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Old 26th December 2018, 09:57 PM   #1
G. Mansfield
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Default Lion Attacking a Dromedary -1867

Through gaining a museum studies minor at the University of Pittsburgh, I was working within the Carnegie Museum of Natural History quite often for class research. One of their most popular exhibits is the diorama of "Lion Attacking a Dromedary" (1867) displaying European 19th century Orientalism stereotypes to exotify North Africa in dramatic scenes.
This particular diorama is an imaginary story Edouard Verreaux created to elaborate about "a courier traveling through the North African desert carrying letters and other precious items from one village to the next. Suddenly, two fierce lions appear and charge at him. The courier draws his musket and kills one of the lions, but it is knocked from his hand. He unsheathes his dagger as another lion leaps to attack his camel..."

The rifle laying on the lioness appears to be a Moroccan snaphaunce while the dagger is a flyssa type weapon with an up-curving blade containing simple brass inlays and patterns. The hilt is brass covered over wood without the common animal head pommel. In my personal collection, I have a very similar knife. I always assumed that it was of a later manufacture (early 20th) than the more common typical flyssa that had a higher quality of workmanship. This diorama was created in 1867 in France and is stated to be original. So, this places the thought into question that these flyssa-like variants (up-curving) must be of older origin rather than later? Thoughts, comments, and opinions appreciated.
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Old 26th December 2018, 11:14 PM   #2
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The rifle shown is in fact an Albanian Tanchika....
Stu
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Old 27th December 2018, 12:07 AM   #3
ariel
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Tigers? In Africa?
Monty Python

Lions ? In Albania?
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Old 27th December 2018, 03:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Tigers? In Africa?
Monty Python

Lions ? In Albania?

Yep, always look on the bright side..................
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Old 31st December 2018, 01:07 PM   #5
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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YEP I HAD TO LOOK IT UP ANYWAY!

SEE https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_lion

The art done in the mid 1800s by EUGENE DELACROIX SEE https://www.wikiart.org/en/eugene-d...in-morocco-1854

entitled Lion hunt in Morocco.
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Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 31st December 2018 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 31st December 2018, 02:26 PM   #6
Pukka Bundook
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Please forgive if this sounds facetious, but there is a painting of a lion attacking a carriage horse in England of all places.

It was a depiction of an actual event, but don't remember where abouts.

Ibrahiim,
Been wondering if you are familiar with the name C Roads?

All best and Happy New Year when it gets here!
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Old 1st January 2019, 04:29 PM   #7
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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IT IS TRUE THE Exeter Mail was attacked by a lion in Wiltshire on route to London... haha!! please see https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...-years-ago.html for the entire story..
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Old 2nd January 2019, 05:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
Please forgive if this sounds facetious, but there is a painting of a lion attacking a carriage horse in England of all places.

It was a depiction of an actual event, but don't remember where abouts.

Ibrahiim,
Been wondering if you are familiar with the name C Roads?


All best and Happy New Year when it gets here!




The name... Christopher Roads ...Top man on rifles and guns of Oman and was the head of ICOMAN project. He had a symposium I couldn't get to in Nizwa a few years ago but I corresponded with him...and he was very helpful. There's not much he doesn't know on gunpowder weapons of Oman!

and~ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

https://www.scribd.com/document/113...Oman-in-english

This reference above had vanished but is now fully available as per the detail of the old ICOMAN format showing many forts and weapons of Oman... also see forts and cannon of oman at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18477
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Old 2nd January 2019, 07:17 PM   #9
Lee
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Thumbs up On a similar theme, tiger against elephant

at the Royal Armouries, Leeds, courtesy of Tom's Photo Log
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Old 3rd January 2019, 01:37 PM   #10
Pukka Bundook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
The name... Christopher Roads ...Top man on rifles and guns of Oman and was the head of ICOMAN project. He had a symposium I couldn't get to in Nizwa a few years ago but I corresponded with him...and he was very helpful. There's not much he doesn't know on gunpowder weapons of Oman!

and~ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

https://www.scribd.com/document/113...Oman-in-english

This reference above had vanished but is now fully available as per the detail of the old ICOMAN format showing many forts and weapons of Oman... also see forts and cannon of oman at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18477



Ibrahiim,

Thanks for the details on the lion attack in Exceter. I'd forgotten the fine stuff!

You maybe know Adrian as well? He spent a long time there when the museum was being formed. (Nephew of Chris)

Lee,
I wonder how many elephants needed hearing aids? :-)
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Old 3rd January 2019, 02:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
I wonder how many elephants needed hearing aids? :-)
or perhaps even more relevant might be how many mahouts lost feet or legs. I have never seen this work from this angle, but from the level above the elephant's mahout was most prominently scrambling to the other side and desperately hanging on!
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Old 3rd January 2019, 03:10 PM   #12
Jens Nordlunde
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Yes, the hand/s and the foot are at risk, but on the other hand, you have to risk something if you want to end in a museum:-).
A number of statues and several miniatures show hunters (likely helpers), who attack, or are attacked, by lions or tigeres, only using a katar, so their only chance to (maybe) survive would be to use a short ranging dagger.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 03:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
... You maybe know Adrian as well? He spent a long time there when the museum was being formed. (Nephew of Chris)...

Adrian became our member in March 2012.
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Old 5th January 2019, 04:20 AM   #14
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Here is another Orientalist style painting by French artist Eugene Delacroix depicting a similar dramatic fight between a rider and a lion, "Arab Horseman Attacked by a Lion" (1849/1850). I cannot make out the weapon used but it may vaguely resemble a yataghan from post Ottoman rule. Delacroix commonly traveled to Morocco and Algeria most likely inspiring this work of art,
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Old 6th January 2019, 05:07 PM   #15
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Default I was wondering the same thing

Hi All,

The dagger I bought last year is very similar to the one shown by G Mansfield and, when I had bought it, I had wondered where it fit within the flyssa/wedding flyssa scheme of things. Given the date of the diorama, I wonder if the daggers in question were transitional between the classic flyssa and the wedding flyssa. Like the daggers shown in the post, my knife has a curved blade typical of the wedding flyssas but the blade engraving, while not up to the quality of the classic flyssa, is of better quality than the typical wedding flyssa. The hilts and cross guards of the wedding flyssas also differ markedly from those on my and G Mansfield's daggers. The hilt and scabbard of my dagger are wood which is sheathed in embossed, low grade silver. The scabbard decorations on the front and back are very different. The back shows what looks for all the world like a series of paired daleths. The blade is about 35.5cm (about 14 in) long and the spine at the hilt is about 6mm (about 7/32 in) thick. While I wouldn't want to fend off a lion with it, the blade appears to be adequate enough for civilian combat. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Sincerely,
RobT
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