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Old 5th October 2016, 08:34 PM   #61
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
I THINK OF THE LONG NIMCHA AS SWORDS TO BE USED ON HORSEBACK PRIMARILY BUT OF COURSE THEY CAN BE USED ON FOOT OR ON SHIPS AS WELL. ALL EXAMPLES PICTURED ABOVE FIT THE HORSEMAN'S SWORD TYPE
EXCEPT THE LAST PICTURE. IT IS WHAT IS REFERRED TO AS A WEDDING NIMCHA AND IS LARGELY USED AT MARRIAGE CEREMONIES TODAY AND IS DAGGER TO SHORT SWORD IN SIZE. ALL THE ONES I HAVE SEEN HAVE BEEN FAIRLY RECENT SAY WW1 TO PRESENT BUT OLDER FORMS MAY HAVE BEEN WEAPONS MOST I HAVE SEEN WERE ATTRIBUTED TO ALGERIA BUT LIKELY TO BE FOUND IN SURROUNDING COUNTRIES.


Good point VANDOO ~ It is apparent that two blade length styles sub divide the Magrebi form and that ships short blades and long mounted cavalry are there. I have seen artwork of these long blades on warriors on horseback and camel...It is a fact that Magreb means the cluster of countries like Morocco and Algeria where these forms are found. The former preferred by Corsairs
(Corsairs= Moriscos after feeing from Spain in the early 1600s. )

(These so called wedding daggers are interesting also known as Fleessa or Algerian Nimcha Daggers..Personally I also see them as somewhat ineffective being rather spindley and weak in the quillon region..Whilst the hilts follow a Nimcha style I cannot be sure of their original provenance...perhaps more comments can be forthcoming from others as it looks like a latecomer to the style.)

Below a further look at artwork down the ages at some different Magrebi Nimcha blade-lengths... As I see it there are three Magrebi types viz;

1.The huge meaty Embassadorial form.
2.The Short Corsair form.
3.The Long Cavalry form...

Comments please...?
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Old 5th October 2016, 10:03 PM   #62
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I MAY BE REACHING A BIT FAR HERE BUT IT SEEMS TO ME THE LONG CURVED SWORDS EVOLVED IN COUNTRIES AND SOCIETY'S WHERE HORSES WERE USED FOR WAR. TO SHOW YOU WERE A SUCCESSFUL , POWERFUL MAN YOU NEEDED MANY THINGS. SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT WERE A GOOD WAR HORSE, GOOD WEAPONS, GOOD CLOTHES AND PERHAPS ARMOR AND OF COURSE A WELL FITTED OUT GUARD OR ARMY. MUCH ATTENTION HAS ALWAYS BEEN PAID TO ESTABLISHING THIS IMAGE AND IT IS NECESSARY FOR A LEADER TO HAVE THESE THINGS TO LEAD MAKE ALLIES AND INTIMIDATE ENEMY'S. THIS HAS LED TO THE BREEDING OF THE ARABIAN HORSES, BEAUTIFUL WORKMANSHIP ON SADDLES, WEAPONS, CLOTHES AND ART. FIGHTING FROM HORSEBACK MADE A LONGER SWORD WITH A CURVE PRACTICAL AS THE CURVE ALLOWED A DRAW CUT FROM ABOVE ON HORSE BACK RATHER THAN A CHOP OR THRUST. THE CURVED BLADE BOTH INSIDE CURVE AS IN THE KOPESH AND OUTSIDE IN SAIF, IS FOUND ON MANY OTHER SWORDS HAVING NO CONNECTION TO HORSEMEN. BUT I WONDER WHERE AND WHY THE OUTSIDE CURVE EVOLVED ORIGINALLY AS IT IS IDEAL FOR SLICING DOWNWARD AT SPEED AS ON HORSEBACK.
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Old 5th October 2016, 11:50 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
I MAY BE REACHING A BIT FAR HERE BUT IT SEEMS TO ME THE LONG CURVED SWORDS EVOLVED IN COUNTRIES AND SOCIETY'S WHERE HORSES WERE USED FOR WAR. TO SHOW YOU WERE A SUCCESSFUL , POWERFUL MAN YOU NEEDED MANY THINGS. SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT WERE A GOOD WAR HORSE, GOOD WEAPONS, GOOD CLOTHES AND PERHAPS ARMOR AND OF COURSE A WELL FITTED OUT GUARD OR ARMY. MUCH ATTENTION HAS ALWAYS BEEN PAID TO ESTABLISHING THIS IMAGE AND IT IS NECESSARY FOR A LEADER TO HAVE THESE THINGS TO LEAD MAKE ALLIES AND INTIMIDATE ENEMY'S. THIS HAS LED TO THE BREEDING OF THE ARABIAN HORSES, BEAUTIFUL WORKMANSHIP ON SADDLES, WEAPONS, CLOTHES AND ART. FIGHTING FROM HORSEBACK MADE A LONGER SWORD WITH A CURVE PRACTICAL AS THE CURVE ALLOWED A DRAW CUT FROM ABOVE ON HORSE BACK RATHER THAN A CHOP OR THRUST. THE CURVED BLADE BOTH INSIDE CURVE AS IN THE KOPESH AND OUTSIDE IN SAIF, IS FOUND ON MANY OTHER SWORDS HAVING NO CONNECTION TO HORSEMEN. BUT I WONDER WHERE AND WHY THE OUTSIDE CURVE EVOLVED ORIGINALLY AS IT IS IDEAL FOR SLICING DOWNWARD AT SPEED AS ON HORSEBACK.



