Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   The EARLY MAKERS TRADE MARKS thread... lost and partly restored. (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=23282)

fernando 18th October 2017 05:06 PM

The EARLY MAKERS TRADE MARKS thread... lost and partly restored.
 
4th November 2007, 07:56 PM

Posted by:

Jim McDougall

EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66


Early makers trade marks

It is well known that often one of the key elements in studying ethnographic edged weapons is that of the trade blades often found mounted in them. I have tried using our search feature to research certain established markings often found on a number of these, but feel that it might be a more effective resource if we began a thread with discussion focused on known markings.

I am hoping we can focus for example on the 'running wolf' of Passau, which evolved into forms stamped in the blades of Styria, Solingen and eventually in the Hounslow blades and Shotley Bridge blades of German makers in England.
There is an especially interesting chart on the chronological development of this mark in Wagner ("Cut and Thrust Weapons") ...could anyone with this book please post? Also there is I believe a note on the marking in Oakeshott ("Archaeology of Weapons"). ...also please post anyone?
Also, I believe the running wolf in Chechen blades is termed 'Ters Maymal' (check Askhabov, "Chechen Weapons").

Other key examples would be the 'sickle', 'eyelash' markings associated with Genoan blades. These evolved also via Genoan colonies into Styria, Solingen and Chechnya (where they are termed 'gurda', see Askhabov again). These occur almost consistantly on examples of Afghan paluoars, and on trade blades in many regions.

The familiar 'Andrea Ferara' seen in the fullers of various straight blades of 17th-18th century seen on Scottish basket hilts, English mortuary swords, khanda 'ferangi' in India and others. Any examples of this appearing on trade blades would be essential. While often held by early writers to have been the purloined name of an early Italian swordsmith that became used over centuries as with the Islamic Assad Adullah marking, it has been suggested that rather than a name it is actually a term. Ferara (=iron) Andrea (=true, ?)
Much as in the term Eisenhauer on many German blades (Eisen = iron) (hauer=cutter).
Sahugun, on early Spanish blades..name of maker? or place?

The talismanic blades of the 18th century....the man in the moon, the human faced sun and the star ....what is the application of these astral figures? These are widely copied on native blades, especially in the Sudan and the Sahara. We need examples of the European blades as well as the native mounted ones.

'The Spanish Motto', do not draw me without reason, nor sheath me without honor. This occurs in about mid 18th century, and while associated with Spanish blades of the period, it turns out these blades, typically Spanish dragoon blades c. 1769 were actually produced in Solingen.

These are what seem to comprise the most commonly encountered markings on blades associated with trade and ethnographic weapons. I hope that anyone so inclined will quote and address any of these examples so that we might all benefit from discussion focused on them and the topic in general.
The comprehensive research resources and outstanding examples in the collections of the members and readers here is well established, and I would very much like to see these employed in a useful resource for us all.

Thank you in advance everyone!

With all very best regards,

Jim

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:08 PM

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Posted by:

Rich

Member
Join Date: Dec 2004


Here are some early Italian makers marks.

Rich S

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:09 PM

Posted by:

Fernando



Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
'The Spanish Motto', do not draw me without reason, nor sheath me without honor. This occurs in about mid 18th century, and while associated with Spanish blades of the period, it turns out these blades, typically Spanish dragoon blades c. 1769 were actually produced in Solingen.[/QUOTE]

Hi Jim
This Motto is much older than that.
In the collection of the Portuguese Viscount of Pindela, published in 1946, swords #35 and #39 bear this Motto. These sords are dated XVI century.
This is a very serious (rare) publication (which i luckily have), sponsored by the State. The collection was kept in the family's Mannor house, where it was catalogued, and was later sold to the State, due to the family's financial situation. It is now in exhibition in one of the National Palaces.
Hpe this is usefull.
Fernando

fernando 18th October 2017 05:11 PM

Old 4th November 2007, 10:56 PM

Posted by:
Jim McDougall

EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 5,748

Thanks so much Rich and Fernando for getting things rolling!!!
The Italian marks are great Rich.....I had a copy of the huge volume "Armi Bianchi Italiene" which I wish I had access to....these Italian marks are very important as the Italians were quite prominant traders that diffused immense numbers of blades.

Thank you for the input on that motto Fernando....I knew it was older than the popularly applied examples on those dragoon blades but did not know where or how early. The transliterated versions appeared also on French and Italian blades as well during the 18th century, and in the case of the Italian examples probably much earlier due to contact with the Portuguese I would imagine.

fernando 18th October 2017 05:12 PM

Old 4th November 2007, 11:02 PM

Posted by:
fernando

Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 5,219

Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
I am hoping we can focus for example on the 'running wolf' of Passau, which evolved into forms stamped in the blades of Styria, Solingen and eventually in the Hounslow blades and Shotley Bridge blades of German makers in England.

