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Russian 1916 Artillery Officer's Short Sword- real?

Article about: The marking shows the origins very well! Excellent craftsmen from China manufacture many kinds of historical sabres and swords. Very well made, very well aged, but it seems most of these peo

  1. #1
    ILH is offline

    Default Russian 1916 Artillery Officer's Short Sword- real?


    I know very little about Russian kit and hope someone can help me, please.

    I took a gamble on this sword at 65 Sterling, and have the usual two questions:

    1) is it real? the private seller also had a fake British WW1 Kukri...

    2) if real, was it a reasonable price?

    If it is fake I will add it to my Pirate costume

    Thanks, Jim.
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  2. #2
    ILH is offline

    Default Re: Russian 1916 Artillery Officer's Short Sword- real?

    I've found four reproductions 'out there';

    Depeeka (different scabard throat)
    World steel craft (close markings but repro has more uniform blade!)
    unknown maker (larger drag on scabard, lipped scabbard throat with larger screws, different knobs on handle)
    and one with a black handle.

    Also found one genuine, unit marked, example from 1913 (different 'A' marks, screws of more coppery metal than scabbard throat, tidier staple in chape)

    I'm erring on the side of a worlsteelcraft repro, but it would be good to know for certain
    .......hope someone can help, i'm out of sources.
    thanks, jim.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Russian 1916 Artillery Officer's Short Sword- real?

    Repro in all likelyhood.

    the blade MIGHT be original. I can't tell without seeing more of it, especially the tang.

    But the scabbard, fittings, hadle, guard etc is all new.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Russian 1916 Artillery Officer's Short Sword- real?

    05 September 2011 | Facebook

    I have a near identical model and scabbard. My dad bought this in turkey nearly 60 years ago! The number on the blade may not indicate date of manufacture, mine is 1811. Most weapons made in Imperial Europe bore a monogram of the reigning monarch at the time it was made. Our swords have two letters A on the blade, one of which has a crown above it. This may signify they were made during the reign of Czar Alexander I (1801-1825). Your sword has a fancy brass hilt and the sheathe is encased in leather stitched up on the inboard side. The handles can be easily replaced as they are held on with brass studded bolts. Mine is much plainer (the sheathe is painted in a heavy lacquer, no fancy hilt and the handle is held together with brass studded rivets) so I suspect your model is an officers' model while mine is for lower ranks. These were issued to artillerymen for self defense at close quarters much like an infantryman's hanger. My sword has additional markings in particular are the armorer's ID (71.) on both the scabbard and blade ( a matched pair!) plus the double headed Imperial Eagle where yours has what looks like a "snowflake" emblem.

    The lack of an armorers stamp and no Eagle could cast doubt on your sword being authentic. However officers of the 19th century bought their commisions and all their uniforms/horses/weapons etc. They could do this because they came from wealthy aristocratic families and rarely through the ranks! Your sword is not standard government issue! It was personal property of the officer who carried it probably custom made for him so no armory id or Imperial Eagle stamp. The "snowflake" must be the symbol of the foundry which made the sword. Your weapon is a quality piece of work by appearances and certainly no cheap replica. It should be appraised by an antiques dealer rather than us online armchair critics for authenticity.
    Last edited by Jared; 09-06-2011 at 12:55 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Russian 1916 Artillery Officer's Short Sword- real?

    The "sword" is a modern repro.

    Furthermore, it is not a sword, rather a dagger/kinjal from the Caucasus or Middle East.

    The "snowflake" language is not Cyrillic. I do not recognize a single word and half of the letters. Not Russian in origin.

    And the above-post is filled with incorrect information and should be taken with a grain of salt.

    It's not a sword, it's not Russian and it's not old.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Russian 1916 Artillery Officer's Short Sword- real?

    This short sword or very long dagger if you prefer is modeled after a caucasian kindjal sharing many of that blades unique features although with a curved blade rather than the typical straight blade of a true kindjal.

    It compares very well with my own model which can be viewed on the Facebook link in my earlier post. I agree the markings cast some doubt as to it being authentic but that is not conclusive as no evidence of their true origin, date or meaning has been presented.

    As I said before, it is worth getting an assessment by a qualified antiques dealer rather than from us armchair "experts".

    This man may be able to evaluate your sword for you at a reasonable rate:
    Sword Indentifications & Valuations
    Last edited by Jared; 09-06-2011 at 02:58 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Russian 1916 Artillery Officer's Short Sword- real?

    Oh I agree, "armchair" expert are annoying. Good thing I'm an antique appraiser here in NY, Jared. If you'd like the company name (not sure if posting it openly would violate forum rules about advertising a business), feel free to PM me and look us up in the phone book.

