عنوان مقاله [English]
After developments in military technologies in Qajard period, the importance of warm weapons was added and cold weapons found less use in wars, but their production continued in limitted quantity because of other side applications. During this period, various kinds of cold weapons were used in battlefields, such as bladed weapons, knockers and pounders, throwing wapons, and some tools for capturing castles. The focus of research is on daggers, knives and PishQabzes which all of them have sharped bladed but short ones. The main purpose of this article is investigating features of the daggers, knives and PishQabzes, and function of these weapons, the possible relationship between their decorations and their warlike or ceremonial functions, in order to have better understanding and recognition all of these weapons and their evolutions during Qajar period. In this regard, answering these questions was considered: what are the characteristics of forms; motifs, themes and techniques decorations in the daggers, knives and PishQabsez in Qajar period? How is the relationship between the quality and quantity of decorations with the function of those weapons? This research was conducted by a historical-descriptive and analytical approach; and the founding methodology based on library resources and field studies. The results of research show that these weapons vary by scales and levels of curvature of blades. The various parts of these weapons are decorated with vegetal-geometrical, human-animal and inscriptive motifs, and decorated mostly by gilded and metal emboss working and enamel techniques. Vegetable-geometrical and human-animal motifs have feast and party themes and inscriptive motifs have religious, diatribe, charm and literary themes.The execution of decorations motifs mostly by costly and magnificent techniques such as enameling or inlaying on daggars and knives(which didn’t use these techniques on PishQabzes) suggests that these two weapons were used mostly for decoration and not for real use on battlefields in Qajar period.
Keywords: Qajar Period, Cold Weapons, Daggar, Knife, PishQabz.
Weapons obtained from various historical periods are important and valuable archaeological data for investigating artistic, industrial and military developments. During the Qajar period, the expansion of military, commercial and cultural relations with Europe affected various aspects of Iranian life, one of which was the increase in the import of new warm arms into Iran as a result of the widespread presence of foreign ambassadors in this period. However, the manufacture of the past cold weapons continued and was used in pitched battles. During this period, the quality of the reduced steel consumed, the appearance and decoration of the weapons became more and more attention and found a decorative aspect (Alexander, 1387: 7; Towhidi, 1364: 170).
In the present study, three bladed cold arms; daggers (17 samples), knives (17 samples), and three PishQabzes (3 samples) of this period, which have relatively shorter blades in Compared with swords, Qame and Qaddareh, will be examined. Selected items are among the distinctive samples from the Qajar period, which are mainly kept in domestic museums and also museums and private collections abroad. Unfortunately, there are very few PishQabsez that belong to this period, which limited the selected samples of this weapon in this article.
These weapons are studied in order to understand the characteristics of their form, shape and types of their motifs and decorative techniques, as well as the type of use of these weapons and their possible relevance to military and ceremonial uses with an archaeological approach. For these purposes, two questions were raised: what are the characteristics of forms; motifs, themes and techniques decorations in the daggers, knives and PishQabsez in Qajar period? How is the relationship between the quality and quantity of decorations with the function of those weapons? Survey part of the Qajar artifact that in known less than the other periods, is one of the necessities of this research.
The dagger is a bladed-cutting arm. It’s a great alternative when the sword doesn’t have the speed to act on the battlefield. The dagger is a double-edged arm with a curved blade. Most of the Qajar daggers have shaped handles. The blades are divided into two groups according to the degree of curvature, high curvature blades and low curvature blades. In addition to the curvature, the blades can be classified into three groups of simple, serrated and multi-branch blades in the form of edges. The dagger motifs can generally be classified into three main categories, including: 1- Vegetable-geometrical motifs 2- Inscription motifs 3- Human-animal motifs.
The knife, a short-bladed weapon, has been a good fit for close combat. The knives blades of the Qajar period are more of an edge; however, few examples of double-edged blades have been obtained. Rare samples also have low-curvature blades (approximately S-shaped); according to the written sources and pictures of the Qajar period, the use of knives in ceremonial and court ceremonies of this period is frequently observed. The ornamental motifs of knives can generally be classified into three main categories: 1- Vegetable-geometrical motifs 2- Inscription motifs 3- Human-animal motifs.
The PishQabz is a cold arm with short-cutting blade that has a unique shape; three quarters of the back of the blade is nearly sharp and the biginning of the blade is concave and then convex at the bottom. The tip of the blade is very delicate, so to reinforce it, in some cases its head is made of a conical button. Unfortunately, There are very few dated PishQabzes that they belong to the Qajar period. Decorative motifs of the PishQabzes are classified into three categories: 1- Geometrical motifs 2- Human-animal motifs 3- Inscription motifs.
Daggers, knives and PishQabzes, as bladed arms, have sharpening functions that are suitable for close and pitched wars. The blades of daggers are double-edged; and the blades of knives and PishQabzes are both one-edged and double-edged.
The decorative motifs of these three arms can be classified into three main groups: vegetable-geometrical, inscription and human-animal motifs. vegetable-geometrical motifs are the most widely used motifs in the decoration of these weapons. Human-animal motifs have mythical and festival themes and the inscriptions motifs have religious, talisman, and literary themes, written with the script of naskh, thulth, and nasta’liqe.
The dagger and knife have ceremonial-symbolic and military functions. It should be noted that the functional aspect of the ceremonial arms can’t be denied, but their difference with the military patterns is in their decoration (enamelling and inlaying techniqes). According to the available evidences of the Qajar period, PishQabzes aren’t a ceremonial, and we couldn’t find this use of them in the paintings and images. They are also much more simpler than the daggers and knives in decorative motifs.
This research can be useful in depth studies of the evolution of daggers, knives and PishQabzes making in Iran, or the Islamic era in general.