Hi again,
Jim

The running wolf ( Lobo de Passau ) is quoted to be engraved, together with the number 1441 ( one of the various combinations of magic number 7 ) in a XVI century Portuguese Colonial ( crab ) sword, depicted in page 64 of "Homens Espadas e Tomates, a book you also have. It appears that these trade blades were supplied at the time to Portugal and ( if i remember reading ) also Spain.
If needed, some evolution on the magic number seven can be posted.
Fernando

fernando 18th October 2017 05:13 PM

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Old 4th November 2007, 11:09 PM

Posted by:
Jeff D

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Location: B.C. Canada
Posts: 491

Hi Jim,

Here is Pg. 109 of Wagner's Cut and Thrust Weapons .

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:14 PM

Old 4th November 2007, 11:18 PM

Posted by:
Jeff D

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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: B.C. Canada
Posts: 491

Here is Pg 223 of Oakeshott's Archaeology of Weapons !st edition.


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fernando 18th October 2017 05:14 PM

Old 4th November 2007, 11:25 P

Posted by:
Jeff D

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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: B.C. Canada
Posts: 491

How about going back to the ULFBERHT and INGERI swords, or the eastern European/ Caucasian FRINGA blades. Not to mention Assadollah!

You may have opened a can of worms with this thread

All the Best
Jeff

fernando 18th October 2017 05:15 PM

Old 5th November 2007, 12:02 AM

Posted by;
Jim McDougall

EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 5,748


Yay Jeff!!!
Ya always come in like the cavalry!!!!! Those are exactly the images I was looking for, thank you so much!
I agree on the ulfberht and ingeri (they always reminded me of Engleberdt Humperdinck ).....but excellent very early trademarks. I recall the articles from Park Lane Arms Fair journals as well as the material Lee Jones has compiled on these.

Thank you again Fernando for the Passau wolf and again adding the Portuguese associations.....I do indeed have that book but unfortunately not at hand right now.....wish it was believe me!
Please do add material on the '7' ......the numerological material involved in many of the markings is very pertinant. The number three of course comes up often with the religious associations. I know that on many trade blades, some of the 'Zanzibar' nimchas for example, three crosses often appear on the blades.

fernando 18th October 2017 05:16 PM

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Old 5th November 2007, 01:13 AM

Posted by;
Michael Blalock

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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: dc
Posts: 253

Here is a cloud with a sword. One is from an English cavalry sword, the other, a Yemeni sword and the coat of arms is for the town of Valka, Latvia. A very small town in Latvia from where my wife's family fled during WWII. This part of Lativa was a German principality for most of the the middle ages.

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:16 PM

Old 5th November 2007, 02:33 AM

Posted by;
Jim McDougall

EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 5,748

Beautiful examples Michael! and most intriguing history with the coat of arms shown. It seems I have seen similar arms in Polish heraldry, and that the arm coming from the cloud device was most likely adopted by Solingen makers in the 17th to 18th centuries as can be seen in the talismanic context.

I have seen this marking in books on this topic such as 1000 Makers Marks (Lenciewicz ?) and another whose title escapes me (Jeff I think you have these). I apologize for not having better recollection on these, I do not have access to books presently so must rely on what there is of my memory!!

It is interesting to see the religious allegory associated with these talismanic devices in motif, in this case the arm holding a sabre represents the arm of God and the sword extending from Heaven. We did have some discussion on the appearance of the Virgin Mary on Polish swords along with astral symbols not too long ago, and it seems that the arm in the cloud is shown illustrated in a Russian reference on this topic indicating the use from 17th to 18th century.

The English cavalry blade looks like an early 19th century sabre blade, and the Yemeni blade appears to be a broadsword as seen on kattara in Oman..both with Solingen blades,can you show the full examples?

fernando 18th October 2017 05:17 PM

Old 5th November 2007, 05:49 A

Posted by:
Chris Evans

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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 524

Hi Folks,

Terrific and extremely informative thread. Keep up the good work all of you.

Cheers
Chris

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:18 PM

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Old 5th November 2007, 11:39 AM

Posted by:
Jens Nordlunde

Member

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Europe


I have only one blade, on a firangi, which could be a trade blade. As far as I can read it, it says XX WIDALDBELV XX, I don�t know what it means, but I have noticed that the text is not in the middle of the four �X�s so there may have been more than what can be seen to day. What can be seen is fairly deep, and this �worries� me a bit. The �X�s can be seen at both ends, but some of the letters are missing, without any trace of that they have been there, and this I find strange, it is btw the same on both sides of the blade. Could it be, that blades like this, with a sloppy marking, are not trade blades, although they are supposed to look so, but local made blades? We must not forget, that although several countries did what they could, to fill the market in other countries with trade blades, a lot of the so called trade blades we see to day have been locally made. How do we know which is a trade blade and which is a locally made one?

