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Old 9th August 2008, 04:09 PM   #31
kronckew
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this klewang is housed in a rough leather scabbard with the fur still on it, may be deer hide. it came from the netherlands and was supposedly taken from a pirate somewhere in the dutch east indies or malaya.


20in. blade, 1.5 in. wide, 1/4 in. wide an inch from the guard, swells to 3/8 at the guard, single off centre fuller to 3/4in. from tip,first half of the spine is hollowed out in a groove then the final half has the sides of the spine grooved to 1 inch from the tip, blade is 3/16 thick at that point, and is unmarked. 5in. brass grip is rectangular in section with clipped edges, brass pommel appears swaged on the end. guard is also separate. leather grip binding appears to be a later addition. brass is undecorated. blue/gold colored cord knotwork & suspension loop on scabbard is my addition so i can hang it up.

Last edited by kronckew : 9th August 2008 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 9th August 2008, 05:59 PM   #32
fernando
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Hi Mark,

Allow me to go back in time, like the XVI century and a bit westwards in territory, like the Gulf of Oman.
The attached picture is a watercoulor from a set of seventy six, which belong to the Casanatense codice, the first illustrated work available on the discoveries route, belonging to an unnamed Portuguese author.
The legend inserted in the painting says: NOUTAQUES. THEY ARE THIEVES THAT ARE ROBBING ON THE SEA..
The Noutaques ( or Nautaques or Naitaques) lived in the coast, between Ormuz and the Cape Jasque, in places like Guadel, near Muscat.
Despite the apparent fantasy put in the painting, the veracity of the situation is confirmed by several other chronists of the period, who considered these guys as "moor" corsairs. One of them, Gaspar Correia, wrote: THESE NAUTAQUES SAIL AND ROW VERY FAST TERRADAS, AND EVEN THE ROWING MEN ARE ARCHERS THAT CARRY ON THEIR BACKS THE BOW AND THE ARROWS. AND AS THEY GO ROWING, THEY DROP THE OAR AND STAND UP WITH THE BOW, THROWING ARROWS WITH THREE CORNERED HEADS, TWO OR THREE AT A TIME, ONE BETWEEN EACH FINGER, WHICH LOOSE THEIR SHAFTS AS THEY HIT THE TARGET. THEY ARE VERY DEXTEROUS AND ACCURATE IN THE THROWING. .
Martim Afonso de Sousa and the Italian Balbi precise that: THE (these) MALABAR CORSAIRS USED BOWS AND ARROWS, AND THEIR BOATS WERE ARMED WITH FALCONETS AND ARQUEBUSES.

I thaught you might like to have this material for your piracy files .

.
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Last edited by fernando : 9th August 2008 at 06:15 PM. Reason: SPELL AND FONT
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Old 10th August 2008, 12:53 AM   #33
M ELEY
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Wow! Kronckew, were you holding out on us?! That's a very nice piece and definately looks the type for Malay pirate (clipped point blade with both Chinese/Japanese influence). If you ever decide to part with it...

Fernando, thanks so much for this fascinating "early" depiction of these particular Corsairs. Interesting that they are referred to as 'Moorish' and then later as "Malabar" corsairs. The pirates of the western Indian coast using bows seems very logical, especially in the earlier periods before matchlock. The mention of Malabar makes me wonder if the sea rovers from that particular island might have carried Malabar/Moplah knives on their quests. Anyway, thanks for the material!
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Old 2nd October 2008, 10:48 AM   #34
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Default possibly a pirates Nimcha

I thought I'd bring this ole thread back from the depths and add to it what I think could possibly be a pirate's nimcha.

regards

Gav
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Old 2nd October 2008, 07:18 PM   #35
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Hi Gav,
Whis is this specific nimcha 'more pirate' than others?
Any particular story or details?
Fernando
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Old 2nd October 2008, 08:27 PM   #36
Gavin Nugent
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Default Hi Fernando

Hi Fernando, nothing "more pirate" specific, just offering up more images, we have seen a number of images of nimcha in the forum and a couple posted here in this posting too, some presented over time have been very long others short like this one and the ones on page one, which are more consistant with a deck fighting weapon's length.

Gav
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Old 2nd October 2008, 10:13 PM   #37
Jim McDougall
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I agree with Gav, the shortened blade may suggest maritime use, and at best would be more inclined to onboard melee situations. As I mentioned though, in the thread with the rather confusing 'camelback' nimcha title, the nimcha (more correctly termed Moroccan sa'if) was commonly associated with the so called Barbary Pirates, though most of thier depradations and raids took place on land.
Many of these carried full length blades, typically of European manufacture as this late 18th century Solingen cavalry trade blade. The term nim'cha meaning short sword had been used to describe Arab swords using short heavy cutlass type blades in Arabian 'pirate' situations on the eastern coast,in Muscat etc.. When such swords in North Africa began using the more available trade blades of full length, and as noted, for landed raids, the nim'cha term likely remained associated.

