EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
That was a pretty good call Shayde, and that plate from Wagner has always been a good source for interesting marks. Actually these makers often had a number of marks used, not just one, especially on Spanish blades.
It seems pretty clear that this is some sort of bird, eagle...the talons and tail feathers are still visible while the rest has been lost.
This blade is typical koummya configuration, and not a repurposed European blade, but it is known that European marks were often imitated by artisans in African entrepots. It seems more likely that this blade was marked by an artisan with spurious mark which could have been from any number of sources seen by them.
Double head eagles were used in variation from Passau in 16th c. to various Solingen makers in mid 17th, but none had these pronounced leg and talons that I can locate. That is not to say that a local artisan would not add such features, as these forked type claw designs are well known in various marks and symbols used in Saharan contexts into Sudanese, and these often transmitted considerably via trade interaction.
Interestingly the 'koummya' is a form of khanjhar and well known across the Maghreb well into Algerian areas, so Saharan influences not unusual.