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Old 17th April 2016, 08:57 PM   #1
kronckew
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Default guardless nimcha

moroccan? berber? spanish colonial? just acquired this one, looks like it was made this way from a local copy of a european trade blade and has been shortened after a break. eyebrow marks both sides, no sign it ever had any guard that i can see. metal plate both ends of the horn grip, pommel one looks like steel. blade 20 in., 25 1/4 in. overall, 466 grams (1.03 lb.) on it's way over from france...
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Old 17th April 2016, 10:38 PM   #2
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I would term this a "tribal" made sword. Certainly the general shape of the hilt is Nimchalike. The blade as you say is something which has been shortened judging by the fullers.
I have a few other "tribal" swords with different types of blades, and hilts made in similar shape to better quality "originals".
Some pics herewith....
Stu
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Old 18th April 2016, 02:12 AM   #3
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The last one looks South Aravian to me : a real Nimcha:-)
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Old 18th April 2016, 02:30 AM   #4
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Yes I agree South Arabian/Yemeni, BUT the blade is double edged, not single as IMHO one would expect on a hilt of this style.
Stu
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Old 18th April 2016, 03:30 AM   #5
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Old European one? Markings would suggest so.
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Old 18th April 2016, 04:14 AM   #6
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Likely I think...........
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Old 18th April 2016, 06:24 PM   #7
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I think these very rugged and simple type weapons, with all the inherent flaws and crude demeanor are unique in the kind of mysterious charm they hold. The 'tribal' classification I believe may be well applied and quite possibly denoting Bedouin types of sabre from regions in Sinai and Negev. It seems we have had numbers of these rugged variations over the years which have fallen collectively into this category. Lofty would probably best confirm this and perhaps any particular tribal connections if applicable.

The horn grip roughly approximating the well known 'nimcha' style seems clearly just that rather than a dismantled hilt from one. The blade indeed does seem to be of European style in the fashion of blades found on many in various Yemeni swords. I am inclined to agree that this is probably native forged and dramatically repofiled, the dentated arcs are meant to simulate the 'sickle marks' but obviously not properly formed or placed.

The images posted by Stu are great, and well display some of the key variations of swords known to appear in Yemeni context .

1. One of the swords with the hilt once widely held to be of Zanzibar, but as shown has proven to be of a type with variant ring loop on the guard, and often found in Yemen, and while some associations may involve Zanzibar it is not a localized form from there.

2. This one is great! and from 2009 (TVV), these blades were usually straight (this one apparently altered) and of a form known from Solingen exporter F. W. Holler....in this case the ricasso block marked with MK enclosed in Seal of Solomon, adopted in Ethiopia c. 1874. The MK is believed to M Kevorkoff & Co. Harrar (Ethiopia) one of the number of Armenian merchants importing arms for Emperor Menelik II in the 1890s .
The lozenges on the hilt motif is unclear, but these diamond shapes popular on many Sudanese hilts around turn of century, usually in linear configuration.

3 . This seems to resemble one of the unusually modern looking espada ancha type swords with an older cavalry blade. Uncertain on attribution.

4. Indeed a Yemeni sword, the karabela style hilt (often termed 'hawks head' in Arabian parlance), is well known there and usually had shorter sabre blades, with the neck of the grip wire wrapped. The blade is of European form usually seen in the Red Sea sphere and found on kaskara. In this case, the rounded tip suggests it may have at some point been in the Omani sphere and perhaps either intended for or actually in one of the sa'if often referred to as 'kattara'.
The markings are intended to represent European, probably the celestial grouping of Schimmelbusch & Kirshbaum of Solingen who were suppliers of blades c. 1802-91. The European groupings usually have a single moon and six stars or at times a comet with stars.
This combination has been known around in these regions for some time and the sequence and configurations seem to have wide variation.

In any case, this particular sword as noted does seem to have Arab inclination but it would be hard to say whether to the Bedouin attribution or more broadly other use in Yemeni context as with other examples shown.
The Spanish colonial connection is more tenuous, but certainly viable as the features of these 'nimcha' style hilts was quite present in many of their innovations and this simple context sword may well have been intended for machete type use in the tropical climes of their colonies in Central America and Caribbean.

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 18th April 2016 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 18th April 2016, 07:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
I think these very rugged and simple type weapons, with all the inherent flaws and crude demeanor are unique in the kind of mysterious charm they hold. The 'tribal' classification I believe may be well applied and quite possibly denoting Bedouin types of sabre from regions in Sinai and Negev. It seems we have had numbers of these rugged variations over the years which have fallen collectively into this category. Lofty would probably best confirm this and perhaps any particular tribal connections if applicable.

