Shashka of Cossack officer. mo. 1838 with award inscription on the blade.
Russian Empire, 1881.
This type of shashka is one of the rarest example of Russian Cossack edged weapons of the 19th c. Nowadays this type of shashkas almost never come up on the market which let us speak with certainty of its significant historical value.
Overall condition of this shahska is good. Original scabbard leather has been replaced.
Blade is slightly curved with one wide fuller on each side. On one side of the blade the gilt Cyrillic inscription says "TO OUR FATHER COMMANDER OF ONE HUNDRED". On another side the Cyrillic inscription reads as «FROM THE COSSACKS OF THE 1ST SQUADRON (ONE HUNDRED)». The inscription is made with etching and gilt.
In 1881 there was a new model of Cossack shashka sword introduced as standard issue. Therefore this shashka was made during the last year the shashka model 1838 was being made.
The fact that the shashka has a presentation inscription on the blade makes the sword (shashka) unique even though this model is very rare to begin with. Edged weapons made as gifts from the subordinates to their commander are known in the Russian And irregular units but at no event it may be called common.
To this days there are known commemorative edged weapons at private collections and museums given to the members of the Imperial family. A gift like this would either mean a high status of the person presented with the gift or his respect from the givers which in turn would come form the receiver's personal bravery.
It is safe to state that this shashka was dived as a gift by the Cossacks to their commander - a hero of the Russian Turkish War of 1877 - 1878.