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Old 4th April 2007, 12:01 AM   #1
fernando
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Default Swords a la Portuguese ... Part two

Let's just start this part two by picking up the original topic where it started with the sword posted by RRSAND.


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Last edited by fernando : 15th August 2017 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 2nd August 2017, 03:32 PM   #2
RRSAND
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It may look a bit weird, to "ressurect" a 10 year old post, but... Information on this is scarce.
What do you think of this (it was found in Angola, in the 60's, and i recently aquired it)?
Sorry about the quality of the photos, but i donīt have my "real" camera with me...
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Old 3rd August 2017, 04:02 AM   #3
Gonzalo G
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I'm not a consoisseur on this kind of weapons, but I will express some ideas, meanwhile others, better informed, gives his or her opinions. The work seems very rough, as if it was made in a colony overseas. Like some of the so-called "colonial rapiers", made in America instead Europe. The fullers on the ricasso are unusual, as the pommel. Flatted pommels with perforations and a small central bar can be found on Portuguese swords of this type, and this pommel in certain way remainds them, but only in a certain way. The endings of the guards does not present the typical circular flat form of the Portuguese boarding swords from the 15th Century. They are more stylized, but this also was not unusual on this swords, as seen in the example above in the post from Marc. The perforations on the ring guards seem to correspond to stems (pitons), a sort of defenses which now are lacking, probably because of a bad hot-welding work. I donīt have specifics on the forging capabilities of the natives of Angola in the 17th Century (if the date on the blade is correct), but this sword can be a copy of the Portuguese boarding sword made by a local blacksmith, Portuguese or native, but a bungler.
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Old 3rd August 2017, 07:28 AM   #4
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Is the red colouration in the photographs an artifact or is there really red active rust on this blade? This is something I would not expect to see on a blade of this age.
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Old 3rd August 2017, 01:13 PM   #5
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Wouldn't this be an example made by African locals inspired in navigator swords, which prevailed through centuries to be used for ceremonies or prestige, the so called MBELE A LULENDO (sword of power) ?. In this specific specimen, the date 1697 could have also been borrowed from early original examples. This one could be as late as from the 19th. century. The variation in model details may as well be 'authors imagination'. Although these swords may be acquired in (Nothern) Angola, it is obvious to expect that their design found its way there descending from neighbour Southwest Congo, where its influence was provided by navigators is registered.
But of course, anyone with knowledge may certainly correct me ... partly or totally .


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Old 3rd August 2017, 02:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Wouldn't this be an example made by African locals inspired in navigator swords, which prevailed through centuries to be used for ceremonies or prestige, the so called MBELE A LULENDO (sword of power) ?. In this specific specimen, the date 1697 could have also been borrowed from early original examples. This one could be as late as from the 19th. century. The variation in model details may as well be 'authors imagination'. Although these swords may be acquired in (Nothern) Angola, it is obvious to expect that their design found its way there descending from neighbour Southwest Congo, where its influence provided by navigators is registered.



That fits perfectly well, Fernando!! The Bakongo- Bantu used these swords as you said. This ethnic group in fact extends from north Luanda in Angola to the Congo.
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Old 3rd August 2017, 11:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzalo G
I'm not a consoisseur on this kind of weapons, but I will express some ideas, meanwhile others, better informed, gives his or her opinions. The work seems very rough, as if it was made in a colony overseas. Like some of the so-called "colonial rapiers", made in America instead Europe. The fullers on the ricasso are unusual, as the pommel. Flatted pommels with perforations and a small central bar can be found on Portuguese swords of this type, and this pommel in certain way remainds them, but only in a certain way. The endings of the guards does not present the typical circular flat form of the Portuguese boarding swords from the 15th Century. They are more stylized, but this also was not unusual on this swords, as seen in the example above in the post from Marc. The perforations on the ring guards seem to correspond to stems (pitons), a sort of defenses which now are lacking, probably because of a bad hot-welding work. I donīt have specifics on the forging capabilities of the natives of Angola in the 17th Century (if the date on the blade is correct), but this sword can be a copy of the Portuguese boarding sword made by a local blacksmith, Portuguese or native, but a bungler.



Well, thank you!
And, let's say that everything you wrote exactly matches what i think about this... I didn't write anything because i am not a specialist (not even a "real" collector, sadly), and i didn't want to probably make a fool of myself. But i did some research (not easy to find information on this) and these are my thoughts exactly, i have nothing to add to your comment!
The fullers on the ricasso actually puzzle me, they are not even metallic , but made of some brittle material i couldn't identify.
The blade looks like it was repaired/altered at some point. Almost like it was "reforged", there are some "seams", starting from the middle of the blade to the poin...

RobertGuy, well, the oxidation is not as active as it looks to be, the photos were taken with flash, and that really brightens the orange, but yes, this is quite corroded. Truth is it was found in the open, and worse, on a beach, exposed to salt water for who knows how long...
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