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:18 PM

Old 5th November 2007, 02:49 PM

Posted by:
Jim McDougall

EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66

Hi Jens,
Excellent point, very often it becomes hard to determine which are the trade blades and which are locally made. In many cases the locally made blades become quite good, and as trade blades were made sometimes rather indiscriminately, the very quality the markings presumed to declare was in fact not present. I think in many instances the manner in which certain markings were applied and the locations on the blade sometimes gave clues. For example, in the Sahara, the dual opposed crescent moons seen on the takouba blades are clearly an imitation of the larger crescent moon on the European talismanic blades. Applied doubly must have been thier idea of somehow strengthening or emphasizing the application.
In another case, the eyelash type markings appear on a blade in the Caucusus ( also on an Indian blade I have seen) rather than singly, applied in linear repitition, in the manner of motif. This multiplied use of what was originally a single trademark suggests the folk interpretation of increasing the quality or power imbued in the blade.

It seems that the X stamps typically enclosed either names, mottos or inscriptions on 17th century European blades, possibly some earlier. I am not certain of the purpose of these x markings but to enclose these inscriptions, and possibly since they often occur in multiple, numerological symbolism may be involved.

All the best,
Jim
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fernando 18th October 2017 05:18 PM

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Old 6th November 2007, 01:09 AM

Posted by:
Jeff D

Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: B.C. Canada

Hi Jim,

The images in Zygmunt Lenkiewicz and Dudley Gyngell's books are the same and as you know attributed to Peter Munich (I will post the images in Gyngell below). Not quite the cloud and sword as on Michael's beautiful blade. I think these images are often mistakenly attributed to Peter Munich but infact date to Solingern from the mid 18th to mid 19th century. The Munich images are much more detailed. The exact images seen on Michael's blade are seen often on British 1788 blades from the Runkel factory. They are less often but not atypically seen on British 1796's, and trade blades to Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Africa (oddly I haven't found any exported to America?). Similar images are copied in these areas, but appear more crude.
The arm with sword protruding from a cloud is thought to represent the sword of God or God's justice. It is seen in herarldry from Poland, Scandinavia, and Ireland to name a few. It has been mentioned that there at least was a Protestant connection. It is interesting to note that often in heraldry and in the blade image the sword is a "scimitar" not the more typically European saber as in Michaels coat of arms?

Hi Jens,
I think you are correct (again!), Just with the examples above you can see the images on the trade blade, local images on imported trade blades and local images on local blades. Possibly commercialism or possibly the images have significance that is independent of its possible trademark status. I will see if i can find any references to the mark on your blade.

All the Best.
Jeff

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:19 PM

Old 6th November 2007, 04:25 AM

Posted by:
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66

Hi Jeff,
Thank you for posting the reference on the Peter Munich blade markings, and I think you are right in these appearing in kind, much later into the 18th and 19th century and the astral figures do appear often on British officers sabres as you have noted. I have always thought that these figures on these blades in these later times not only had to do with quality symbolism, but likely even more to do with Masonic lore. In those times officers were of course also well established gentry and often nobility, and were of course also often quite active in Freemasonry, where much of this symbolism remained well in place.

Very good point about the trade blades from Solingen, or for that matter Runkle who was situated in England, and their wide distribution. I think that in America these blades did get there in some degree of course via British presence. Best source for examples here would probably be Neumann, "Swords and Blades of the American Revolution".

Interesting note that you bring up on the sword held by the arm in the cloud being a 'scimitar' as described in heraldry. It seems that these sabres and for that matter the 'Oriental' fashion deeply influenced many European forces in warfare in Eastern Europe against Turkish forces, and in many cases the 'exotic' imagery was adopted in degree. One interesting case is with a few of the Scottish mercenaries who adopted the curved sabre blades in their basket hilts, terming these hybrids 'turcael', if I recall.

With the mention of the Scottish blades, it brings to mind that it seems invariably that the basket hilt blades were German, and presumably mostly from Solingen. Needless to say, that brings us to the Andrea Ferrara myth!!

All the best,
Jim

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:19 PM

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Old 6th November 2007, 04:46 AM

Posred by:
Jeff D
Member

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: B.C. Canada


Thanks for mentioning the Scottish blades as that reminded me about another observation. Often these 'trade marks' are doubled. ie. eyelashes & Ferrara marks, Or as in this Scottish basket hilt stars and moon with the Spanish motto etc.

