Circassia, early 19th century
Material: Iron, silver and varnish
Size: 43 cm long
review by gherardo turchi
Better known as Circassian knife, the kindjal is similar to daggers in shape and it was created in Circassia, Northern Caucasus. Cossack soldiers used it in addition to their shashka from the eighteenth century mainly.
Kindjal is a Turkish-Russian term standing for “knife”. It has a superb double-edged steel blade with three central grooves. Its scabbard – made of some noble metals such as silver and gold – is finely engraved. Some precious stones are meant to enhance the silver chiselled hilt to get it elegant and highly refined, as its blue enamelled floral items can prove it. Three red gems improve the hilt, just like the one at the pommel and the other at the scabbard. Its floral shaped inlays are meant to recall the ones at the blade as well.
Greatly preserved, the kindjal we’re analysing is very likely to be realised by one of the most skilled Circassian armourers in the first quarter of the nineteenth century.