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Old 3rd April 2015, 07:29 AM   #68
Iain's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Morava - Olomoucký kraj - Czech Republic
Posts: 1,499

Originally Posted by Jim McDougall

While the point that it is true that Scottish, and for that matter many British swords, may be considered 'composite' as they are comprised of local hilts and imported is typically preferred that these pairings are within the working life of the components .
Since these dragoon hilts as far as known ceased use in the 18th century, the use of blades much later mounted in them is puzzling.
Obviously the question stands as , are these indeed German blades of the 18th century rather than kaskara 'masri' blades of late 19th c.?
If these are actually early German blades, then it is a powerful revelation in many years of research on these North African blades, and it would be amazing to prove that blades with these triple fullers and these corrupted moons were produced that early.

Dr L.C. Briggs wrote his venerable treatise on sword blades in North Africa in 1965 (JAAS, Vol. V, #2 pp.37-92) where he notes on p43, "...I have seen no Taureg weapon with half moon marks which I felt were surely European".

Sir Francis Rodd (1928) in "People of the Veil", p.233, "..the masri blades are made in the north. Most prized are those with two or three slight cancellations down the middle. The commonest masri blades bear two opposed crescent men in moon crescent marks".

Hi Jim,

Just a brief footnote, as the owner of quite a few of these export oriented triple fullers, I have no problem with many of them being placed in the 18th century potentially. Certainly I would not say the majority are in the latter part of the 19th, but at least the first half of the 19th.

See known examples from colonial activity in Algeria etc with early dates which points to at least late 18th century hilting...

Anyways not to disrupt the discussion on the hilt types. Just wanted to clarify that in an African/non European context these triple fullers are probably falling into the 18th century as much as the 19th in terms of manufacture.

There are subtle differences between the older ones and the later ones, mainly to do with a more rounded profile of the blade, giving a slight arch to the cross section sloping to the cutting edges, while the later ones are completely flat on the faces of the blade.
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