Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Originally Posted by Lee
These trade blades, as well as the ones with the etched sun, moon and stars, were quite widely distributed and may turn up in locally mounted swords from most any place that did not have a significant local blade making industry. There is another basket hilt with facing (away) half-moons that have been over-engraved to make them into thistles illustrated in the Park Lane Arms Fair catalog for 1996 in an article by the noted Scottish sword collector, the Baron of Earlshall (attached below).
I fell into one trap in my early collecting days when I bought a fine old Mexican / Spanish colonial espada ancha with engraved astral figures. A few months later I saw the same engravings in a book on a blade mounted as a kaskara and became convinced that my sword - as I was also told by a noted dealer at the time (1973) - was a made-up fake. I had no concept of the 'trade blade' back then. Years later I bought Brinkerhoff & Chamberlain in the same dealer's shop and there discovered that my treasure was exactly that. Fortunately I still had it. I have also seen other trade blades of a different form in both Moroccan nimchas and early American sabers.
The opposite trap is, of course, ever present and these trade blades do not offer much confirmation as to the source of the whole sword and so hilt elements must be very carefully scrutinized.
Salaams Lee, I missed entirely your excellent pictures and the way the Dukari moons had been resculpted to form Scottish Thistles
which initially I thought were Persian Split Palmettes...
How right is your comment on examination of the whole sword.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.