The horn grip roughly approximating the well known 'nimcha' style seems clearly just that rather than a dismantled hilt from one. The blade indeed does seem to be of European style in the fashion of blades found on many in various Yemeni swords. I am inclined to agree that this is probably native forged and dramatically repofiled, the dentated arcs are meant to simulate the 'sickle marks' but obviously not properly formed or placed.

The images posted by Stu are great, and well display some of the key variations of swords known to appear in Yemeni context .

1. One of the swords with the hilt once widely held to be of Zanzibar, but as shown has proven to be of a type with variant ring loop on the guard, and often found in Yemen, and while some associations may involve Zanzibar it is not a localized form from there.

2. This one is great! and from 2009 (TVV), these blades were usually straight (this one apparently altered) and of a form known from Solingen exporter F. W. Holler....in this case the ricasso block marked with MK enclosed in Seal of Solomon, adopted in Ethiopia c. 1874. The MK is believed to M Kevorkoff & Co. Harrar (Ethiopia) one of the number of Armenian merchants importing arms for Emperor Menelik II in the 1890s .
The lozenges on the hilt motif is unclear, but these diamond shapes popular on many Sudanese hilts around turn of century, usually in linear configuration.

3 . This seems to resemble one of the unusually modern looking espada ancha type swords with an older cavalry blade. Uncertain on attribution.

4. Indeed a Yemeni sword, the karabela style hilt (often termed 'hawks head' in Arabian parlance), is well known there and usually had shorter sabre blades, with the neck of the grip wire wrapped. The blade is of European form usually seen in the Red Sea sphere and found on kaskara. In this case, the rounded tip suggests it may have at some point been in the Omani sphere and perhaps either intended for or actually in one of the sa'if often referred to as 'kattara'.
The markings are intended to represent European, probably the celestial grouping of Schimmelbusch & Kirshbaum of Solingen who were suppliers of blades c. 1802-91. The European groupings usually have a single moon and six stars or at times a comet with stars.
This combination has been known around in these regions for some time and the sequence and configurations seem to have wide variation.

In any case, this particular sword as noted does seem to have Arab inclination but it would be hard to say whether to the Bedouin attribution or more broadly other use in Yemeni context as with other examples shown.
The Spanish colonial connection is more tenuous, but certainly viable as the features of these 'nimcha' style hilts was quite present in many of their innovations and this simple context sword may well have been intended for machete type use in the tropical climes of their colonies in Central America and Caribbean.

Hi Jim and thanks for the concise reply.
You are right about #2 in as much as it was originally discussed by, and was originally owned by Teodor. At the time we discussed at length re the blade being reshaped. If I remember correctly, agreement was reached that it has always been curved, as the decoration along the trough of twin fullers is NOT stretched or distorted in one fuller as it would be if the blade had been later curved. Decoration in BOTH fullers match exactly. I have not got on file a full length pic of the decoration but have attached one showing the beginning of the decoration at the hilt end. You can see that it is quite definite here, as it is along the whole blade, so any distortion would be clear to see. Also a pic attached showing the Lion of Judea mark which is common on (particularly) Ethiopian blades.
It must be remembered here that Wilkinson exported MANY bare blades to the Middle East, as did various Solingen makers, and these were locally mounted.
Stu
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Old 18th April 2016, 10:11 PM   #9
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Thanks Stu, for the clarification on that blade issue. I must admit that the idea of straightening or curving these blades was kind of an issue for me....the big question......why? As seen with the karabela hilt (usually with short blade curved) it was no issue to mount with a long broadsword blade.
On many Algerian nimchas you will see them mounted with full size straight blades often and varying with backsword and broadsword blades....and it seems the apparent indifference carries throughout these regions.

On the MK with Star of Solomon surround, it was once suggested that this was connected to the Wilkinson swords often exported to Abyssinia, however that is only a superficial assumption as the Star was like the Lion of Judah, part of Ethiopian symbolism of the times.

Absolutely right, Wilkinson indeed sent many blades to Ethiopia toward the end of the century, in fact into the 1930s (I have one of the catalogues), but these were marked. The unmarked were likely their subcontractors but hard to say. In the case of Solingen, they were known to produce 'blanks' as the overbuilding of the industry during the Franco-Prussian war created huge competition for business as the war ended as did demand.

