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Old 19th October 2017, 10:22 AM   #130
Lead Moderator European Armoury
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 6,784

Old 12th October 2008, 05:31 AM

Posted by:
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66

Thank you Bejeweled for the kind comments, and this gets more and more fascinating! Trying to assess a piece from photographs, even as nicely posted as you have presented definitely has its drawbacks. My view on the blade is of course just opinion based on the profile, fullering and general appearance of the blade, which seems consistant to koummya blades of these regions. I will have to see if I can find more on other examples to see if they could date back further.

It is truly fascinating to hear this perspective on the gemstones on this piece, especially knowing of your clearly well versed knowledge and experience on this topic (now I understand the psuedonym !. It becomes really exciting when evaluating a piece when the stones used offer such historic potential!
So the emeralds in Egypt were substandard to those found in Colombia, and the mining ceased entirely after the 1500's? It does seem that in regions of North Africa, time really does stand still in many ways, and anachronism prevails. If these gemstones were part of an early cache from early trade interaction or raids, common in Saharan tribal culture, it does seem possible they might have been secreted away for hundreds of years.

It seems like new discoveries are constantly being revealed in these remote regions, like the fact that Timbuktu, once considered 'the middle of nowhere' hence the oft used expression, was actually a cultural and academic center, far beyond the dusty, mud building trade stop in the middle of the Sahara.

I think gemstones are fascinating as well, and am currently in Arizona, and have been travelling through the southwest. The history and lore of the turquoise, malachite, and other stones is beyond compelling, and once you are taken in by it, you simply cannot stop trying to learn more! While I am admittedly a complete novice, the fascination has no bounds, and now that you have brought this piece in with these mysterious gemstones...I want to learn more.

Can you possibly show the scabbard, even if not entirely complete?
Do you mean that the techniques and tools used in mounting these on the hilt and scabbard, and the cut on the stones are pre-1500's?
Is it possible that these are indeed very old stones held as heirlooms or hidden away as ancestral treasure, and that the tools and techniques used follow old traditional methods and implements? In indiginous tribal areas it seems that ancient methods prevail in many instances, especially in more remote regions and in the case of tribes who live essentially as they have for countless centuries.

It is both interesting and exciting that you have approached the research on this dagger in such depth, including the outstanding work on the history of this family. With your expertise in jewelry and gemstones, along with the mystery of those used in the mounting of the dagger, this does indeed get more fun!
In the words of Carroll....."curiouser and curiouser!".

Lets keep working on it OK? Has Dr. Ann looked at the blade BTW?

All very best regards,
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