EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
I'm not inclined to think of this blade as European, though it does seem to recall certain features of some of them in profile, in particular the somewhat hook like 'clipped tip', a feature seen on many German military blades mid to end of the 18th century.
The one thing that might suggest being other than Indian produced would be the dramatic incurve of the blade at the root, suggesting the blade was reprofiled to fit this hilt.
Obviously the relief iconography would not have been fabricated into a blade in Europe, and these markings, though interpretations of European 18th century astral configurations used on blades in stylized motif , are clearly not European.
The man in the moon figure was typically used in talismanically oriented astral markings on blades in Europe, typically German through the 18th century. The face in the crescent moon is believed to have originated with makers marks in Spain hundreds of years before.
The 'dukari' term is from Saharan regions in North Africa and typically refers to the paired examples of these crescent moons with faces found on takouba blades, though many occur on kaskara blades in the same configuration and location.
This sword is definitely intriguing and it is tempting to consider it may be a votive piece used ceremonially in traditional events, though there are various items using these kinds of motif intended as souvenier items for British forces in India. In my view however , if that were the case this much attention would not have been given to blade profile and motif, and more traditional Indian blade would be expected.