EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
In " Borders Away" , William Gilkerson, 1991, on p.88, there is a plate of mid 19th century cutlasses with this type of blades, three fullers, without the forte usually seen on European made blades. These seem to have had the celestial markings in the same location on the blade.
These kinds of blades were much favored in colonial markets, so these 'antique' style blades and so marked were produced well through the19thc. and Gilkerson notes that unknown numbers were produced for both East and West Indian markets.
These kinds of unrecorded productions and exports seem to have been quite rampant during the hyper development of Solingen's blade making during the Franco-Prussian war 1870-71, whose sudden end resulted in the excess of firms. It would seem that colonial markets offered convenient sources for products in volume.
Gilkerson states that Schnitzler & Kirshbaum of Solingen was one maker producing such early forms into the 19th century. There were certainly other makers and sub contractors producing these 'trade quality' blades, which probably did not necessarily meet standards held by the products for military contracts.
Though the Kirshbaum family had used the shooting star configuration in the early 19th c.(Bezdek, p.152), these particular groupings of moon and crosses are intended to replicate such antiquated markings of Germany on early blades. They represent imbued quality and the talismanic associations favored by tribal groups.
Briggs (1965) shows an example of nimcha with this blade type with triple fullers and lists it as European.
I am at this point unaware of locations in the Maghgreb where blades were made, and it seems that virtually all examples of nimcha have either blades of European origin, with some of Indian and other make.
It seems that Tirri may have noted some locations of edged weapon furbishing but I do not have that reference at the moment.