Certainly this is true of Morocco regarding horses ...and there's a great addition to the subject in Saddles and Horses in the region. I did a thread on Camels previously and noted how much the Horse held sway as an important combat vehicle up til even recently... and extensively in WW1 and before.
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Old 5th October 2016, 11:55 PM   #64
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"And now for something completely different" ...

What is this?

It took me hours to arrive at a half believable post on how this man was interned in the New Caledonian Islands off North East Australia by the French from Anjoun in the Grand Comoros Islands off the South East coast of Africa. ....

From gravure tirée de l'Illustration, 1891,
le sultan Said Athmann, chef des rebelles d'Anjoun,
interné en Nouvelle-Calédonie.

But anyway...Grainy photo...Easy Question... What is the sword?
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Old 7th October 2016, 02:06 PM   #65
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Old 7th October 2016, 02:12 PM   #66
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The question may be obscure in that perhaps I should have said why? Why this sword? Of course it is one of those Other oriental swords at plate XXX11 of Butin on #16 and more the style we associate with Zanzibar/Oman. Michael Backman at http://www.michaelbackmanltd.com/65.html goes on to note on the decorative form of his East African comb from which the decorative style appears to be linked to this Zanzibari Sword. ...This hilt was therefor likely made in Zanzibar as it was a collecting centre for Ivory and the scabbard form is usually Oman..decorated in leather with Omani style circles. Omani artisans were in Zanzibar as part of the flow of traders/artesans from Oman as Zanzibar flourished.

Quote "
This fine and extremely rare ivory comb is a beautiful example of Zanzibar craftsmanship. Cut from a single piece of ivory, it has sixteen prongs and is inlaid on both sides with chased gold plaques. There are no losses either to the gold or the ivory. It is of an unusual form and has in the past been attributed to SriLanka, but the gold panels and the form of the ivory can now be seen to related to the ivory and gold work used on Omani-influenced sword hilts that were manufactured in Zanzibar in the eighteenth century."Unquote

The more I think about it the more I suspect the correct name for these weapons is Zanzibari...although good reason indicates their use in a broad belt across the Indian Ocean. Perhaps looking across the entire Indian Ocean basin evidence is there of the Zanzibari Nimcha form (of which there are many) on the outer Islands, Comores, Off the Zanj coast, Yemen , Oman, and including Sri Lankan style shown at Butins plate XXX11.