Jeff
Attached Images

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:20 PM

Old 6th November 2007, 04:54 AM

Posted by:
Jeff D
Member

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: B.C. Canada

Regarding the scimitar in the cloud image. I always wondered if it represented that the Eastern powers were seen as God's punishment, you know, not enough faith and all that...

More things to ponder.
Jeff

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:20 PM

Old 6th November 2007, 03:18 PM

Posted by:
Jens Nordlunde

Member

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Europe

Interesting to notice what Jim writes, and it is most likely true. In the start trade blades were no doubt of the same quality as the blades used by the soldier of the trading country, but along the way it is also likely that a lesser quality was exported, so in the end the locally made �trade� blade might have been of quite a higher quality than the ones imported.

The same happened to the Indian ingots in the early centuries, so in the end the Arabic merchants stationed controllers at the west coast of India, to check the ingots before they were exported.

A side remark � there were no doubt a lot of blades imported into India, which did not have any markings, but we will never know how big this import was.

Very good explained Jeff, and good instructive illustrations as well.

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:21 PM

Old 6th November 2007, 03:55 PM

Posted by:
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66

Excellent observations Jeff! and especially pleased to see that Scottish basket hilt blade, which is a beauty ! I remember that one! This further emphasizes that these Scottish blades were indeed German imports, as the 'Spanish Motto' blades have now been determined to have been produced in variation and number in Solingen. It seems that early Scottish blades bearing patriotic mottos had inscriptions that were noteably Germanic in spelling, such as 'for Schotland and no union'.

As you have noted the application of these astral markings as well as the motto seem to have been applied somewhat in disassociated manner as far as original or presumed symbolism, suggesting of course that such blades were made to appeal to certain markets or consumers without particular consideration or understanding of the markings. It would seem also that blades could have been decorated specifically at the request of the consumer. In such case, the coupling of markings indeed would have been found on varied blades intended commercially.

The suggestion that Solingen produced special order blades is also seen with the sword bearing arm out of the cloud that we are discussing. In one reference to this particular marking it appears along with a 'sacred heart' marking which is typically regarded as a Catholic associated symbol if I am clear, and in such context with presumed Protestant markings such as the arm in the cloud would again suggest production in a more commercial perspective such as the Solingen blades.
It would require a great deal of theological debate to discuss the possible symbolism of most of these allegorical markings, but the general application seems to support the talismanic concept.

It seems that early writers on arms such as DeCosson proposed that in many cases the application of what are perceived as names of makers may have been descriptive terms for types of swords, with of course Andrea Ferrara at the fore. Another familiar example is that of 'SAHAGUM'. While this of course is known as a place in Spain, and possibly a makers name, it occurs on blades in elusive variation, and often spelled differently. I have seen this term applied to allegedly Toledo produced blades and actually spelled differently on each side of the blade. Again,clearly Solingen production though the blade heralded 'EN TOLEDO' as well.

As you have well said.........lots more pondering!!!!!

All very best regards,
Jim

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:21 PM

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Old 6th November 2007, 05:30 PM

Posted by;
fernando

Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal

Hi Jim,
This is a rough translation of the paragraphs concerning the so called magic numbers, referring to the sword i have mentioned before, contained in the book already quoted.
I hope this makes some sense and is usefull to the thread topic. If not, it's you who asked for it
I myself allways doubt the efectiveness of isoteric stuff ( is this how you call it? )

" It became easy to distinguish European examples from Colonials, as the quality of their fabrication and its artistic level were highly superior to those made in the Colonies. Not so easy, however,was to distinguish examples in the Colonies that were made by Portuguese smiths, engaged by the Overseas Arsenals, from simple copies manufactured in Native anvils.
Both versions had imported blades. The wide blades with the mark �Lobo de Passau ( a running wolf ), and with the magic numbers 1414 or 1441, are the oldest examples, which origin is attributed to Portuguese Colonial Arsenals and the realms of Dom Manuel ( 1495-1521 ) untill Dom Sebasti�o ( 1557-1578). It is worthy to mention that the numbers 1414 and 1441 were not the date of production ( under which very often they were classified ) but uniquely the application of a number considered �magic�. The study of numerology, a fashion of the period, attributed to figure �7�, as to its multiples and combinations, a Divine value. While the Arab cried Allah il Allah, the Christian would engrave the number 7 or, more often the 14 ( this being two times 7 ), or 1414 ( this being two times 7 plus another two times 7 ) or 1441 ( being 14 and the palidrome of another 14) on his blade, wishing to express this way his cry for Divine help in all four directions, as from the moment he unsheathed his sword. Number 1414 is also a reference to the Bible; Job, chapter 14, paragrapgh 14: Man dying, will he live again? Every days of my combat i would wait, untill my change arrived (in the Catholic version). Luther, much considered in Germany in the XVI century, has translated the Greek original, offering in simple language,the following interpretation to this Biblic quotation: When a man dyes, he will live again. So i will continue fighting until my moment comes."
All the best
Fernando
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fernando 18th October 2017 05:22 PM