    First of all, no such dagger was EVER issued to or approved for wear by any Russian Imperial troops. There are no period photos of it being worn by regular troops in the Russian Army to prove your point. Cossacks had a bigger variety of weapons, but would have used the straight kinjal. No "private purchase" story is going to pan out. No European officer would wear a middle eastern dagger that goes against uniform regulations. The Russian Artillery connection is completely out at this point.

    Secondly, the shape is decidedly textbook Middle-Eastern, likely of Persian or Turkish. These have been made in that region for years and are sold at markets to tourists.

    Finally, just look at the handle. The wood has no age to it and all the "wear" is uniform in color. There dagger and scabbard appear "aged", but have no actual wear on them. This is seen on all those copies coming form china these days on fleabay. This is a slightly better version, however it presents all the same issues with aging but no wear.

    Here's a modern copy which looks a lot like what we're seeing: Kindjal, Combat knifes : Outfit 4 Events

    And no, the writing is NOT in Cyrillic, on this one or on yours. Please stop saying that in your facebook pictures. Not Cyrillic, not Russian.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Russian 1916 Artillery Officer's Short Sword- real?

    This weapon is (if not an original then a quality repro of) the Imperial Russian model 1907 dagger called a Bebut. It was issued to a wide range of units based on the photographs I DID see of Russian soldiers carrying it. It took me some research to find but the truth is out there as long as one is patient enough to search for it. One such photograph is found on this forum (Jan 5, 2010, 10:49)

    Ethnographic Arms & Armour - Bebut sword

    It is a bona-fide fact is that these knives were issued in Imperial Russia and that genuine articles do exist out there. Officers and enlisted alike carried them as do the machinegun crew in the photo on Vikingsword. Russia was a vast empire by the 20th century reaching right up to the borders of Turkey and Persia, why would there be no central Asian (not middle eastern) influences in their art and design? I agree the private purchase possibility is about 100 years out of date for this model but you rely too much on assumptions about this matter. Christies is auctioning one such Bebut along with a Russian cavalry sabre (Lot 120/Sale 7734) you should read this and expand your knowlege, here is a link:

    An Infantry officer's shashka, pattern 1912 and a Bebut, pattern 1907 | CIRCA 1907 AND 1909 | Russian Pictures Auction</li>

    They cite this publication as a reference for the model 1907 Bebut:

    A. N. Kulinskii, Russian edged weapons 18-20th centuries, part I, St. Petersburg, 2001, pp. 220-221, illustration no. 87.

    If they are wrong then you better set them straight!

    As far as my comments on Facebook I will amend those which are erroneous and leave alone those which are not wrong. The Cyrillic (if it isn't then why does it translate?) writing on the ricasso of my Bebut, around the Imperial Eagle (the top half anyway) reads Chrysostom which is a Russian city in the Urals that is also known as Zlatoust. The Zlatoust Armoury has a long history and were a large producer of Imperial Russian armaments in their time. The 4 digit numeral on the blade is in fact its date of production so my baby turned 100 this year! The A marks are inspection marks made by the producer before final completion so I am wrong as wrong can be about them being a Czar Alexander I monogram! Can you ever find it in your heart to forgive me?

    I inherited my Bebut from my father who bought the thing in a Turkish bazaar around 1953. I think it is unlikely that this is a repro since the market for such militaria has only recently reached fever pitch. The model at the start of this thread may be dubious due to the lack of an Imperial emblem and also the lack of any addtional armourers ID markings or stamps. Mine bears an additional 19.T.S.L. crudely stamped on the blade which is probably a code for which regiment it was issued to. The aging of the piece shown at the start of this thread I can not debate as you will have the knowledge on how fakes are made. Wear and tear are a sign of use and not always age. As this piece lacks additional secondary markings could it be possible it spent much of its life in a warehouse having never seen military service? It has the crude edges of a massed produced piece rather than the finer finish of a reproduction. Kind of make you want to see the thing for real just to better study it! Anyway such things intrigue me.

    Look forward to jousting with you some more U-Man. Pro as you are, and I respect this, you have it well wrong on alot of points with this matter. However I got a few various antiques I am happy to share with you later on for your professional scrutiny. The irony is we are debating this weapon, its classification and authenticity while the guy who originally started this thread seems to have dropped out!
    Last edited by Jared; 09-06-2011 at 11:54 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Russian 1916 Artillery Officer's Short Sword- real?


    That's what I get for doing bare minimum of research before putting my foot in my mouth.

    you are absolutely correct, I was wrong about this knife being issued. Fully admit my lack of information and wrong conclusion there!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Russian 1916 Artillery Officer's Short Sword- real?

    i want to just point out that this is a nice forum if you lot wanna argue go to a back alley somewhere as far as i gather jim just wants some ideas it is a free (ish) world and if uberman thinks its fake he can say so people make mistakes so calm down

    ps jim nice dagger/sword/whatever it actually is it looks nice

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