On the Kastana I stumble when it comes to the flimsy blade and at the quillons which are from the Vagra as opposed to any sword association... however, since when was blade style important when signifying the blade of a Nimcha? Perhaps more leeway could be extended to the Vagra form since on earlier weapons perhaps they didn't have any...? It seems to me that more than a passing note may be applied to Butin at this important plate XXX11 and other members may wish to comment...

To assist I place again the Butin Plate XXX11 the Gold Comb decoration now related to Zanzibari Hilts and the typical Omani Scabbard with circle or swirl decoration.
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Old 7th October 2016, 02:49 PM   #67
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I just realized this one below clearly in the Sri Lankan style with the silver hilt has an inverted knuckle guard.

I note there are contradictions on Butin as one example has no Knuckleguard at all whilst the other is formed correctly...(1005/ 893 on plate XXX11) though they are slightly different interpretations of the hilt; serpent/lion.

Was Butin, therefor, pointing to a more Indian Ocean Basin interpretation of the Zanzibari Nimcha?

One question that is burning a hole in the page and to which I have no answer thus I throw it open to Forum is this... Looking at Sri Lankan style below; Is it possible that the Zanzibari (Indian Ocean Basin) form evolved directly from this Kastane type...creating a sword with quillons as per the European style and adapting the basic serpent/ lion /horse? hilt. and virtually identical knuckle guard and grip geometry?
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Old 9th October 2016, 02:44 AM   #68
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Scabbard Furniture on The Zanzibari Nimcha.

Please view swords 1004 and 1007 on Butins chart XXX11. Below..

In what looks like an imported item the scabbard upper ring furniture is interesting and can be seen on many examples of the Zanzibari Nimcha style. Could this be an import from one of the sword making centres either in Yemen at Hadramaut or Hyderabad in India; famous for making mercenary swords?

It appears, in my view, to be a copy or direct import from the Ottoman Kilij stable. In the centre rectangle local work appears in the form of a golden square section which may be from local gold decorating workshops of the Golden Comb style...however, simple applied gold squares are an Omani jewellery technique seen below ...and I show an Omani workshop in Zanzibar where this could have easily been decorated and applied.

In conclusion this is the final technical piece regarding sword parts of the Zanzibari Nimcha and following the Omani artisan technique of sub contracting work out to local workshops much as they do today with Khanjars and swords and where several specialists can be reached and the work completed and put together as one piece. It would be not unusual for one craftsman to complete the leather scabbard whilst another did the silver adornment, another the leather decoration, another the hilt carving, and another the goldwork...final fixture and fitting etc. I suggest that this would all have been quite normal in Zanzibar in those days and that the name Zanzibari Nimcha or Saif is probably correct since in this way the entire weapon may have been made there. Several craftsmen perhaps from Oman, Zanzibar, Sri Lanka and else where may have been responsible for the final product..and numerous others; Ivory traders, merchants and dealers may have also been involved.
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Old 11th October 2016, 07:37 AM   #69
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I should add that the Zanzibari Nimcha is not known by that name in Zanzibar or Oman~ The local name is Habashi.
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Old 17th October 2016, 03:59 PM   #70
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More backup illustrating the furniture on the scabbard; Note the play on the figure 5 dots on the bare wood scabbard ...
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Old 20th October 2016, 07:40 AM   #71
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found this interesting video of the moroccan sport of tbourida

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHdKvm_ztMM

search youtube on 'tbourida' for even more

it shows some of the teams wearing 'nimcha' (and 'saif') sabres, harnessed across their backs, hilt down by the hip and scabbard chape sticking up over their right shoulder. some cool weapons...

tbourida 'accessories':
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Old 21st October 2016, 05:12 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
found this interesting video of the moroccan sport of tbourida

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHdKvm_ztMM

search youtube on 'tbourida' for even more

it shows some of the teams wearing 'nimcha' (and 'saif') sabres, harnessed across their backs, hilt down by the hip and scabbard chape sticking up over their right shoulder. some cool weapons...

tbourida 'accessories':