Old 7th November 2007, 11:35 AM

Posted by;
Jens Nordlunde
Member

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Europe


Fernando, thank you for the translation, it is most interesting to hear how they marked their weapons, and the meaning of the marking. I have no doubt that the markings you see on European weapons and on weapons from other countries for a great part had a religious meaning, but it is very seldom you see the meaning explained.

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:22 PM

Old 7th November 2007, 10:11 PM

Posted by:
Jim McDougall

EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66

Hi Fernando,
I'd like to join Jens in thanking you for translating Mr. Daehnhardt's beautifully explained discussion on these often seen numbers that occur in variation on so many many blades. It has always amazed me that over the years so many swords that were clearly 17th and 18th century weapons, were described in catalogues as having blades dated 1441, 1414 etc. by writers who certainly should have known better.




The application of numbers associated with talismanic symbolism is of course well known from early times, as numerology has had quite ancient beginnings. It is interesting to note that from the 16th century, hunting swords were often inscribed with calendars of 'saints days' in sectioned circle separated with signs of the zodiac ("Hunting Weapons" H.L.Blackmore). Presumably such devices were employed to promote good hunting, and much the same concept was likely applied with numeric symbols on blades to offer protection and good fortune in dangerous circumstances.

In anthropology it is known that early man used crudely stylized symbolism in his artwork found in caves to promote good outcome in key events such as hunting. It seems amazing that this simplistic superstitious perception from mans darkest prehistoric age developed rudimentally into intricate occult systems still recognized in varying degree and form to this day. During the Dark Ages, though illiteracy and ignorance were prevalent, the crafts maintained these traditions and allegories, and they carried through the Renaissance despite the advent of knowledge and science.

I think one of the key elements in the esoterica behind these various markings and symbols found on weapons was alchemy. It was primarily this psuedo-science, heavily laced with theosophical allegory and arcane symbolism such as numerology and the Cabbala that led to the markings and motifs we are discussing, in my opinion.

In the bladesmiths craft, the secrets he employed in forging of the metal in his weapons were many, especially in the most important aspect, that of tempering the steel. All manner of bizarre concoctions were created in which the blade was quenched and presumably would imbue the steel with the virtues and properties that would be needed in a weapon of strength and protection. In the plethora of ingredients in such mixtures were many of the elements signified and included in allegorical symbolism, and some of these may be among marks or motifs on blades.

While these are simply thoughts I have had as I have continued researching this topic, they seem at least to form some ideas to continue reviewing such possibilities and more examples of the esoterica on blades.

With all best regards,
Jim

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:23 PM

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Old 13th November 2007, 07:57 AM

Posted by:
kronckew

Member

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: CSA Consulate, Rm. 101, Glos. UK: p.s. - Real Dogs Have feathers.

interesting, i had noted this one on a sword for sale on ebay (now ended). looks like a hunting sword.
it did not want to come live with me tho........

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:26 PM

Old 13th November 2007, 11:29 AM

Posted by:
katana
Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Kent

Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
interesting, i had noted this one on a sword for sale on ebay (now ended). looks like a hunting sword.
it did not want to come live with me tho........ Quote.

]


Hi Kronckew You beat me to it .....I was surprised at the final price....have to agree that its a hunting hanger ...but think it was re-hilted ...the blade shape seems a little unusual for a hunting sword though, and I suspect that the blade has been shortened and the tip re-profiled.

Regards David

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:27 PM

Old 13th November 2007, 12:47 PM

Posted by:
Andrew
Vikingsword Staff

Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA

Thumbs up

Jim, thanks for starting this thread (and bringing it to my attention--I owe you an email!).

Fascinating stuff, gentlemen. I'm going to add this one to the "Classics" thread.

Let's keep this going!

