email for price
This is a copper alloy dagger or short sword. It has an interesting patina consisting primarily of light to medium green tones (likely malachite) mottled with red and reddish brown areas (likely copper oxides). There are areas where the deep brown, lightly corroded base metal is still visible and somewhat lustrous.
The entire hilt, including the crescent-shaped pommel, is bordered by a thick and even ridge which would have served to contain the grip scales made of bone, wood, or ivory. The scales are now missing but there are what appear to be remnants of an organic glue on the surface of the grip area (see page 4). Just below the grip area, the hilt is concave on both edges down to the guard.
Just below the guard area is a ricasso. From the ricasso, the blade flares gently outward toward the middle and then inward toward the tip. The blade itself is convex on both surfaces. It has no real median ridge but is thickest at the center.
There are no signs of damage or repair to this piece. Microscopic inspection showed a very lively patina with an assortment of crystalline structures.
The difficulty with this piece lies in making a correct cultural attribution. The hilt ridges are to thick to be considered flanges, which are common on pieces from ancient Iran. A flange would have been thin enough to bend a portion of the metal over the grip inlays to aid in their retention. For a grip scale/inlay to be attached to the hilt of this specimen, it would have to be glued in place and/or wrapped with cord, wire, sheet metal or other such overlay.
This piece bears similarities with type I and type II daggers from ancient Luristan, both in the shape of the handle and in the blade design. (See “Arms and Armor from Iran”, by Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani, Legat-Verlag Publisher 2006, page 58.) The major difference is that the Luristan daggers and short swords do not have these thick ridges along the hilt and more often than not there is at least one rivet in the grip area. This piece has no rivet.
Also, while some of the Luristan pieces have a defined ricasso, few (if any) have the plain, rectangular design of the ricasso on this specimen.
This piece also has similarities with Canaanite and Egyptian weapons of the same time period.
This piece weighs 461 grams. The overall length (line A) is 40.5 cm. The blade length (line B) is 27.4 cm. The hilt (line C) is 13.1 cm. The width of the pommel (line D) is 4.6 cm. Line E measures 3.25 cm and line F (guard) measures 3.4 cm. Line G measures 3.65 cm. The hilt is 1.2 cm thick at the guard and narrows to 0.95 cm at the pommel. The blade is 0.65 cm thick near the guard and tapers to roughly 0.45 cm thick at the blade tip. There is an area just below the guard which is the ricasso. This area is visible in the photograph immediately to the left. It runs from the horizonatal line below the letter “F” up to the guard. It is 1.5 cm in height.