Salaams Kronkew~ and thank you for the excellent detail regarding the Tbourida . These Barb horses famous for centuries in Morocco are amazing...see https://sg.news.yahoo.com/tradition...-002401450.html
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Old 30th July 2017, 01:32 AM   #73
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Placing this weapon for library from The JF Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum;

Accession Number: MO 63.1513 Collection:
Gifts from Heads of State
Title: Nimcha Sword and Sheath Maker: Maker unknown Date(s) of Materials: 19th century Place Made: Morocco Medium: Silver, wood, steel Dimensions: 42" Description: Sword with hilt and silver knuckle guard, which is formed by a long turned down quillon. The grip is composed of fluted wood. The sheath is covered with chased silver plating. The steel blade is slightly curved. Gifter: Moulay Hamid Alaoui, Pacha of Kenitra, Morocco Copyright Status: Donated to the United States Digital Identifier: JFKSG-MO-1963-1513 Subject(s):
Gifts
Heads of state
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Old 30th July 2017, 01:52 AM   #74
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Tipu Sultan The Lion of Mysore had among his many weapons in his private armoury this Moroccan Nimcha with probably a blade from the Caucasus according to the report in French at http://www.tessier-sarrou.com/html/...ordre=&aff=5&r=
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Old 30th July 2017, 02:18 AM   #75
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An item not always noted in Moroccan swords is the strap or Baldric on which it hangs off the shoulder seen here and at #61; This was followed by Muslim soldiers because their leader, The Prophet, wore his sword in the same fashion.

See fig 1 at https://books.google.com.om/books?i...baldric&f=false
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Old 4th August 2017, 09:32 AM   #76
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Default The Baldric.

During the early Islamic years, the Arabs sheathed their weapons in baldrics. The use of sword and baldric was consciously abandoned by the Abbasid caliph al-Mutawakkil (847-861) in favor of the saber and belt. But the use of sword and baldric seems to have retained a ceremonial and religious significance. For example, the Zangid ruler Nur ad-Din (1146-74) was anxious to demonstrate that he was a pious traditionalist, searching out the old methods preferred by the Prophet. Consequently, among his reforms he re-adopted the custom of wearing a sword suspended from a baldric. His successor Salah ad-Din (1138-1193), known in the west as Saladin, did the same and it is noteworthy that he was buried with his sword, he took it with him to Paradise.


The Baldric in the high mount was used by the Prophet and that was why the invaders from the Moroccan Berber side used it in the same way.
So I was pondering the question of Zanzibari and Moroccan Nimchas.. and in particular the key element of the knuckle-guard which you will recall is completely different with a broad right angle at the base of the Moroccan and a bulbous rounded knuckle-guard bend at the base in the Zanzibar example.

In the Moroccan. See the artwork below. The requirement was for a shoulder strap Baldric mounting so that when riding into battle the sword was firmly held up on the left rib cage area under the left arm region...and flat against the body formed by the horsehead broad grip and the big right angled knuckleguard and quillons so the weapon was firm and safe... In this position the rider could operate his long barrel gun and gallop hard onwards... The sword til needed was safe against his body.
When dismounted, See Artwork below, he could retain that carry or opt for the long drag position placing the hilt about between his hip and knee where his draw hand could reach.. Thus they used the Baldric in its two styles.
Insofar as the Pommel top; a decorated or simple button was used or even a decorative geometric fish.

In the Zanzibari Not the same ...They used the weapon from a sash belt or basic waist belt...They didn't ride horses into battle. No need for the right angle knuckle-guard base moreover a need for a smooth uncluttered draw...The rounded knuckle guard bend seems logical.
Insofar as the Pommel top button the pattern shape of the Turtle was used in the Zanzibari type but only there.

In development from one region to another it is suggested that the older history comes from the Moroccan sphere so that the weapon must have stepped from North Africa across the Sahara by camel train or by ship around the Cape or down the Red Sea and to Zanzibar. Other forms are witnessed in the Red Sea region and it is unclear if they had bounced off Zanzibar or entered these places direct from North Africa.... probably the former. Either way the weapon diffused from Morocco to Zanzibar.

