Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
The seven star assemblage resembles the usually 6 star with comet type markings used by the Schimmelbusch makers in Solingen mid to latter 19th c. This configuration is slightly different than the one shown in Bezdek, but it has been seen on other trade blades of these times.
The 'stars' are typically termed 'cogwheels' and are seen in Italian mark groupings including the sickle marks, and are seen on earlier Swiss attributed daggers. The sickle marks, as well known, are twin opposed arcs with 'dentation' or serrated looking edges, very much like seen around this circle which has the 'cogwheels' bracketing it. This again is very much in the Italian manner of mark groupings seen in Boccia & Coelho (1985).
While the dentated arcs (sickle marks) are known to be copied on Indian and Afghan blades, usually in this blade position, I cannot recall offhand any Indian blades copying these characteristically European markings.
The circle on Stu's blade may be what is left of a 'man in the moon' face (as suggested by Kubur) and as seen occasionally enclosed in circle on some Italian blades.
While still uncertain of whether the blade is European or impressive Indian copy, I just wanted to explain my views toward the plausibility for the European attribution.
I hope someone out there can show pics of other 'Indian' blades with these 'stars' (?) also known in European context as cogwheels.