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Old 18th October 2017, 05:18 PM   #14
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
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Old 5th November 2007, 02:49 PM

Posted by:
Jim McDougall

EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66

Hi Jens,
Excellent point, very often it becomes hard to determine which are the trade blades and which are locally made. In many cases the locally made blades become quite good, and as trade blades were made sometimes rather indiscriminately, the very quality the markings presumed to declare was in fact not present. I think in many instances the manner in which certain markings were applied and the locations on the blade sometimes gave clues. For example, in the Sahara, the dual opposed crescent moons seen on the takouba blades are clearly an imitation of the larger crescent moon on the European talismanic blades. Applied doubly must have been thier idea of somehow strengthening or emphasizing the application.
In another case, the eyelash type markings appear on a blade in the Caucusus ( also on an Indian blade I have seen) rather than singly, applied in linear repitition, in the manner of motif. This multiplied use of what was originally a single trademark suggests the folk interpretation of increasing the quality or power imbued in the blade.

It seems that the X stamps typically enclosed either names, mottos or inscriptions on 17th century European blades, possibly some earlier. I am not certain of the purpose of these x markings but to enclose these inscriptions, and possibly since they often occur in multiple, numerological symbolism may be involved.

All the best,
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