Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Blade identification needed on Moroccan nimcha sword. (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=23338)

Cerjak 7th November 2017 03:23 PM

Blade identification needed on Moroccan nimcha sword.
 
3 Attachment(s)
Blade identification needed on Moroccan nimcha sword.
This Nimcha has a rhino horn hilt
May be a member could tell me from which kind of European saber could come this Nimcha blade.

Best CERJAK

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 7th November 2017 07:31 PM

Probably German blade See # 9 at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=NIMCHA for the same crosses and moon mark.

ariel 8th November 2017 01:48 AM

Usually, such blades with 3 rather narrow fullers are of local manufacture.
It also seems to me that just at the level of stamps the fullers become somewhat curved: heated for stamping?
Kind of too crude for the Germans:-)

Roland_M 8th November 2017 01:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Usually, such blades with 3 rather narrow fullers are of local manufacture.
It also seems to me that just at the level of stamps the fullers become somewhat curved: heated for stamping?
Kind of too crude for the Germans:-)


Hello Ariel,

as a German I'm with you. It is a well known fact, that Kaskara-blades for example were manufactured in Solingen and exported to Africa. But they never had such poorly shaped fullers, never, even not in wartimes.


Roland

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 8th November 2017 04:23 PM

Yes that is possible although what if this was straight originally and was hammered into a curved shape.

There is however, no unsharpened section at the forte supporting the idea of a local blade and I tend to agree on the crosses and Dukari moon styles being local...

Kubur 9th November 2017 01:02 AM

Well, I have seen a lot of "locals" and to me this blade is not local.
:shrug:
Cerjak is it possible to know the length of your blade?
Thanks

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 9th November 2017 06:07 PM

Where were the blade making centres in Morocco please? :shrug:

Cerjak 9th November 2017 06:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Well, I have seen a lot of "locals" and to me this blade is not local.
:shrug:
Cerjak is it possible to know the length of your blade?
Thanks

yes of course I will add the lenght ASAP.
best
cerjak

Jim McDougall 10th November 2017 03:58 AM

In " Borders Away" , William Gilkerson, 1991, on p.88, there is a plate of mid 19th century cutlasses with this type of blades, three fullers, without the forte usually seen on European made blades. These seem to have had the celestial markings in the same location on the blade.

These kinds of blades were much favored in colonial markets, so these 'antique' style blades and so marked were produced well through the19thc. and Gilkerson notes that unknown numbers were produced for both East and West Indian markets.
These kinds of unrecorded productions and exports seem to have been quite rampant during the hyper development of Solingen's blade making during the Franco-Prussian war 1870-71, whose sudden end resulted in the excess of firms. It would seem that colonial markets offered convenient sources for products in volume.
Gilkerson states that Schnitzler & Kirshbaum of Solingen was one maker producing such early forms into the 19th century. There were certainly other makers and sub contractors producing these 'trade quality' blades, which probably did not necessarily meet standards held by the products for military contracts.

Though the Kirshbaum family had used the shooting star configuration in the early 19th c.(Bezdek, p.152), these particular groupings of moon and crosses are intended to replicate such antiquated markings of Germany on early blades. They represent imbued quality and the talismanic associations favored by tribal groups.

Briggs (1965) shows an example of nimcha with this blade type with triple fullers and lists it as European.

I am at this point unaware of locations in the Maghgreb where blades were made, and it seems that virtually all examples of nimcha have either blades of European origin, with some of Indian and other make.
It seems that Tirri may have noted some locations of edged weapon furbishing but I do not have that reference at the moment.

Cerjak 10th November 2017 11:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Well, I have seen a lot of "locals" and to me this blade is not local.
:shrug:
Cerjak is it possible to know the length of your blade?
Thanks

Dear Kubur

the blade lenght is 69 cm and 3.3 cm W near the hilt.
best
Cerjak

Cerjak 10th November 2017 11:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
In " Borders Away" , William Gilkerson, 1991, on p.88, there is a plate of mid 19th century cutlasses with this type of blades, three fullers, without the forte usually seen on European made blades. These seem to have had the celestial markings in the same location on the blade.

These kinds of blades were much favored in colonial markets, so these 'antique' style blades and so marked were produced well through the19thc. and Gilkerson notes that unknown numbers were produced for both East and West Indian markets.
These kinds of unrecorded productions and exports seem to have been quite rampant during the hyper development of Solingen's blade making during the Franco-Prussian war 1870-71, whose sudden end resulted in the excess of firms. It would seem that colonial markets offered convenient sources for products in volume.
Gilkerson states that Schnitzler & Kirshbaum of Solingen was one maker producing such early forms into the 19th century. There were certainly other makers and sub contractors producing these 'trade quality' blades, which probably did not necessarily meet standards held by the products for military contracts.

