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Old 30th May 2015, 03:59 PM   #1
Dmitry
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Default ID this sword, please.

A friend recently picked up this sword on eBay, he thought it was North African. I tend to think it's from the East Indies.
What are your thoughts?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/18th-C-SWOR...=p2047675.l2557
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Old 30th May 2015, 04:27 PM   #2
kronckew
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my first thought was mexican, espada ancha.
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Old 30th May 2015, 04:32 PM   #3
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I, for some reason, am thinking of Borneo: kind of Parang Nabur-ish ricasso and blade incisions.
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Old 31st May 2015, 12:50 AM   #4
Ian
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Looks Spanish colonial to me, especially the hilt.
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Old 31st May 2015, 07:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Looks Spanish colonial to me, especially the hilt.


that's what made me think it was an espada ancha (possibly not mex, that wasthe 1st that came to mind. )

the blade is also quite machete shaped
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Old 31st May 2015, 08:22 AM   #6
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Nice sword. The hilt form reminds me of this one, on a sword I posted on the forum some time ago, also thought of as probably Colonial Spanish American.
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Old 31st May 2015, 11:35 AM   #7
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There is a brief (but informative) discussion of Spanish colonial swords from a few years ago that Jim McDougall started: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?p=61271 The article on this site written by Lee Jones is also very helpful.

As pointed out by several people in that thread, there is not a vast amount of information on Spanish colonial swords. Even some of the museums in Spain have few examples.

Ian.
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Old 31st May 2015, 12:44 PM   #8
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Here is one of mine from the old UBB forum. It has a triangular blade and the inscription "Recuerdo Republicano." There are also floral designs at forte that seem similar to those on the first sword in this thread. My sword was thought to be from about the time of the first Philippine Republic in the early 1900s. The accompanying leather sheath is typically Filipino and would fit that period.

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Old 31st May 2015, 04:32 PM   #9
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Hi,
I will give you my opinion. I'm not an expert of this kind of sword. As our colleagues said above, you have to see the Spanish colonial swords like another type that you can see in this thread:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=berber+morocco
Philippines, Mexico, Cuba, Morocco, they were all under Spanish influence. I think that's a big mistake to try to put these swords only in one box.They were produced locally following more or less the Spanish models quoted previously. Yours looks North African to me.
Kubur
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Old 31st May 2015, 06:41 PM   #10
Jim McDougall
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Thank you for bringing up that thread Ian, and as you well note, there is a great paucity of data on Spanish Colonial arms, and as keenly noted by Kubur, it is virtually impossible to regionally classify most. The "Spanish Main" was a vast trade and colonial network which survived into the 20th century, and the influences of these sword styles diffused into many of their trade entrepots.
I am inclined to think of this particular version as from the Filipino spectrum(as seen in another variation in your post #8).

Colin,
The example you post very much resembles a form known as Espada Barinas (from a region in Venzuala if I recall). Naturally as noted, this is only speculation but reasonably well supported in discussions some time ago in my notes.
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Old 31st May 2015, 09:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur

... Philippines, Mexico, Cuba, Morocco, they were all under Spanish influence. I think that's a big mistake to try to put these swords only in one box. They were produced locally following more or less the Spanish models quoted previously. ...
Kubur
Hi Kubur:

Completely agree with you about the diverse nature of the swords from many lands that were influenced controlled and colonized by Spain. There is great variety and many local influences on swords from the Spanish colonies.

However, using a label such as "Spanish colonial" can be considered a starting point to further identification. At one time Spain was master of about one-fifth of the known world in the 17th, 18th and 19th C, so that leaves a lot of scope for defining sword origins and styles more precisely.

The Spanish influence in swords can be seen in a number of ways, but perhaps most commonly in the hilts which are usually full tang, have a D-guard (or less commonly an S-guard), and may be comprised of three parts--circular metal ferrule/wooden or horn grip/circular metal ferrule--or the handle may be two flat scales (usually wood or horn) pinned through the full length tang. There are, of course, more styles than these two basic ones, but they are the most common. Blades seem to be more highly variable, often reflecting local customs and tastes.

We really do need an encyclopedia of colonial Spanish arms. Unfortunately, as noted previously on this Forum, the Spanish museums seem to be rather poor sources for these particular weapons, so it may be necessary to look to the respective colonies themselves for relevant examples. I had relatively little success in finding Spanish colonial swords in Philippine museums when I was traveling there 10-20 years ago. Where did they all go?

Cheers,

Ian.
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Old 1st June 2015, 05:03 PM   #12
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Well, I'm surprised that we haven't found the consensus on this piece yet. Proves that some of the weapons are still not an open book for us.
I knew it had an East Asian feel to it, and was leaning towards the Philippines myself. The hilt may be generic, while the blade ricasso and the blade decorations could be the ticket to this piece's proper attribution, imho.
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Old 3rd June 2015, 02:35 AM   #13
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I wonder if, perhaps, the original sword in this discussion is an old variant of the Bicolano minasbad. See the following example of a minasbad for comparison. The hilt is obviously different but note the "saw tooth" file work at forte and vine decoration on the blade.

Ian.
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Last edited by Ian : 3rd June 2015 at 03:25 AM. Reason: Added second image
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Old 5th June 2015, 04:09 PM   #14
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This is exactly what I was referring to.
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Old 6th June 2015, 10:00 PM   #15
Ian
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Dmitiri:

I think you have a consensus now, although not a very strong one, that this is a Spanish-influenced sword from one of its former colonies. Most likely it comes from the Philippines, and more specifically from Bicol in the southern region of Luzon. Unless there is someone out there who can say with greater conviction (and has an example to show) that the sword you posted is something else, then I think you have reached as much consensus as you are likely to find at the present time on this forum.

It seems safe to say that nobody here who is willing to comment has seen an identical sword before, and it may well be a one-off piece made for a specific individual. That said, the various comments above seem to have narrowed the likely sources of the sword's features (and therefore its probable origin) fairly accurately. Without an inscription, provenance or other documentation, that is about as good as it gets for a "unique," mixed culture weapon which this one seems to be.

Your friend is very fortunate to have found such an interesting sword.

Regards,

Ian.
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