Whatever the case, the volume of blades into the Red Sea trade, as well as many entrepots in North Africa, East Africa and Arabia built huge stockpiles of blades.

Excellent examples....I really like these swords!!!!
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Old 18th April 2016, 11:35 PM   #10
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These swords are so primitive and crude, such low quality and so ugly...
I have no idea why do I love them so much.... :-))))))
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Old 19th April 2016, 03:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
These swords are so primitive and crude, such low quality and so ugly...
I have no idea why do I love them so much.... :-))))))



They're kinda the 'rat rods' of the sword world!!!
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Old 19th April 2016, 08:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
These swords are so primitive and crude, such low quality and so ugly...
I have no idea why do I love them so much.... :-))))))

Obviously not too primitive or they would not exist still. Remember that the modern plethora of arms did not exist in the era these would have been made. Good supply would only have been available to those tribes which supported the current Rulers/Colonial Powers.
Look at the crude weapons and firearms used by the various resistance fighters during WW2........not too primitive to help win a war against a foe which had VERY good quality arms and armour!!
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Old 19th April 2016, 08:16 AM   #13
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may be crude, but not prissy overdecorated wall hanging 'look at me' decoraters. functional killers meant to be used. simple, rough around the edges, beautiful and deadly like a jaguar. when things go bump in the night, these are the ones you turn to.
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Old 19th April 2016, 03:22 PM   #14
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Well, guys, I was being facetious :-)

They ARE simple and crude in comparison with refined Persian shamshirs or Ottoman yataghans, but they are brutal, minimalistically-functional and shabbily decorated. They are serious fighting instruments, not wall hangers.
Love them.
I have about half a dozen of them and need more. Just in case of zombie invasion:-)
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Old 19th April 2016, 06:09 PM   #15
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Salaams all... Notwithstanding the project sword at #1. What we have here are Yemeni rehilts ... These are made from blades imported from Ethiopia and rehilted in Sanaa. The tendency was to remove the Rhino hilts from these and re use them on Jambia. However not all Ethiopian blades had hilts and the trade was therefor in bulk inter souk between Ethiopian dealers and the Sanaa market traders who once they were re hilted either sold them in the souk to tourists or because there is no tourist trade there now...war.... these went on the regional souk network turning up in Muscat, Muttrah and Sharjah as well as Salalah. There is some evidence that some straight blades were altered to curved...

The bulk of blades were and are... (it still goes on today) ...European . The backyard engineering, rough and ready hilt production, should not confuse the issue as to origin. These weapons do not appear in Butins chart...why? They are relatively recent...simple, rough, cheap, backyard workshop knock ups...from Sanaa.

They are interesting since they used to be complete fighting weapons with Rhino Hilts... and now traded inter souk as tourist items... having actually been combat swords from Ethiopia with reasonable and effective European blades..Some are fitted up with cheap pot metal and traded as original ancient swords...Rather a fictional ending to what were famous blades.

For the Rhino hilt probably originally on these Ethiopian blades see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=Gurade

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 19th April 2016, 06:10 PM   #16
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Guys, I totally understood what Ariel meant. I often use the term 'ersatz'.
Dicitionary references;
ERSATZ: ....made or used as a substitute, typically an inferior one...
most commonly having 'wartime' connotations,

In my early days of collecting I could not afford the often beautiful pieces being bought by more seasoned collectors, and often got the worn, darkly patinated and sometimes damaged examples typically passed over.
They were often derisively referred to as 'a dogs dinner' (please animal activists no offense meant, it was the phrase used).

However, I knew these were genuinely used, and often they were made up of often incongruent components, but clearly effectively constructed. One of my favorite fields was Spanish Colonial, and the weapons out of these often remote frontier regions were sometimes even bizarre.
One cut down 'dragoon' blade (Spanish motto) had a cast brass briquette hilt and a three bar cavalry guard, all three efficiently melded together.

Obviously this was the makeshift work of some frontier blacksmith using broken parts in an effort to produce a serviceable weapon.

For those of us intrigued by the deep history often held in these outwardly unusual and incongruently assembled weapons, these are pure treasure!
The term 'effective' is key, and while far from the 'cookie cutter' examples found in references, these, while not 'pretty'...certainly were capable of accomplishing their task.

