Originally Posted by fernando
For as much as authors claim their knowledge and state their opinions as if they were facts, lack of susbtantial evidence often forms their strong adversary.
The black sword episode, as i suppose originally brought up, comes in HOMENS ESPADAS E TOMATES (page 164), by Rainer Daehnhardt
The conclusion that black swords were to prevent them from rust and also to prevent them from light refection, is his assumption. There is nothing written to state so; the name given in period inventories was ESPADAS PRETAS DE BORDO (board black swords). Assuming the rust prevention sounds logical, the double purpose of light reflection, which the author cites in first place, may be taken, nothing avoids, as just a romantic touch.
On the other hand, the 'colhona' swords 'convenientely' having their terminals sharpened to function as extra blades in a man to man fight, being also a quotation present in the same book, may only lack the term 'often' as nothing shows that they all had this intervention, but still has its veracity, as stated and surely verified in an example shown in the said work.
Maybe the down curved quillons issue has a more precise approach in this thread, but still interesting to notice how this phenomenom spread around, as shown (again) in the quoted book. The location and age of these examples attributed by the author is facultative.
#1 Sword of 1500's navigator, of Venetian origin.
#2 Sword breaker, also called left hand dagger of the reeds, Portuguese
influence in the Orient, XVIII-XIX centuries.
#3 Sword of Portuguese navigator, end XV century. Attributed to Pedro
Alvares Cabral (Brazil discoverer).
#4 Portuguese colonial sword, XVI century. with the magic number 1441
and the Passau wolf engraved in the blade.
#5 Portuguese colonial sword, with the round terminals sharpened and
perforated with the cross symbol.
#6 Portuguese colonial sword, with golden brass guard.
#7 Navigator sword second half XV century, used both in the Iberian
Peninsula as also by Italian peoples, then cultularly interconnected.
(All examples belonging in the R.D. collection)
Salaams Fernando~ First; your examples of the Crab swords are excellent and add weight around the general theme. In your opener you note about authors and knowledge and perhaps truth and fiction for it is a two edged sword writing books. It is as if whatever has been committed to print in a book must be true. As a foil to that theory what is written in Forums takes on an opposite slant... It becomes a target for knocking down and has to be stacked up with book based facts "Chapter and Verse" before it can be even considered! On balance I agree with that and it is on the hot anvil of discussion that these things are ironed out..sometimes quite fiercely indeed.
It goes without saying that one of the broadest puzzles is built in and around the Nimcha
and one of the most contentious. Many mainly Mediterranean countries appear to claim some aspect of the architecture of this weapon but it hardly stops dead at the Moroccan version since that was its format at that time and aspects of that surely transmitted to other weapons... not least to the Zanzibari Nimcha and other swords which were exported to the Americas sporting similar hilts. The Great London Band's officers used the Nimcha; Tobias Blose is shown in a painting in the late Anthony North's Islamic Arms wearing the weapon.
In another thread http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=nimcha
there is included in quote a question about sword style transmission by Jewish craftsmen in red below viz;
Quote" Pallasch; Culture: blade - Italian, Milan (with Ottoman decorations), mount - Ottoman, vessel (Hilt?) - Morocco
Dated: 16th Century
Material and Technique: blade of iron, forged, etched and engraved grip of iron, wood, horn
Measurement: total length of 107.7cm; blade 93.9cm; weight 1817g
Elector Christian I of Saxony received the saber as a gift in 1587 by Francesco I de ‘Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. This weapon is one in many respects to the peculiarities of the Turkish Chamber. First and foremost, the impressive appearance is mentioned, which is caused by the massive, ornate edged blade.
This saber is made of very different work areas. While the vessel(hilt?) is from Morocco and the typical form there corresponds with strongly angled work and s-shaped quillons, the blade is an Italian work. She has been a chosen, and was crowned Pi marked accordingly in Milan.
The blade was then decorated in the Orient. The etched and partly engraved decoration consists of medallions with stripes and scrolls, flowers and leaves. The middle stripe is a Spanish inscription found in a secret script-like character.
How did this strange mixture of different origins (come about) is not yet clear. Could possibly play in the events following the reconquest of Spain by 1492. Many Spanish Jews left the country after the conquest of Granada and moved some of North Africa in the dominion of the Ottomans.
Source & Copyright: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.
The Nimcha hilt can be seen below..