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Old 19th June 2018, 08:00 PM   #1
Hammondtx
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Default Help with ID

Can anyone help with identification of this sword? I have searched the internet and can't find anything with this type hilt. Blade is marked VOC with a M over it and 1776 for the date. Thanks in advance for you help.
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Old 19th June 2018, 09:37 PM   #2
Ren Ren
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As the experts say, the letter M means the branch of VOC in Middelburg.
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Old 19th June 2018, 09:38 PM   #3
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VOC is the symbol for the Dutch East Indies company so that is where the blade is from.
This might give you a starting point on the hilt

Maybe the European side of the forum would be the place to post this sword?

Regards

Ken
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Old 19th June 2018, 10:57 PM   #4
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Transferring to the European section.
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Old 19th June 2018, 11:23 PM   #5
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Another entrant for the 'Shaver Cool' style of sabre.

Was it made here (east indies); or there (Europa)?
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Old 19th June 2018, 11:51 PM   #6
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Oh Noooo! Don't say those words, Rick!!! 'Shaver Cool!'

I believe the blade is legit: a Dutch East India Co. sword with proper marking and the talismanic numerals. if it were over in the Indies, its possible that the...ahem...later hilt was put on it for the tourists. The hilt does appear to have some aging to it. If it came from Malay or Shri Lanka, it would undoubtedly have some sort of dragon/naga type hilt as this.

Can we get a shot of the capstan/screw on the top pommel and in the dragon's mouth? Perhaps not tourist, but more of a refit??? The side mounted screw from the knuckle bow is remeniscent of the Dutch naval and marinesabal swords ca. 1800.

The numbers might also indicate an important date in the Dutch history. Haven't had time to research it. It could also be talismanic.

Mark

Last edited by M ELEY : 20th June 2018 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 20th June 2018, 01:56 AM   #7
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Thanks for moving to the correct section. I had no idea where to start.

What is the reference to shaver cool? I'm a novice on this subject, is that code for a replica?

Here are more pictures, it's some sort of bambo or wood made into a rivet inside the dragons mouth.
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Old 20th June 2018, 10:25 AM   #8
M ELEY
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Sorry for not explaining the 'Shaver Cool' reference! It is in the archive. Quite a few years back, we had a post with a sword with VOC markings, brass hilt, and the word 'Shaver Cool' on the blade, believed to be a Dutch ship. The post went on and on without any definite conclusion. I've actually seen a few other swords over the years with the Shaver Cool logo and personally think it might have been a legit ship and history, but the swords all seemed to date to the 30's-40's and tourist. Hilts were often like a dragon, but poorly executed, the VOC markings crude and not very old, etc.

Now yours, on the other hand, is intriguing. The brass is cast and of better quality. It has a real patina, not some touristy 'Made in...' type. The bamboo pin replaces a screw which would have been there originally, common on Dutch swords of this period. The peened tang through the top of the hilt again shows age and well done. In my opinion (and it is ONLY that), this is an old East India Company sword blade with a later (perhaps mid to late 19th c.) hilt similar to a kastane. I don't think it was made for a market sale, but for honest-to-goodness reuse as a weapon. The hilt could have been refitted in a Dutch trading post such as Shri Lanka, the Thai peninsula or perhaps an Indian port. Something about the dragon and the star-like guard makes me think Thai or surrounding area. Now, let me be shot down by others-

Hammondtx, I really like this sword! I know you started out on the Ethnographic Forum and they send you here for the Dutch identification, but I think you still might later repost it there for their opinion of the hilt and where it might have been cast.

Last edited by M ELEY : 20th June 2018 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 20th June 2018, 03:21 PM   #9
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I'm curious about the eight pointed plates that are attached to the cross guard on each side. They do not seem from the pictures to very ergonomic when it comes to actually using this sabre.
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Old 20th June 2018, 05:09 PM   #10
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Yup !!!
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Old 20th June 2018, 11:40 PM   #11
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I got the impression they were langets, based on how the shadowing shows them covering the base of the blade-

Final question for me is, is the hilt hollow or solid cast? Is it tight to the blade or very wiggly?
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Old 21st June 2018, 01:24 AM   #12
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[QUOTE=M ELEY] In my opinion (and it is ONLY that), this is an old East India Company sword blade with a later (perhaps mid to late 19th c.) hilt similar to a kastane. I don't think it was made for a market sale, but for honest-to-goodness reuse as a weapon. The hilt could have been refitted in a Dutch trading post such as Shri Lanka. Now, let me be shot down by others- [QUOTE]

When I look at the hilt I think Ceylon Mark.

It looks like there was a forward quillon, now gone.

But those plates look like they'd hurt the hand if you choked up on the hilt in use.
Possibly the owner could comment on this with it in hand.
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Old 21st June 2018, 02:45 AM   #13
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Thanks all for the information, it's been interesting researching this. I buy, sell and trade antiques, acquired this sword in a trade. The man I got it from said it was his grandfathers but didn't know anything about his grandfathers travels or dealings. He remembered his grandfather showing it to him as a child but knew nothing else about it.

The plates on the sides aren't uncomfortable at all. I hardly notice them when holding it in hand. Here are some close up pictures of the sword in hand. I'm 6'4" and my hand is a tight fit. My thumb and index finger kind of lay flat on the sides of the plates. I don't feel the points at all.

I can't tell if the hilt is hollow or solid, it's very heavy. It does wiggle a bit if I shake it around but I wouldn't say is was really loose, just moves a fraction.

If you look at the first picture I posted there is a triangle shaped wedge cut out of the side of the dragons neck. Does this look like a repair or is that how it was made?
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Old 21st June 2018, 03:30 PM   #14
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Well, it looks like it is a cut made by hand and soldered or brazed.
You can see that the bottom of one seam looks like it's still open.
I can't imagine accidental damage not deforming the metal around the area.

So maybe this is from the remounting (if it's not the original) of this hilt; and maybe in polish it may not show as clearly.
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