Large Persian Qama Sword with dyed Ivory Grip

Large Persian Qama Sword

14946 Category:

Origin: Persia

Date: Second half of the 19 C.


Qama swords and daggers are common to a very large region in the middle east. From Persia in the east to Caucasus and the Balkan in the west. An 18 and 19 C. copy of the Roman Gladius sword, with typical double edge straight wide blade. Persian Qama swords are usually bigger and wider that their western sisters.

The fine Qama exhibited here is Persian, Mid Qajar period, second half of the 19C. Finely forged heavy blade with off centered fullers very richly decorated with gold inlay koftgari work. Walrus Ivory grips dyed green, with steel rosettes. Scabbard with large blackened steel mounts very densely and richly decorated with gold inlay work.

Blade 17 1/2 inches. Total length 24 1/2 inches. Very good condition. Age crack on the front grip (Common to many such Qama’s). The velvet cover of the scabbard is later.

Note on Ivory dying: Old technique developed probably in Persia in the 18 C. used to dye handles of daggers and swords, and spread also to neighboring regions. The technique is not actually known today in details. A short chapter on dying ivory appeared in an old chemistry book from 1842, see below.

G. Francis, “CHEMICAL EXPERIMENTS” page 245


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