From: "davide.mana@…" <davide.mana@…>
Date: Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:10 am
Subject: The Castaigne collection - one further item
ITEM #46587-T(a) & ITEM #46587-T(b) ITEM #46587-D EXOTIC BLADES AND NOTE
Set of two 'kard' daggers, in steel and silver, from the Uzbek Khanate of Khiva, circa 1750. Both daggers feature a single edge steel blade, 35 centimeters long, 5 centimeters at its widest, and exceedingly sharp. The grip of the each dagger is a "tower-shaped" silver cylinder, fifteen centimeters long, finely chiseled, topped by a crown-shaped pommel. Each dagger is encased by a silver conical scabbard that fits tightly with the hilt, turning each weapon into a 50 centimeters long silver sceptre.
Dagger (a) is characterized by intricate geometrical designs on both the hilt and scabbard. Almost certainly abstract in contents, the designs are chiseled in the metal and outlined in blue enamel.
Dagger (b) features four columns of Arabic writing, extending from the pommel of the hilt to the tip of the scabbard. While morphological analysis has identified the characters as Arabic from the late 15th century, the language has not been identified (but see ITEM #46587-D)
The two daggers were found in a leather box together with a short note on a yellowed piece of paper - apparently torn from a notebook. The text is in German and reads: "You got yourself a caravan master's trinket of great quality. These are travel directions, down the body of the weapon, in one of the least barbarous dialects of the Taklamakan region. I fear I can't help you there. Now that Vambery is gone, Stein is probably your best bet should you need a full translation, even if I doubt you'd find him cooperative at the current juncture. In infinite haste, Sven."
Addendum: We are currently in contact with the Dunhuang Project people for a complete translation.
Davide Mana maximizing the horror Torino, Italy