with raised conical centres. The middle rivet is capped with what may be a family or regional mark that could be either a deer hoof, coffee bean, broken heart or similar.
The sword is complete with is leather covered wooden scabbard with steel mounts. The seam is intact and tight with each stitch passing through a silver wire coil showing great attention to detail. The steel chape of the scabbard is finished with a silver ball. 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/quama, probably hailing from Georgia and dating from the early to mid-19th Century.
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