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Robert 21st February 2006 02:26 PM

19th Century Spanish Colonial Sword
6 Attachment(s)
My latest find is this 19th century sword reflecting strong Moro influence. The Spanish styled hilt is iron-mounted with horn grip and evidence of original wire wrap. Blade having several small edge nicks and a single slanting hash mark at the ricasso. 27 3/16" overall, 21 1/2" blade. Any information that anyone can offer on this item will be greatly appreciated.

VVV 21st February 2006 03:29 PM

I guess Luzon.


manicdj 26th February 2006 09:53 PM

[QUOTE=VVV]I guess Luzon.

Michael[/QUO good guess,..

Robert 27th February 2006 01:33 AM

VVV and Manicdj,
I thank you for your input as to where this sword was made. Would either one of you care to share your opinions on the possible date of when this was made or on any other aspects of this sword?


VVV 27th February 2006 07:42 AM


I don't collect Luzon swords, or practise their martial arts, so I don't know much about it.
Unfortunately I have to limit what to collect out of lack of space.
But I am surprised that none of the Luzon collectors have something to add considering
that it looks like a very interesting sword?


Robert 27th February 2006 02:35 PM

Again I thank you for your reply. I guess that I will just wait and see if anyone else has anything else to add to this discussion. I think most people are more interested in the more pure or traditional style weapons and not in this type of hybrid weaponry. I myself find these cross cultural weapons quite interesting.


Jim McDougall 27th February 2006 06:35 PM

Hi Robert,
I have always been very interested in Spanish colonial weapons, and was compelled to view this following your heading. I am actually kind of surprised that there has been so little response with the number of Moro and Filipino weapons collectors here. While I claim no particular expertise in these, I will try to add what I can from the resources I have.

I agree that hybrid weapons typically prove the most fascinating as they reflect dynamic history and confluence of ethnic groups and cultures in most cases. Your weapon instantly reflects the wide range of ersatz edged weapons from the Philippine Insurrection period, c.1898-1902, and possibly as late as 1913 in the very southern regions of Mindanao, particularly the city of Zamboanga. In this city, the administration of the largely Muslim southern Philippines was headquartered, with Gen. John J. Pershing commanding.

The interesting hilt of your weapon reflects distinctly Spanish characteristics with capped pommel and metal ferrule, the alternating quillons on the guard, and the grooved wood grip recalling styles on many bayonets of the period.
In these regions, where both Christians and Muslims were present, it would seem that the joining of this familiar 'insurrection period' type hilt and the nagan blade of Moro form would be quite plausible, and the period as suggested, early 20th century.

All the best,

Robert 27th February 2006 09:19 PM

It is great to know that there are others that are also interested in these weapons. Do you (or anyone else for that matter) by chance have any examples that you would be willing to post pictures of with dimensions and a brief description? I am trying to put together an album on these and would like pictures of as many different ones as I can find. If you don't want to post the information on the forum please feel free to e-mail it to me if you would. Thank you for your help. One last question. Would it be proper or acceptable to replace the single strand wire wrap that is missing on the grip?


Jim McDougall 27th February 2006 10:36 PM

Hi Robert,
Thank you for responding to my post, and I'm glad the information is of some help. There a number of us who have long been very interested in Spanish colonial weapons, in my case those of early Mexico, especially the espada ancha. If you use the search feature here, using the headings Filipino, Philippines and Insurrection you will find a number of interesting swords similar to yours. It seems some of the discussions go back at least several years. You might also view the outstanding article on the espada ancha written by Dr. Lee Jones as well.

Most of the Philippine weapons found today are 'bringbacks' from either the Spanish-American War or the later occupation of the Philippines in the early to mid 20th century. The Spanish colonial weapons of Mexico tend to date from the latter 18th century well into the 19th, with many examples much later, after the colonial period actually in the pre-Revolutionary period of latter 19th c.

In any case, it is fascinating to see the vast expanse of the Spanish sphere which extended from Spanish Morocco, to Cuba, via Mexico and as far as the Philippines. The diffusion and influences of weapons present many cases of the hybridization we are discussing.

All the best,

not2sharp 28th February 2006 02:47 AM

Would it be proper or acceptable to replace the single strand wire wrap that is missing on the grip?

For me, it would probably look better as is. Adding new information to an obviously old text is more likely to create an eye sore then restore its original appearance. It leaves the observer with the task of determining that which is original from that which has been added or changed.


Battara 28th February 2006 06:34 PM

I would say replace the twisted brass wire as long as you patina it.

Robert 1st March 2006 01:37 AM

I would like to give my thanks to all of you who have posted so far for your help and opinions on this sword.


Ian 3rd March 2006 03:34 PM


Spanish colonial influences in the Philippines obviously go back a long way. The sword you show looks late 19th C. to me, based on a number of similar knives and swords I have seen that appear to date from that period.

I agree with the suggestion that this one was probably made in Luzon because the tang goes through to the end of the hilt and is peened over. Probably from around the Manila area or a little to the north.

These Spanish colonial pieces come in various lengths, and below is a sword-length example that is probably from the late 19th C. also.


Robert 3rd March 2006 08:12 PM

Thank you for the information and for the beautifull example that that you posted. :cool:


Rick 4th March 2006 12:14 AM

Is it my imagination ; am I counting wrong ?
Don't these two swords each have an even number of waves !?
Four for Robert's ; ten for Ian's ?

//Or is it just because it's Friday night !?! ;)

Ian 5th March 2006 07:39 PM


I think you are correct. Also notice that the tip of the blade points up on these two examples, rather than the usual Moro orientation which is to have the tip point down. The latter is consistent with the orientation of keris blades from other Muslim areas in the region. But the Spanish Colonial versions favor a more European orientation with a slightly upswept tip.


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