Though the Kirshbaum family had used the shooting star configuration in the early 19th c.(Bezdek, p.152), these particular groupings of moon and crosses are intended to replicate such antiquated markings of Germany on early blades. They represent imbued quality and the talismanic associations favored by tribal groups.

Briggs (1965) shows an example of nimcha with this blade type with triple fullers and lists it as European.

I am at this point unaware of locations in the Maghgreb where blades were made, and it seems that virtually all examples of nimcha have either blades of European origin, with some of Indian and other make.
It seems that Tirri may have noted some locations of edged weapon furbishing but I do not have that reference at the moment.

Thank you Jim

As usually a very well documented comment.
Best

Jean-Luc

Kubur 10th November 2017 12:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerjak
Dear Kubur

the blade lenght is 69 cm and 3.3 cm W near the hilt.
best
Cerjak


Hi Jean Luc

It's what i was thinking, a real nimcha a short sword
total length should be around 80cm?

Are you sure that your nimcha is Moroccan?

:)
Kubur

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 10th November 2017 07:06 PM

Butins chart shows blades of varied lengths and for Nimcha used by cavalry in the Moroccan sense; they were long. The Pirate version for want of a better word were much shorter.
So far it has been difficult to see where in Morocco blades may have been produced except for daggers; Koummyya yes sword blades no. The majority are likely to be German in the trade blade mass export through North Africa and as already noted these were somewhat inferior qualities.

Jim McDougall 10th November 2017 08:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi Jean Luc

It's what i was thinking, a real nimcha a short sword
total length should be around 80cm?

Are you sure that your nimcha is Moroccan?

:)
Kubur



That is of course the dilemma, in the true sense of the term, 'nimcha' is said to refer to a 'small' or 'short' sword. I have forgotten the details of this translation in discussions a short while back though.
However, while that term was sort of indiscriminately used by collectors to refer to these Maghrebi sabres. The classification of their variations has been debated/discussed often on these pages.

It is often presumed that these sabres are Moroccan, though they were known through the Maghrebi littoral. The one Briggs (1965) had was Algerian, and he was based in those regions when he wrote.
Stone wrote (1934, p.469) on NIMCHA, "...a Arab sabre with a knuckle guard rectangular at the base with drooping quillons on the opposite side. It is ALSO used in Morocco."

The Arab classification denotes the much wider use of these. The curious note is that 'nimcha' denotes a short sword, yet many, if not most of these are mounted with full length blades, even broadsword blades. These are mostly, undeniably, German in most cases. Some are ANDREA FERARA, which as we know were Solingen products.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 10th November 2017 08:22 PM

There was a vibrant discussion at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=17940 which looked at the crosses .. :shrug:

Jim McDougall 10th November 2017 08:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerjak
Thank you Jim

As usually a very well documented comment.
Best

Jean-Luc


Very much my pleasure Jean-Luc, and I thank you for the opportunities to learn from the always fascinating examples you have posted here these years!

Jim McDougall 11th November 2017 09:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Where were the blade making centres in Morocco please? :shrug:


That is a very good question.
As I mentioned earlier, I am not sure there were 'blade making' centers in Morocco.
However, I did find the reference in "Islamic Weapons: Maghreb to Mogul" by Anthony Tirri (2003), on p.25-26, where the author claims the primary manufacturing centers for swords were MEKNES, TETUAN and MARRAKESH

On page 19, the author notes that, "...while there was extensive use of IMPORTED WEAPON components, such as SWORD AND DAGGER BLADES, gun barrels or gunlocks, each region had particular style of overall weapon design, construction and decoration. Fez, Meknes, Marrakesh and Rabat had specific dagger designs and the regions of Tetuan, Taroudant, Ras el Oued and the Little Atlas mountain villages had identifiable gun styles".

The implication here is that while there were clearly local production centers for the making of the favored hilt, scabbard and for guns, the stocks....they clearly used imported working components and blades.

One unfortunate detraction in the Tirri reference, an otherwise beautifully produced book, is the lack of cited references which would have been most helpful in further checking into this topic .

