Originally Posted by Mauro
I agree with Jim and Iain that the blade is XVII to XVIII century but may be somebody would be able to add some more information on this type of blade. Usually after the XVII century, with the introduction of more modern armies, the blades changed their style and became more standardized. This is, to my knowledge, an old style blade. Regarding the letters V.Danv I am not sure they are incongruent because the only capitol letter is the D and ,may be, the first V. V could indicate the name and D the first letter of the surname. Such surnames Danv…. are very rare in Italian names and I would say are more common in northern Europe from France, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands etc. May be it is only a speculation !! I am not able to say if the “globus cruciger” was applied in Africa or it was originally made in Europe. I would favour this latter hypothesis because of the similarities of the engraving. I add some similar marks reported in Morel (1943) and in Lhote 1954 and attributed to different parts of Europe. The maker mark in the takouba is slightly different but I would say in the same “family”. Is anyone able to tell me the significance of the green color that in this takouba is found inside the petals ? It is also found in many scabbards of the Tuareg, Hausa and also Mandingo knives and swords.
Hi Mauro, I see no reason why it could be 17th century, I simply don't know enough about backsword blades to say so I tend to be more cautious.
I don't recall seeing anything with such a pronounced ricasso block on early backswords, but I have to admit I have not studied the sword type closely so probably there are such features on earlier blades as well.
I would say Danv is not a common name anywhere I'm aware of and some Googling makes it look almost nonexistent! The lettering is odd to me because of the mix of upper and lower case. By the 17th century upper and lower case letters were established and to have the 'a' in lower case and the then 'n' in upper case is quite odd. If this was a stamp applied for an owner in Europe, I would except someone with the money to own the sword, to have the ability to go to a shop with the right stet of stamps for the letters!
With the tree of life/globe motif, it is odd in that I have never seen it with the crossing line inside the globe curved... it is always straight. Again a strange feature if it was done in a workshop in Europe I think.
Green or azegzaw
should have fairly standard symbolism in Tuareg culture I think. It can represent fertile land I think. For swords I'm not aware of a specific symbolism though.