Originally Posted by Iain
It is a man in the moon, or half moon. These are very common in the region and consist of the curved back of the crescent, the face, often with a pronounced nose and the eye. This particular one is a little more rudimentary than some, but still of the general form.
Salaams Iain, I am aware of the numerous moon inscriptions generally seen on swords in the region but wish to point out that there are two distinct versions (generally).
The first is the Peter Munch full obvious moon face and the second what I describe as the new moon basically struck. The moon in #1 is clearly struck with 3 inner new moon shapes. I think this became the style on African and Arabian(mainly Red Sea) blades copied from Europeans. I also think that although Peter Munch is considered to have struck the moons as some sort of majic association it was without the realization that this could indeed be a strong Talisman in other regions.
The full faced man in the moon are struck at source whereas the more rudimentary forms are done in local workshops.
My main point is that these may not be considered as half moons in Islamic areas since the half moon has little significance whereas the new moon is an entirely different subject.
For a couple of examples of copied moons see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...attara+comments
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.