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Old 17th December 2017, 06:50 PM   #1
fernando
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Default Portuguese navigator sword for comments

I have just bought this one for Christmas. One only picture so far. But unless something goes wrong that i can only notice when i have it with me, this is a good example of a pattern used by Portuguese navigators as from mid XV century. Not the more refined pattern used by nobility and wealthy members but by the basic soldier. Being studied, for one, in modern works like a monograph published by the Navy Museum (author Armando Canelhas) there are only some three dozen examples known to exist, this considering all four classified variants.
Some call these swords 'hilted a la Portuguese', some call them 'crab swords', aparently rank and file used to call them 'Colhonas' (testicles) due to their pronounced rund guard discs and even others called 'African' the more rustic ones, as those might have been produced in Africa by or under Portuguese smtiths orientation.
I have to wait until i can handle it, to try and classify it among the said four types (A to D). So far it has a tendence to be type C but, to fall into such, its round discs would have to be sharpened, consistent with what is written about those being used as a weapon in close combat. I also have to (try and) judge on its grip cover authenticity, but i know now that the way the pommel is peened with its bent tang end corresponds to a true original system found in some of these swords.
The blade has a high probability to be good material, possibly German as often seen in the period.

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Old 17th December 2017, 07:41 PM   #2
Kubur
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Hi Fernando

Look the nice birthday present that I got from my wife.
It looks very similar to yours.

Best,
Kubur
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Old 17th December 2017, 08:06 PM   #3
fernando
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Oh, i can't believe !!!
Where did your wife find this one ?
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Old 28th December 2017, 05:55 PM   #4
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So i have it with me and tried to take some decent pictures ... such a hard task for a photo amateur, specially during an ever lasting cloudy sky.
I would conclude this is a type C, from a classification given by the National Navy Museum technical consultant. Although types from B to D are not so easy to distinguish, as their difference resides mostly in forging details, from fair to poor, all such produced for rank and file, type A refers to those made for a different users universe, practically having nothing to do with these humble navigators/soldiers battle swords.
The guard discs having a 35 m/m diameter are indeed sharpened; not razor blade but, reasonably sharp, nothing rejecting that they have in time been sharper. The 81 cms. blade is more to the slim side, but with a rather sturdy and well forged ricasso, 40 m/m wide and 7 m/m thick. The grooves are rather superficial. All in all i would assume it is genuine, potentialy German, with the Christogram IHS in both sides and a two digit mark also in both sides of the ricasso, i guess some kind of lot number. The grip cover wrap looks (looks) original, made with narrow strips of leather.
I am a bit lost at figuring out the use of the counter guard turn ups. One source calls them protection buttons but, protecting from what; i fail to see them as parrying appendixes. Another source says they are to create a space when you lay the sword on the ground, so that makes it easy to instantly pick it up when in an eminent atack; i don't know if i swallow such hypothesis, either. I ought to have this riddle cracked.
This sword has 9a cms. total length and weighs 803 grams.
Anyone care to comment ?


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Old 28th December 2017, 09:14 PM   #5
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Parabens, amigo! Uma excelente acquisição!

Filipe
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Old 29th December 2017, 04:10 PM   #6
fernando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Parabens, amigo! Uma excelente acquisição!...

Obrigado, Filipe
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Old 30th December 2017, 06:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
So i have it with me and tried to take some decent pictures ... such a hard task for a photo amateur, specially during an ever lasting cloudy sky.

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Congratulations Fernando ,The pictures are much more better ! Interesting sword and very special hilt a bit crudely made.
best

Jean-Luc
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Old 31st December 2017, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerjak
Congratulations Fernando ,The pictures are much more better ! Interesting sword and very special hilt a bit crudely made.
best ...

Merci Jean-Luc,
Indeed these were battle swords for low rank soldiers, and forged en masse in both homeland and colonial arsenals to cover for large needs in the period; there are versions even more crude... but still the genuine stuff.


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Last edited by fernando : 31st December 2017 at 05:46 PM.
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