Dear Jack,
This is an inscription on the backstrap of an old Caucasian style miquelet lock pistol. Many years ago, a UCLA prof. in mid-east languages (forgot the name) gave the opinion that this was a script used in the vicinity of Tashkent. I wonder if we can ever get it translated. A maker's mark appears on the lock.


The following translation of the inscription on the miquelet lock pistol comes from an unimpeachable source who is an acknowledged expert on the Russian Middle East.

The characters are to be read starting at the lower part of the grip.
George ***************

Dear George,

I can shed a little light on that inscription. It is written in Arabic script, which is also used by Persians, Turks, and other Muslim groups. In this case, the language is a Turkic one. The words, reading from right to left, should have been rendered as "Maymat Ghazi-gha." "Maymat" is surely a man's name.

"Ghazi" is a word used by Muslims to denote "warrior for the faith" or "hero." The "-gha" at the end is what linguists call a postpositive, used in this case to indicate a dative "to" or "for."

Therefore the whole thing reads "For Maymat the warrior of the faith." Perhaps it was a present to Maymat, or something put on by the artisan on his own orders. Since it was found near Tashkent, Maymat must have belonged to one of the Turkic tribes who roamed the region, Uzbek, Kyrghyz or Kazak.

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