Andrew
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fernando 18th October 2017 05:27 PM

Old 13th November 2007, 01:55 PM

Posted by:
kronckew

Member

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location:
CSA Consulate, Rm. 101, Glos. UK:

does look very hangerish.

most of the naval officers, while having a proper fancy sword for dress, would actually carry a hanger into battle as shipboard space tended to be a bit tight, they if i recall would sometimes have similar simple grips and guards....

in the u.s. navy they ultimately barred officers from carrying hangers as they were all different & too functional, not gentlemanly. of course, the officers at the sharp end took no notice and continued using them (and/or 'enlisted' cutlass) up till they stopped boarding enemy vessels....the war dept. eventually outlawed swords entirely & made officers turn them in for scrap, but wisdom prevailed and they were reinstated. i carried mine around for 5 years active duty & only got to wear it once in a parade, then once or twice in my active reserve days. the naval officers sword has degenerated into a pretty sliver of non-functional unsharpened polished & etched steel; i'd rather have a hanger.

it'd be interesting to know if this was a 17c. passau sabre captured & converted to a hanger for use by an english naval or infantry officer.
Last edited by kronckew : 13th November 2007 at 02:08 PM.
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fernando 18th October 2017 05:28 PM

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Old 13th November 2007, 11:05 PM

Posted by:
fernando

Lead Moderator European Armoury

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal

Hi Jim,
I feel deeply frustrated
I have deliberatily gone back to the Oporto Military Museum, in order to improve the pictures of this situation, but i couldn't manage better than the last time i was there. It is rather dificult to picture determined positions through the glass windows.
This is labelled as an end XVI century German beheading sword, of unusual quality, where the double human half moons face each other, etched three times along the visible side of the blade ... probably also on the other side.
I had sort of convinced the Directing Colonel to open the window for better pictures ( he owed me one ) but he went on a meeting and didn't show up untill i gave up.
I hope this is usefull the way it is.
Fernando


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fernando 18th October 2017 05:28 PM

Old 14th November 2007, 06:53 PM

Posted by:
Jim McDougall

EAA Research Consultant

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66

Gentlemen,
Thank you so much for regenerating this thread! and Andrew thank you for the kind words and including the thread in the classics, which is great as I had hoped this would become a standing resource on this important data that we could all use as a reference.

Kronckew, thank you for posting the marking from the hanger you note, and I'm with you in the regrets that you did not acquire it. The running wolf looks to be a 17th century mark and quite likely would have appeared on hanger blades. However, the mark may be from German swordsmiths who were emplaced in England at Hounslow in mid 17th century, as well as later in the century at Shotley Bridge. In both cases there were hangers produced, and as you have noted, became popular in maritime use. These short, heavy blade swords were key for action in the tight quarters aboard ships, and were often included among arms favored by pirates as well as the officers of commercial ships they preyed upon. I have seen the running wolf mark on these English hangers, though it appeared without makers marks and was likely used by some of the German swordsmiths independantly as a general quality symbol. Some of these seem to have been inlaid brass.

As Katana has suggested, it would seem likely that a hanger might have been reworked or remounted during working life, especially among private weapons.

Fernando, thank you for your excellent post and for the extra effort at showing the marks and the sword which really is interesting. I had often wondered about the crescent moon markings use on German blades, and this shows that they did occur paired, which I once thought appeared only on the Saharan blades. While I can see the moons, were there other marks on the blade?

All best regards and appreciation,
Jim

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:29 PM

Old 14th November 2007, 10:54 PM

Posted by:
fernando

Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
While I can see the moons, were there other marks on the blade? Quote.


No Jim, the only marks are the crescent (and decrescent ) moons. Three pairs of them, at least on the showing side.
Just a little note. This sword is labelled as German by the Museum, but this is not necessarily a fact. I once showed a full set of pictures to Philip Tom and he sugested it could be Hungarian, quicker than German. This just in case someone finds its quoted origin passive of doubt.
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fernando 18th October 2017 05:51 PM

Old 15th November 2007, 12:29 AM

Posted by:
Jim McDougall

EAA Research Consultant

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66

Hi Fernando,
Thanks for clarifying, now that I look at it again you pointed that out in the picture you posted but I missed it. It is interesting to see these markings issued in pairs and spaced combination in this way. Again, this would suggest markings that are so placed in a type of motif rather than the talismanic combinations that appeared on many European sword blades, especially often seen on hunting hangers as described previously.
It seems I recall a discussion involving 'executioners' swords or 'heading' swords and Philip noted the Hungarian examples. With his knowledge of Eastern European swords I am inclined to agree that this is probably as he suggests. The hanger type hilt also seems to correspond more with the East European suggestion, rather than German. Hungarian produced blades also used the esoteric symbols in variation much as seen on the Solingen blades.

I have often wondered what was key to the Saharan swordsmiths choosing the paired crescent moons such as these to place on takouba blades, and in some instances on kaskara blades to the east. It seems that these paired marks (termed 'dukari' as claimed by Briggs) they occur consistantly and become increasingly stylized to near unrecognizable form, but positioned in the same manner.

