Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 24th March 2012, 06:02 PM   #1
Mauro
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 78
Default Takouba w XVII century European blade

I would like to have your impression on a Takouba that I recently bouth. The sword has seen better times but to my eyes still remain an interesting piece. It has a straight high quality steel blade that in my opinion is a European XVII century blade. In fact one side of the forte is engraved with the latin letters "V.Danv". Between the V and D there is some kind of sign that I would interpret as a dot, but I am not sure. I don't know if this is the name of the owner or the maker marks. In any case it is not one of the classic Italian names. The possible maker mark is close to the writing and is a variant of the "globe w cross" described by Lhote (1954). I would say it is a "globe with a tree" This author referring to a slightly different maker mark reports it is found in European blades from X to XVII century but the specific case reported in his paper was a later Tuareg engraving. This could also be the fact for this mark but I am not sure. I do not have enough experience to establish it.
In any case similar blades were made in XVI to XVIII century in Europe. The blade is fullered, single edged with a squared ricasso at the hilt, but it is well-sharpened to the back edge about halfway down the blade to make a double edged sword. If this sharpening is native or original I am not able to establish. The point was smoothed as almost all the Takoubas I have seen. The hilt has a crossguard of engraved brass with fabric underneath, and steel within. It is decorated in the central part with two stars that are open and by a flower on each side the central part of which is again opened to show a green dot. The edges of the guard are also decorated with a piramidal rivet. A peculiar feature of the hilt is a circular brass rain guard feature that protrudes to both sides of the forte. This part has a concentric engraved ring the central part of which is decorated with a tuareg cross. The grip is cilindric slightly larger in the middle part. It makes a progressive transition to a large pommel with the classic brass decorations on top.
The scabbard is in relict conditions and only the central part is left decorated with a double row of stamped lozenges. The seller attribute it to the Hausa but I wait for some of the experts in the forum to confirm this attribution

Last edited by Mauro : 24th March 2012 at 07:12 PM.
Mauro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th March 2012, 07:14 PM   #2
Mauro
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 78
Default

I had to remove the photos. I shall post them again tomnorrow. Sorry for this problem.
Attached Images
      

Last edited by Mauro : 24th March 2012 at 09:36 PM.
Mauro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th March 2012, 07:41 PM   #3
Iain
Member
 
Iain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Morava - Olomoucký kraj - Czech Republic
Posts: 1,489
Default

Hi Mauro, I'm glad to see you posted this interesting sword finally! I think it's a good discussion piece. I will leave comments about the blade for later, I am interested in what some of our other members will think about it. It might also be a good idea to post it to the European forum?

I actually think the sword is in not bad condition and the hilt is really outstanding. The 'rain guard' like feature is the first one I have seen on a takouba, so something pretty unique I think. The condition of the hilt also gives a nice view of how these are constructed, with the cloth padding and colors.

This is a very well built sword it seems, I have a few which also give me this sense and have strong, heavy iron guards and pommels.

I will write more later when you can put the pictures back up.
Iain is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24th March 2012, 09:39 PM   #4
Mauro
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 78
Default

Hi Iain, you are right and I shall post it also on the European blade section. Now we see what the forum says
Mauro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th March 2012, 05:07 PM   #5
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,768
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauro
Hi Iain, you are right and I shall post it also on the European blade section. Now we see what the forum says


Salaams Mauro~ Great sword! I have compared it around the forum library to others mainly from Iain and having been over the blade marks registry of Professor Jim and up and down the web to search for V Dan but not much luck.

Would you say that the blade mark V DAN is original ? ( I think so) but that the other mark which looks like a stylised tree of life has been modified and may be either part original and part altered locally. It looks like a local attempt at the Greek Cross/Coptic Cross similar in basic structure to library examples but in almost 3 dimensions since it is out of vertical alignment.X..and without the surrounding circle. The pot from which the apparent tree eminates looks like an altered moon shape altered to a round shape; see drawing below with modifications.

On passing, and nothing to do with this sword, I discovered the old Hausa letter G is a cross with orb beneath it.

Anyway this looks like (always a dangerous situation) a European blade locally adorned / altered in the blade mark.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Attached Images
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th March 2012, 10:43 PM   #6
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,576
Default

A really interesting example, and I am in accord with most of the great observations here. This to me seems a late 17th into 18th century backsword blade, European of course. The marking are remarkably faithful to characteristic European types, but curious.

The 'globus cruciger' or cross and orb was widely popular as a talismanic device used with names, inscriptions and phrases. These letters seem similar to these kinds of additions to blades, and when in grouping that does not form an apparant word or name are usually acrostics. As far as I can determine there is not another listed which might explain this one, and the letters seem to be incongruent in form and in case, with a miniscule 'a'. The marking or device among the letters is inconsistant with these acrostics as well.

I am inclined to think these marks are added by a merchant in one of the entry centers where imports were dispersed to caravans, and who was familiar with these kinds of marks on European blades. The backsword blade was atypical for Tuareg takoubas, but in looking at the decoration, the four petal floral device resembles motif seen more to West Africa (Ive seen it on Sierra Leone daggers, and of course others I cant recall offhand). The 'rainguard' extension is also as noted, reminiscent of European type elements, as well as the bolsters (adabal) on the forte in line with the guard on some takouba.

Just my thoughts here, and looking forward to further ideas.

All the best,
Jim
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th March 2012, 07:43 AM   #7
Iain
Member
 
Iain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Morava - Olomoucký kraj - Czech Republic
Posts: 1,489
Default

So as Mauro already knows I would agree on 18th century backsword with the second edge locally sharpened.

The blade marks were applied at the same time in my opinion and I would defer to Jim's overall opinion on them.

Turning to the hilt, the four petal design is in fact found on most brass hilted takouba, both Tuareg and Hausa. See attached.

For me the features like the "rain guards" make this a truly unusual example of a takouba and I would be proud to own it myself. Congratulations again to Mauro!
Attached Images
 
Iain is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28th March 2012, 01:41 PM   #8
Martin Lubojacky
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 603
Default

royal insignia - imperial pome is on the right, mace on the left
Attached Images
 
Martin Lubojacky is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 08:24 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.