Blade and Scabbard development appears to be very distinctly different with beautiful Magrebi cloisonne and gold and silver inscribed Quranic verses lavishly adorning the North African version whilst Red Sea / Yemeni or Indian plain blades seem to populate Zanzibari Nimcha. In one style of Omani Zanzibari ornate hand carved Ivory hilts beautifully plated with golden decor may be a VIP weapon or Court Sword; See Below.
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Old 5th August 2017, 06:08 AM   #77
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It is a pity that the historical evidence does not support this complicated hypothesis (better call it assumption). Swords with cuphilts, laces, circular knuckleguards, protective rings, etc., were carried by a baldric on horse, without problem. See the way in wich the Spaniards carried their rapiers: they used baldrics, and the swords can be accomodated by the lenght of the baldric. I think that the form of the knuckleguard of the Moroccan Nimcha was a matter of fashion, though I admit that the rounded knuckleguard allows for a more easy grasp.
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Old 5th August 2017, 08:29 AM   #78
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the french and other countries were also fond of carrying them on baldrics. rapiers were not the light fencing foils or epees you see in old films, they were as heavy as many other sword types. a baldric puts the weight more comfortably on the shoulder. both belt and baldric types were used on horse, with the rapiers and wider bladed versions favoured by the military of the day.

i've always found it odd that many rapier carrying arrangements had a strap running diagonally from the front of the sword frog to a mount on the other side of the belt buckle across your crotch. an affectation not found on arabian sword hangers, or later european ones for that matter. 'the town guard' and 'graf pappenheim' included for illustration.
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Old 5th August 2017, 10:44 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
... i've always found it odd that many rapier carrying arrangements had a strap running diagonally from the front of the sword frog to a mount on the other side of the belt buckle across your crotch...

Wasn't that to prevent your carrier from falling back, so that when you seat it conflicts with your back section ... or your horse croup ?


.
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Old 6th August 2017, 07:13 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzalo G
It is a pity that the historical evidence does not support this complicated hypothesis (better call it assumption). Swords with cuphilts, laces, circular knuckleguards, protective rings, etc., were carried by a baldric on horse, without problem. See the way in wich the Spaniards carried their rapiers: they used baldrics, and the swords can be accomodated by the lenght of the baldric. I think that the form of the knuckleguard of the Moroccan Nimcha was a matter of fashion, though I admit that the rounded knuckleguard allows for a more easy grasp.



Although the clear historical evidence has somehow escaped your attention it is well documented that the Sword of the Prophet was carried in this manner. I do not speak of cuphilts in this discussion... but of the Moroccan Nimcha (an Islamic creation)with a distinct lineage via the Berber situation of Zinette back through the centuries to the 7th.

I didn't mention anything about the rounded Zanzibari knuckle-guard being an easier grasp in fact I note the difference since the broad neck strap seen at #75 above pulls the Moroccan sword higher so that it lodges firmly at the left rib-cage area held more steady by the squared off knuckleguard base, broad flat horse-head pommel, and quilons.

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Old 6th August 2017, 07:38 AM   #81
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Why is it that the Moroccan variant has a peened stud often ornately decorated whilst the Zanzibar style usually shows a Turtle shaped peened stud format; entirely different?

If the sword evolved from the Moroccan (and it could hardly have come from somewhere else) without a peened stud that also means it probably arrived with no blade, no scabbard and no guards... Did it arrive as a box full/shipload of horsehead hilts only?

Blade manufacture was in place of course in Indian theatres as well as across Africa with European trade blades and in Yemen at Hadramaut etc The Omani Zanzibari craftsmen were perfectly placed and equiped to turn out scabbards and refit imported blades and home grown quilons probably from a Moroccan example but altering the knuckleguard as noted earlier...

As and when the Zanzibari Nimcha bounced into neighboring countries the hilt changed to reflect local customs ... As noted previously the ornate Omani Ivory Hilted gold adorned hilt fulfilled the requirement for a Court/VIP/ Sea Merchants sword.