While the markings imitated by native makers suggested certain powers to be imbued in the blade as perceived from the emphasis of these on the imported European blades, it is interesting to consider the meanings of the markings as they diffuse cross culturally. What began as occult allegorical symbolism on the blades in Europe, evolved into associated quality marks by certain makers, then into folk magic and power imbuing talismanic symbolism in native perception.

This is the thought that brought me to wanting to pursue these markings more deeply, and I hope we can find more examples while we continue to consider those you and the others have shown.

All very best regards,
Jim
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fernando 18th October 2017 05:52 PM

Old 16th November 2007, 03:44 PM

Posted by:
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66

On some trade blades I have seen there appears an apparantly stamped grouping of three crosses of the 'maltese cross' shape. The most readliy recalled example I have seen occurred on the blade of one of 'Zanzibar' form of 'nimchas' (these with a crossguard ring can be seen in the 1933 publication of the Buttin collection). This example was from a grouping of these sa'if's that apparantly came from Zanzibar and were located in number in Yemen some time ago.

This representation of the triple crosses clearly suggests similar markings from European blades that of course carry the Christian religious symbolism of the Holy Trinity that often occurred in various application in makers marks and talismanic motif. However, as we have discussed, the numeric three has a very wide application in not only the symbolism in most other religions, but in esoteric and occult symbolism and allegory.

A number of years ago while visiting an alchemical museum at a castle in Heidelburg, Germany I noticed that among an apothecaries cabinet's drawers was one that supposedly had housed a chemical compound considered a poison. On the drawer were the same triple maltese crosses, that I was told symbolized death. I found that interesting and recalling the triple crosses seen on the Zanzibar blade, and have often wondered if that application might have had any connection with occult symbolism on blades.

We do know that alchemical allegory was employed in talismanic motif on European blades, and that such symbolism likely influenced blacksmiths and swordsmiths well aware of alchemical esoterica. The maltese cross occurs as a component of symbols of numerous elements and chemicals in alchemical charts.
Could there be a connection with the maltese cross symbol from alchemy, applied in three as on the apothecary poison warning, to markings used by makers on blades? Obviously the native copies found in Zanzibar were applied in imitation of European markings much as the dukari on takoubas without awareness of such meaning, or could the meaning have been known?

I'd like to hear what others think on this, and would like to know if anyone else has seen triple cross markings on blades whether European or native. Also, if anyone has the valuable Wallace collection book (a 2 volume set) which is profusely illustrated with European makers stamps and markings, perhaps any reference to same from that source.

Thanks very much !

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:52 PM

Old 19th November 2007, 02:14 AM

Posted by:
Jim McDougall

EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66

While apparantly no takers on the three cross markings query, I still have nothing more to add except that ,getting technical on thier form, I guess they are termed 'cross pattee' rather than Maltese as I termed them in description.
I am hoping someone out there has seen such markings on blades, whether European or on the sa'if blades I have described.....Oriental Arms???? can you help?
Meanwhile, there must be other markings seen on either trade blades or European blades that the readership has questions on. It seems that over the years this has come up often, which is the purpose of this thread..to provide a resource we can turn to for reference. The books that often contain these markings seen on trade blades and were copied by native smiths are hard to find and when they are found, very expensive. If we can share the information, we can all benefit.
I'm very grateful for those who have participated so far, and would be grateful if others will join also.
Thanks very much guys!

All best regards,
Jim

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:53 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Old 19th November 2007, 10:14 PM

Posted by:
fernando

Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal

Hi Jim,
I first hesitated before posting this, as a trade mark.
It represents a version not yet included here as, being a motto, is a sentimental one, and not an honourable one, as already discussed in this thread.
But having seen this motto in two different specimens, in two distinct places, from rather diverse provenances, i presume this is after all a mark thas has been applied to swords from the trading circuits.
The motto is NO AL AMOR QUE NO CAVSE TROMENTO / SI NO ES FIRME CON ESTA ME LO PAGARAS = No to love that doesn�t bring torment / If it is not firm, you will pay me with this one.
I have it myself in a XVII-XVIII century rapier blade, mounted in a stick sword, possibly set up in the XIX century.
The other example is found in a beautyfull silver hilted cup guard sword, presently at the Oporto Military Museum, labeled mid XVIII century.
I ask you a thousand pardons if this situation doesn't fall within this thread theme.