So as for 'pirate' use....'of the type' and more so due to the shortened blade.
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Old 16th October 2008, 02:42 AM   #38
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Default A few pirate pieces/purchases from eBay

Sorry, couldn't resist another bout of piracy! I'm not good at posting pics, but here's the auction numbers...

ebay#220277602364
I believe this to be a true Malay pirate piece, mid/late 19th century. The hilt and guard are what's left of a M1845 British Boarding Cutlass, re-worked and cut down to a lenght of 18" blade with nice Malay scabbard with ?silver/white metal bands.
Reminded me of Kronkcew's sword above.


ebay #300252600262
The "hole" had a square nail shoved in it. These little iron bombs were a favorite both with privateers and the boarding parties storming ships. This one still has the congealed powder/shot inside it. A hollow wood plug with match fuse would have fit down the hole. These little buggars were instrumental in winning the conflict between the Bonhomme Richard (John Paul Jone's ship) and the Brit man-o-war he fought against. One sailor in the rigging had a whole basket of these that he kept lighting and dropping with calculation into the ranks below...

Last edited by M ELEY : 16th October 2008 at 03:41 AM. Reason: Spelling.
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Old 30th October 2008, 05:51 AM   #39
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Default NIMCHAS with various size

Bonjour,

Yes, naturally, the nimchas of the privateers were shorter, as all the sabres of navy.
On the pics here under, 3 of the top are Nimchas (the first one for cavalry, second for cavalry or foot soldier and the third for marine).
The 2 of the bottom are Arabic safs (the first one for the cavalry and the second for marine).
The Nimcha of navy has a cut blade of baskethilt (discussion made 2 or 3 years ago).
Louis-Pierre
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Old 30th October 2008, 05:59 AM   #40
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Default Pics of precedent reply: NIMCHAS

OUPS!!!. Ihave forgottent the way to paste pics on replies.... sorry!!

Let's try with this link.

http://blade.japet.com/POST.htm
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Old 30th October 2008, 08:21 AM   #41
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Great pieces!
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Old 30th October 2008, 05:05 PM   #42
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Hi Louis Pierre!!! It is fantastic seeing you back, and what completely breathtaking nimchas!!! Thank you, and welcome back.

All the very best,
Jim
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Old 31st October 2008, 03:05 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPCA
OUPS!!!. Ihave forgottent the way to paste pics on replies.... sorry!!

Let's try with this link.

http://blade.japet.com/POST.htm




Hi Louis Pierre,
The link works great, and again these are great examples, and if I may add some notes from my references that give I hope what are essentially correct observations. I know you have done a great deal of research on these, as on a number of these weapon forms, so I look forward to your comments as well.
The top three as you note are Moroccan sa'ifs, and called collectively nimchas. As Elgood notes the nimcha term applies technically to short swords, so the maritime use example (#3) would actually be in accord with the term.

The #4 example is of the form I believe regarded as a Zanzibari sa'if, and typically used in Yemen. These are distinguished by the ring on the counterguard, as identified by Charles Buttin (Rumilly, 1933). I recall a group of these acquired from a Yemeni armoury, about 30 or 40, and all were apparantly furbished in Zanzibar, and sent to Yemen. The shape of the hilt is similar to embossed silver examples identified as Hadhrami by Elgood ("Arms and Armour of Arabia,1994,p.13, 2.9).

The #5 is distinctly maritime as noted, and if I recall correctly these with the widened blade at the tip, were discussed by Elgood (p.10, 2.1) noting the similarity of the heavy end blade to Moplah knives which of course neatly aligns with the constant trade in the Indian Ocean.

As noted previously, it seems that the blades on these varied dramatically, and the nimcha term was likely collectively applied to all swords from the Maghreb that had this distinct hilt with its multiple quillon arrangement.

Fantastic grouping! and definitely of the type associated widely with not only the Barbary Pirates, but those from regions in Muscat as well.

All the best,
Jim
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Old 31st October 2008, 06:43 AM   #44
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Default Zanzibar....

Hi, Jim. Glad to see you on this thread.

Yes, i do agree with your position.

As regards Zanzibar, on one hand, it was always the terminus of the vast commercial current created from the Arabic peninsula towards the African coast, Ceylon, Malaysia, Indonesia up to the South of Filipinos. The Arabic dhows took advantage of winds of the monsoon to reach Zanzibar and of their inversion to go back up towards the peninsula.

On the other hand, the peninsula is very poor in iron ore, while Zanzibar stocked up without problem with Tanzania or Rwanda.... It became an important center of forge of the blades of safs which it supplied in the peninsula (Oman, Yemen). These blades are usually of good forge.

This commercial current is more important than the around 30 years of dominion of Oman on Zanzibar.

Yes, the generic word for all these weapons is Saf, the specific to Morocco is Nimcha.

As for the guard,you noticed the special guard which protects the hand against the knocks sliding on the flat of the blade. This defence which is very real on Tulwar and Pulwar is missing on Saf / Nimcha. This circular guard replaces it. I suspect that it was able to exist on certain Nimcha. Spanish finalized another system called pitones to resolve this problem.
See please http://blade.japet.com/NIMCHA/N-protection.htm

end of my chat.
Friendly.
Louis-Pierre
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