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Old 6th August 2017, 08:15 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Wasn't that to prevent your carrier from falling back, so that when you seat it conflicts with your back section ... or your horse croup ?


.


ah, the X'd strap is the continuation of the broader strap from the forked scabbard bucklings over the shoulder and then thinning down to it's own adjustment buckle and thin strap till it rejoins the buckled area - see the 'french' baldric in the sketch. (i fell into the same trap initially .) the belted versions in the othe three panels of the sketch show the belt with the buckle and two support brasses with loops. the main leather buckled frog bit hooks to the one on your left side, a smaller strap continues from the front of this frog to the hooking place on the right side of the belt buckle - except for the german style one which is on the left. some illustrations to help on the belted ones, museum display and an antique belt, and a portrait with a similar belt. (the white blotch looks like a piece of adhesive tape defacing the painting.)

i suspect that it's to keep the hilt up, as the balance is so close to the front it has a tendency to seesaw down w/o the strap as you move . the german style with it's attachment on the same side of the main buckle as the other makes more sense tho. maybe 'cus i'm germanic myself , it does seem to be more horse friendly (see graf above). you only have one buckle to undo to take off the german one, the others you need to unbuckle and unhook the front strap. german efficiency.

the Tbourida riders as i mentioned above carry their nimchas on a baldric with the hilt down and the pointy end angled UP sticking above their shoulders to suit their way of drawing the sword. different strokes for different folks. with the baldric, dismounted they can adjust that to suit more easily than the european carry methods.
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Old 6th August 2017, 11:32 AM   #83
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What a comprehensive approach, Wayne .
Still a pity my shorter version, much easier to digest , not being (necessarily) correct .
... All in all this is a shceme to prevent the sword carrier from foooling around, right ?
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Old 6th August 2017, 11:53 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
What a comprehensive approach, Wayne .
Still a pity my shorter version, much easier to digest , not being (necessarily) correct .
... All in all this is a shceme to prevent the sword carrier from foooling around, right ?


correct.
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Old 6th August 2017, 04:01 PM   #85
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Artwork. THE MOROCCAN NIMCHA.
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Old 30th August 2017, 07:16 PM   #86
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What is this? Not to be amazed at what can come out of India ... I thought this has to be recorded ... It is claimed as Indian 17th Century... Photographed at the San Diego Museum of Art in San Diego, California. Comments please?

As an afternote I add that in Diverse arms Orientals plate 32 Butin there are several Horse heads with what could be called ears. In addition there was a sword of Tipu Sultan with similar hilt. See http://www.tessier-sarrou.com/html/...ordre=&aff=5&r= and below

The finial at the end of the knuckleguard on the Indian item ends in a bud whereas on the Zanzibari Ivory piece it is a geometric dragon with RR almost as a monogram with fowers and dots engraved. The Knuckleguard however follows the contours of the horses face in both.

The quality of craftsmen in the Indian Ocean basin was excellent as seen by the Ivory carved hilt and by ivory combs executed in exacting detail. Thus the Indian version is viewed perhaps as a hybrid of top class artesanship in the general region.
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Old 20th September 2017, 06:31 PM   #87
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Default Pitones. Moroccan Nimcha only ...not Arab.

Reference;
A. http://nimcha.fr/N-protection.htm

The pitones
Copied on the Spanish sword guards of the late 15th and early 16th century, the pitones equip the Hispano-Moorish nimchas . This type of device, which never existed in Spain, is found on very rare ancient examples of Moroccan nimchas and never on Arab sayfs. Ref .: Museum Real Arméria of Madrid, Museum of Batha in Fez and work of Charles Buttin.

(While I was constructing this frame I was also inspired to do a thread on Quilons on ethnographic since there are widely ranging aspects to that part of the sword and occasionally dagger.)

(I add the Tulvar out of interest since this is not only a decorative or functional extension of the hilt forward of the guard but a type of breakwater device to entrap a sliding blade.)
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