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 12th November 2017 05:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
That is a very good question.
As I mentioned earlier, I am not sure there were 'blade making' centers in Morocco.
However, I did find the reference in "Islamic Weapons: Maghreb to Mogul" by Anthony Tirri (2003), on p.25-26, where the author claims the primary manufacturing centers for swords were MEKNES, TETUAN and MARRAKESH

On page 19, the author notes that, "...while there was extensive use of IMPORTED WEAPON components, such as SWORD AND DAGGER BLADES, gun barrels or gunlocks, each region had particular style of overall weapon design, construction and decoration. Fez, Meknes, Marrakesh and Rabat had specific dagger designs and the regions of Tetuan, Taroudant, Ras el Oued and the Little Atlas mountain villages had identifiable gun styles".

The implication here is that while there were clearly local production centers for the making of the favored hilt, scabbard and for guns, the stocks....they clearly used imported working components and blades.

One unfortunate detraction in the Tirri reference, an otherwise beautifully produced book, is the lack of cited references which would have been most helpful in further checking into this topic .


Salaams Jim, Thanks for your helpful additions. If sword blades had been manufactured in Morocco Buttin would certainly have mentioned this since he lived there...but no mention was made..clearly on account of there being none produced possibly because so many European blades were on the market virtually flooded with European trade blades..Tirri was wrong footed on several counts not least the Central American, Cuban and Spanish colony blades he claimed were Moroccan when in fact they were absorbed into the Spanish colonies in the early 20thC during insurgencies..

Kubur 13th November 2017 01:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
That is of course the dilemma, in the true sense of the term, 'nimcha' is said to refer to a 'small' or 'short' sword. I have forgotten the details of this translation in discussions a short while back though.
However, while that term was sort of indiscriminately used by collectors to refer to these Maghrebi sabres. The classification of their variations has been debated/discussed often on these pages.
The Arab classification denotes the much wider use of these. The curious note is that 'nimcha' denotes a short sword, yet many, if not most of these are mounted with full length blades, even broadsword blades.


Hi,
Nimcha is exactly like Karud.
95% of the nimcha are not nimcha.

Nimcha is a short sword and this term was used for classification by collectors to define some Moroccan / Maghrebi swords.

The same problem was discussed on this forum with the Kaskara.
It's a collector name. In Sudan they call them sayf...

It's the reason why i was very annoyed with the karud discussion.
Because both Ariel and Eric were right.
Karud doesnt exist in local population.
But collectors use this term and its very practical.

In short, if you use karud, you can use nimcha or kaskara...
And Jean-Luc's sword is a real nimcha: Nimcha's look for collectors and Nimcha's name, short sword...
;)

Jim McDougall 13th November 2017 04:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi,
Nimcha is exactly like Karud.
95% of the nimcha are not nimcha.

Nimcha is a short sword and this term was used for classification by collectors to define some Moroccan / Maghrebi swords.

The same problem was discussed on this forum with the Kaskara.
It's a collector name. In Sudan they call them sayf...

It's the reason why i was very annoyed with the karud discussion.
Because both Ariel and Eric were right.
Karud doesnt exist in local population.
But collectors use this term and its very practical.

In short, if you use karud, you can use nimcha or kaskara...
And Jean-Luc's sword is a real nimcha: Nimcha's look for collectors and Nimcha's name, short sword...
;)


Right, technically not 'nimcha' as I noted with the reference to the fact that most of these sabres in the Maghreb have full length single or double edged blades. The term 'nimcha' is used primarily by collectors, and much as in other Arab regions, the term sa'if suffices.
In Buttin (1933) these sabres are depicted in the plates identified only as Arab sa'if.

Like many other terms, writers have carried forth 'collectors' terms which are used to describe certain weapons in accord with the generally accepted terms shared semantically. As noted for example, the broadswords in the Sudan are not called 'kaskara' and the term is unknown to them. I spent nearly 10 years trying to find the origin of the term kaskara, and the many sources I reached honestly did not know. It was not until Iain came along some years ago, and found the source . Still, there the weapon is termed sa'if, in western literature, it is kaskara.

So in writing among our collectors circles, using whatever term is well known to refer to the weapon discussed is perfectly fine. Notations otherwise are considered perspective. Many become frustrated with 'the name game', but I think its often interesting.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 21st November 2017 07:07 PM

It is indeed interesting~ Collectors coin certain words but locals look nonplussed when confronted by these concocted terms..Cutlass may not have been used until the admiralty had these weapons officially enter service and they may previously have been simply Swords Naval..The word Fuller wasnt used til about 1850 by blacksmiths but the word used was hollows. French words abound for sword parts Pas Dain...Foible...Forte. One could be driven completey potty trying to discover the origin of Kittarah!!


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