Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
Old 15th November 2007, 12:29 AM
EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Thanks for clarifying, now that I look at it again you pointed that out in the picture you posted but I missed it. It is interesting to see these markings issued in pairs and spaced combination in this way. Again, this would suggest markings that are so placed in a type of motif rather than the talismanic combinations that appeared on many European sword blades, especially often seen on hunting hangers as described previously.
It seems I recall a discussion involving 'executioners' swords or 'heading' swords and Philip noted the Hungarian examples. With his knowledge of Eastern European swords I am inclined to agree that this is probably as he suggests. The hanger type hilt also seems to correspond more with the East European suggestion, rather than German. Hungarian produced blades also used the esoteric symbols in variation much as seen on the Solingen blades.
I have often wondered what was key to the Saharan swordsmiths choosing the paired crescent moons such as these to place on takouba blades, and in some instances on kaskara blades to the east. It seems that these paired marks (termed 'dukari' as claimed by Briggs) they occur consistantly and become increasingly stylized to near unrecognizable form, but positioned in the same manner.
While the markings imitated by native makers suggested certain powers to be imbued in the blade as perceived from the emphasis of these on the imported European blades, it is interesting to consider the meanings of the markings as they diffuse cross culturally. What began as occult allegorical symbolism on the blades in Europe, evolved into associated quality marks by certain makers, then into folk magic and power imbuing talismanic symbolism in native perception.
This is the thought that brought me to wanting to pursue these markings more deeply, and I hope we can find more examples while we continue to consider those you and the others have shown.
All very best regards,