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Old 2nd June 2019, 03:03 PM   #13
Jim McDougall
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Location: Route 66
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While that scabbard tip is compellingly Ottoman, there remains an 'Oriental' feel to these mounts, and as I had mentioned the term 'oriental' took a broad scope in definition in the 18th into 19th c.
What has not been mentioned is the oval 'tsuba' type guard (I cannot think of the Chinese term). This curious hilt shape is also as noted, 'oriental' and I have seen it on Indonesian hilts.

I would strongly suspect this anomaly is a product of the heavily traded East Indies, where influences were melded in many ports of call, and blades from Europe were of course among commodities at hand.

Europeans had a strong desire for 'exotica' from these foreign ports, and often officers as well as sailors had weapons fashioned which brought certain degrees of joining of familiar elements of combined types. There were even Chinese artisans brought into Europe in the 18th c. during the enthusiastic desire for such oriental designs on swords, the shakudo and Tonquinese fashions.

One thing most curious in the repousse vegetal pattern on the scabbard is the lozenge pattern, which seems far more European than oriental or for that matter Ottoman. In the Ottoman matter however, this design is known to have been favored in Sudan in some decoration which had certain Islamic favor. Perhaps that might again lend to certain eastern archipelagos where Islamic influence may have been situated?

The thing we can be sure of, this is a European sabre blade of early 19th c.so the colonial and trade context suggests it was mounted in any number of locations, probably East Indies, where these oriental designs abound.
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