Original Victorian Khyber Pass Pesh-kabz Knife with Scabbard from Second Afghan War 1878-1898

Item Description

Original Item: One Only. The pesh-kabz or peshkabz (Persian: پیش قبض‎, Hindi: पेश क़ब्ज़) is a type of Indo-Persian knife designed to penetrate mail armour and other types of armor. The word is also spelled pesh-quabz or pish-ghabz and means "fore-grip" in the Persian language; it was borrowed into the Hindustani language. Originally from Iran, it is now widespread in Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India.

This particular knife is the type used by the Pashtun Khyber tribe, who were one of the groups faced by the British Empire during the Second Anglo-Afghan War. A fearsome weapon from India's North West Frontier from the time of that great Movie "THE MAN THE WOULD BE KING" starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine.  

The British empire had unwisely invaded Afghanistan in the early Victorian era and ONLY ONE Officer survived and came back of the original 3,000 men! Not to be thwarted a second invasion occurred in 1878 and the war lasted 20 years. Britain added Afghanistan to it's empire but granted it Independence in 1919.

The typical example has a hollow-ground, tempered steel single-edged full-tang blade with a thick spine bearing a "T" cross-section for strength and rigidity. Blade is in very good condition, and has some designs engraved near the base. These daggers were designed to penetrate chain mail and other types of armor, so they are of very solid construction. The blade is  broad at the hilt, but tapers progressively and radically to a needle-like, triangular tip. Upon striking a coat of mail, this reinforced tip spreads the chain link apart, enabling the rest of the blade to penetrate the armor. One knife authority concluded that the pesh-kabz "as a piece of engineering design could hardly be improved upon for the purpose".

This Pesh-kabz measures 14 1/2" overall with a 10" blade, which is on the smaller end of the typical size. This may possibly qualify it as a Chura, a smaller version specific to the Mahsud clan of the Pashtun Khyber tribe, who were one of the groups faced by the British Empire during the Second Anglo-Afghan War.

It comes in its original leather covered wood scabbard that covers the weapon to only leave the very top of the hilt exposed. The leather is mostly intact, though has shrunk a bit over the years. The dagger is still fitted with its original bone grip plates, though the end plates are a bit loose, as it looks like a plate of bone has fallen out. The hilt is fitted with brass and copper, which is engraved with some nice designs.

This was no doubt brought to England by a returning British Soldier who I am sure was just thankful to get home. Ready to display.

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