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:54 PM

Old 20th November 2007, 12:09 AM

Posted by:
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66

Excellent Fernando!!!!
These inscriptions do indeed fall into the topic of this thread, and thank you so much for continuing to contribute here as the material you are sharing is not often seen in the standard references.
The inscriptions on blades, while not necessarily trademarks, are often found on blades that end up mounted in ethnographic weapons. The 'Spanish motto' (Draw me not without reason etc.) is one that appears widely, and as you pointed out earlier in the thread, is definitely earlier than the 18th century as I had originally thought. I would like to address that motto later in the thread. This appears on the 'Spanish' blades now known to have been produced in Solingen, and are found throughout the Spanish colonies.

Another key example is of course 'Andrea Ferara'......it is typically held that there was indeed such a maker, allegedly in Belluno. But is this appellation actually a name....or a term? such as Andrew (=true), ferara (=iron). It is interesting to note an instance of a Spanish rapier that carried the inscription four times over the blade.....perhaps to multiply the potency?

It seems that these interesting phrases/mottos do occur in duplication, but some such as this only in limited number. It seems to imply the same maker or shop, but may simply be copied by another. I know that often German makers had workers limited in literary skills and inscriptions, which accounts for the often unusual and transliterated versions of spellings and wording.

Thank you again Fernando! Your help and interest is very much appreciated and we will continue to investigate more on these and many other marks, inscriptions and any anomalies that seem consistant on trade blades.

All very best regards,
Jim
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fernando 18th October 2017 05:54 PM

Old 22nd November 2007, 12:13 AM

Posted by:
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66

Amazing how far down the thread moved in one day!!!
Although it seems there is apparantly not much interest in markings and inscriptions on trade blades, despite the fact that as I have mentioned the questions do come up from time to time, but there is perspective I would add to perhaps attract the attention of readers and members.
While most of the emphasis, especially lately on threads here,has been on SEA weapons, Indonesian and Filipino, it may be prove interesting to note that European blades do show up on numbers of weapons in these spheres. I have seen a weapon, I believe classified as a lombok, mounted with an 18th century German, possibly Dutch blade. It seems that piso podang are sometimes ? mounted with European trade blades though I think many are Indian, Persian or Caucasian.
The fact that the Sinhalese kastane is often mounted with European hanger blades, it seems almost exclusively is most interesting, since much of the high grade steel used in India was forged there and exported. The most interesting of the kastane blades are the examples found with Dutch East India Company markings (Mikey....back!! back! I say...no shaver kool here!!!

Perhaps any of the readers or collectors specializing in SEA or Indonesia, Philippines might share observations on trade blades they have seen...share examples?

Rick, have Moro weapons ever been seen with European blades? I have seen discussions of talismanic markings on some of these, any with possible associations to European markings?

I really think the subject matter here is worthwhile, and will prove most interesting and helpful if developed with the participation of those in the spectrum of fields of study well presented in our forum.

I will add a note to my previous discussion on the three cross markings, as my research continues, and I will continue to share my findings. In the Wallace Collection, there is a German 'executioners sword' c.1500 which is engraved with three crosses. It seems to me that this three cross mark has appeared on other examples of these grim weapons elsewhere as well. Obviously the religious connotation prevails here, and the suggestion has to do with the salvation of the criminal ? or along that line.

Any thoughts or ideas? Still looking for other instances of triple cross markings as seen on Zanzibar sa'if's.....anybody seen them on any other blades?


All best regards,
Jim

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fernando 18th October 2017 05:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Old 22nd November 2007, 05:12 AM

Posted by:
Jeff D
Member

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: B.C. Canada

Hi Jim,

How about the Solingen Cross and orb and the variations of it? I have a couple in storage to show as well as this kaskara with a Peter Kull mark that had red gold added.

Jeff
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fernando 18th October 2017 05:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Old 22nd November 2007, 05:35 AM

Posted by:
Jeff D
Member

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: B.C. Canada

This is taken from Rudolf Cronau's Geschichte der Solinger Klingenindustrie 1885 ed. Pg 18

18-32 were located in the Dresden Museum. 32 was attributed to Johannes Wundes

Jeff


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fernando 18th October 2017 05:56 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Old 22nd November 2007, 06:06 AM

Posted by:
Jeff D
Member

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: B.C. Canada

More Wolves from Cronau...
2. 14th century swords in the Berlin arsenal
3 . 14th century swords in the Zurich arsenel
4.and 5. are in the Coberg collection
6. on a sword in the Germanic museum c. 1490
7. A Dresden sword c. 1559
8.-15. more developed wolf figures
16. found on a sword with 'Jaspar Bongen me fecit'


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fernando 18th October 2017 05:56 PM

Old 22nd November 2007, 10:29 AM

Posted by:
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal

Now, that's really something, Jeff
Fernando

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