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Old 7th August 2008, 03:11 AM   #13
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,694

Originally Posted by katana
This maybe 'way off base', but the European looking head has the look of a death mask. Investigating the early history of the the Europeans entering Ceylon, I found this...

".......On 21 August 1630, the Portuguese began the march to return to Colombo but were attacked by the Kandyan army at Vellavaya. Most of the Lascarins betrayed the Portuguese – only 500 remained loyal – and joined the enemy. For the Kandyans this was an overwhelming victory: of the Portuguese expedition, only 130 men survived and surrendered. The captain General Dom Constantino de Sá y Noronha was captured and beheaded. His head was carried by Prince Mahastana (later crowned Rajasimha IIEmperor of Ceylon) and presented to the Emperor Senerat......"

Could the 'head' be a symbolic reminder of this event...I wonder I have not been able to find an image of General Dom Constantino de Sá y Noronha to help / disprove this theory.

Regards David

David, I once again have to say I really like the way you think !! Its great to see this kind of deductive reasoning, regardless of whether it proves to be correct or not, and I like the idea you put it out there anyway.
The idea of the death mask has been around for a while, naturally with the English mortuary swords, said to carry the death mask of Charles I. In recent years it seems that that theory has been disproven as examples antedating the event of his execution were found, regardless, the idea remained in folklore as does the term 'mortuary sword' for the form.

In looking at this hilt I still see the 'man in the moon' face seen on so many trade blades, but it seems odd that this would be fashioned into this oddly arranged hilt.

Atlantia, I see you too have joined us in abstract thinking, which I think is the most fun in studying these weapons! Very good thought on the European blade, as we know refashioning these trade blades was quite often done. As a note relating to my man in the moon observation, the 18th century hunting hangers were a primary source for those cabalistic markings.

Its absolutely OK to grasp at straws!!! something I'm considering for my Ph.D!!! Thanks for gettin' out there with us. It often leads to 'discussion', which is as far as I know, why we're here.

Thanks guys,
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