M 1834 Cavalry Enlisted Man's Shashka of the Asian Type (so-
called Nizhegorodka), dated 1916. A truly remarkable
34" blade dated 1916. Overall length in scabbard is 40 1/2".
Slightly curved blade, double edged near the tip. Wooden
scabbard wrapped in black leather with a hardwood grip has
brass fittings including the special mounts to hold a Mosin-
Nagant bayonet, now missing and not included. Bayonets of
this era are frequently available and it should not be
difficult to find one to complete this.
Very good to excellent condition. Shows uniform wear but
none of the outright abuse that so many old weapons display
from having seen service in the field. When first issued,
the grip was stained a uniform dark color, much of which has
worn away due to use; the old insect damage visible on one
side has not impacted the grip's strength and there is
nothing fragile about it. Unlike many leather wrapped
scabbards on older swords, this example is not only
complete, but it is completely intact. Furthermore, the
leather shows none of the dry rot or separation from the
underlying wood common to other swords from the same era.
True, it shows many scrapes and nicks from having been
carried in combat, but for many collectors, a battle-worn
weapon has a personality and an appeal that a pristine
parade ground piece will never have...
All of the metal components are still firmly attached and in
their correct positions; only the leather buffer pad has
been lost to time - and that can easily be replaced if so
desired. The blade was professionally polished at some point
in time; from inspecting it, it is obvious that it was
probably already in exceptional condition due to the fact
that the scabbard did its duty.
This shashka model was introduced in 1836 in the
Nizhegorodskiy Regiment, hence its common name
Nizhegorodka. In 1858, it was also adopted by the
Severskiy Regiment. Interestingly, in 1881 these two
units were re-issued regular cavalry shashkas in exchange
for their nizhegorodkas. The popularity of the latter
however led to repeated appeals by the Commander of the
Caucasian Cavalry Division Duke Amilakhvari to return to the
beloved nizhegorodka, and the permission to do that
was finally granted by the higher military authorities in
During the early 1900s the nizhegorodkas were also
adopted by few other units namely the Plastun
infantry detachments of the Kuban Cossack Troops (only for
senior NCOs and it was a modification without the provision
for the bayonet), the Tverskoy Dragoon Regiment, the
Pereyaslavskiy Dragoon Regiment and the
Novorossiyskiy Dragoon Regiment.
Couple the fact that only a few select units ever carried
this side arm with the fact that it saw service for only a
relatively brief period of time and you can understand its
/See Alexander Kulinskiy, "Russian Edged Weapons", 2001,
vol. 1, p. 144, fig. 53/
/See Alexander Kulinskiy, "Russian Edged Weapons", 2005,
pp. 215-218 /
The portrait of a Great War Russian soldier with an
officer's model Nizhegorodka is from A. Kulinsky's 2005 book
on edged weapons.