Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Thanks very much Peter for bringing up this thread, as well as for the brilliant entries from items on your site. Reading them is always a learning experience.
I agree, these embellished hilts are not typically very ergonomic, but in situations may have been used accordingly. Often weapons which have been 'collected' and held away in the holdings of people have become the unfortunate victims of curious wielders or inappropriate utilitarian use.
I recall one gent who had asked me about a sword he had, which I told him was a unique Caucasian shashka (we were on the phone). I told him it was an extraordinary example and its approximate value....he quickly yelled at his son, in the back yard whacking weeds with it..to bring it in!!!
Obviously that is not always the case, but it does seem to explain some instances, otherwise, in a pinch, any weapon, even embellished court weapons may have seen true action, as seems the case with the examples you have entered.
Will, interesting note on the date/year on these VOC blades. Actually 1776 is an unusual year as far as I have seen, and most of these years range from mid to late 1700s. The configurations are pretty much the same aligned with the VOC. Either above or below are the initials of the kamer (chamber) of the pertinent VOC port...…….there were 6, the most prevalent being Amsterdam represented by capital A.
The others were Hoorn, Rotterdam, Enkhuizen, Delft, and Middleburg ...which is the case with the sword blade in the OP here.
It seems these VOC blades were produced in Solingen, and sent 'up river' to the ports in Netherlands, where they were either assembled with hilts, or in many cases, shipped out as cargo (and ballast) to East Indies ports where they became available as spare parts or trade items.
The men employed by VOC were required to purchase their own swords so these used by them may have often been freely traded and replaced.
It seems that the Amsterdam VOC blades were most common, followed by Middelburg and Rotterdam. The other chambers are less prevalent, and it seems there was one with a 'Z' (no, not Zorro!) which may have meant Zeeland, which was the province Middelburg was in.