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Old 3rd April 2007, 11:01 PM   #1
Lead Moderator European Armoury
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 6,784
Default Swords a la Portuguese

It is rather dificult to define the origin of fire and white arms as being Portuguese, rather than Spanish or, in the least, Iberian, for the various reasons. One of them is that there isn't much printed material about them.
These are ( badly scanned ) pictures of some swords a la Portuguese, with the so called crab or colhonas ( testicles ) guards, a model used in the XV century discoveries period.
The first picture is of a peculiar Timorese specimen, with all parts remaining original, including the grip, which is very rare to find. The scabbard beltings are in sinew and vegetable fibres, and its shape is aledgely that of a crocodile, a Timorese symbol. It is adorned with a handwooven band, traditional of warriors and chiefs. The unsheathed blade is the first image in the second picture. Eventually its straight form was later fire bent, to fit in the slightly curved crocodile scabbard. The other two swords are crab specimens from the XVI-XVII century.
The Timorese set would be a XVI century blade and a XVIII century sheath.
These and many more specimens, halberds, swords, muskets, pistols and armour, mostly Portuguese but also other European that were vital to Portuguese armament, come in a book called AS ARMAS E OS BARÕES, by Eduardo Nobre, printed in 2004, ISBN 972-589-133-3.
... This in case there are someone interested in this area ... i think Philip was ?!.
The book captions are in Portuguese, the pictures are first class. Non scholar translations can be arranged

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