An entire book could be written on the many forms of 'ersatz' weapons used throughout history. Remember, even in the medieval times and battles focused on armored knights and magnificently armed nobles and those of standing....the rank and file were often peasants using all manner of tools and implements as their weapons. Many weapons indeed evolved out of such implements i.e. bill hooks etc.
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Old 19th April 2016, 07:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams all... Notwithstanding the project sword at #1. What we have here are Yemeni rehilts ... These are made from blades imported from Ethiopia and rehilted in Sanaa. The tendency was to remove the Rhino hilts from these and re use them on Jambia. However not all Ethiopian blades had hilts and the trade was therefor in bulk inter souk between Ethiopian dealers and the Sanaa market traders who once they were re hilted either sold them in the souk to tourists or because there is no tourist trade there now...war.... these went on the regional souk network turning up in Muscat, Muttrah and Sharjah as well as Salalah. There is some evidence that some straight blades were altered to curved...

The bulk of blades were and are... (it still goes on today) ...European . The backyard engineering, rough and ready hilt production, should not confuse the issue as to origin. These weapons do not appear in Butins chart...why? They are relatively recent...simple, rough, cheap, backyard workshop knock ups...from Sanaa.

They are interesting since they used to be complete fighting weapons with Rhino Hilts... and now traded inter souk as tourist items... having actually been combat swords from Ethiopia with reasonable and effective European blades..Some are fitted up with cheap pot metal and traded as original ancient swords...Rather a fictional ending to what were famous blades.

For the Rhino hilt probably originally on these Ethiopian blades see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=Gurade

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

You are of course entitled to your opinion as to where these originated, but it would be useful to have some hard evidence as backup. None of these are tourist items. They all predate tourism as we know it.
The only blade shown here which is Ethiopian is #2 which is discussed above as maybe being reshaped. This is the only one which would MAYBE fit with your comment that originally it had a Rhino hilt.
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Old 20th April 2016, 12:51 AM   #18
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Ibrahiim, thank you for the insightful notes and comments. It seems that the information regarding the movement of swords out of Ethiopia into Yemen with the object of the rhino horn in the hilts for use on janbiyya and khanjhars has been around for some time.

I can recall hearing this from a number of individuals focused on weapons from Ethiopia and Arabia from about 10 or more years ago. It seemed like a quite plausible explanation for the number of Ethiopian blades turning up in Yemen and apparently hilted in San'aa.

What is most interesting is to have your insights into the activities of the various souks and commercially oriented production locations such as Mutrah and others who have produced considerable volume of 'combinations' using available components. It helps that you are there to view these things firsthand.

I think the biggest dilemma for collectors is examining the many variations and anomalies in these kinds of contexts, and determining which are actual ersatz weapons against those which are produced as 'souveniers'.

The term 'tourist' is misleading and ineffective, much as the word 'fake'.
The Yemen has virtually always been a volatile place, and the coup's, insurgencies, civil wars and general turbulence has provided a constant need for all manner of 'ersatz' weaponry.
In all of this, various major powers have had in place forces in or near these regions, and since the Sudan campaigns, there has been a cottage industry for 'souveniers' for occupying or posted forces.
This is the situation for many of these kinds of items, though a 'tourist' market may not be present.

I think it is important to have input from all sides when trying to evaluate these kinds of conundrums, and naturally we all form our own opinions.
I recall years ago when a sword claimed to be 'Revolutionary War' was being 'discussed' with powerful observations from reputable individuals extolling its authenticity. That is, until a source came in to reveal it was actually a reproduction......when questioned, he explained that he himself had made the sword several years earlier !

While actually witnessing the production of swords using these kinds of components might not constitute evidence to some, to me it seems pretty compelling. Sometimes if that individual has considerable background pertaining directly to the business itself, it further enhances that perspective.

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Old 21st April 2016, 08:28 AM   #19
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my sword arrived this morning, the grip is ox horn. dimensions as in my post no. 1. sword is solid, nice weight & balance. blade is thicker than i expected. still quite sharp. 7mm thick at the 'guard' which is a 2mm thick brass oval that fits the grip shape. the blade is 33mm wide at the guard plate. distal tapered evenly to 2mm thick just before the tip. i like it a lot.

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Old 22nd April 2016, 02:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
You are of course entitled to your opinion as to where these originated, but it would be useful to have some hard evidence as backup. None of these are tourist items. They all predate tourism as we know it.
The only blade shown here which is Ethiopian is #2 which is discussed above as maybe being reshaped. This is the only one which would MAYBE fit with your comment that originally it had a Rhino hilt.



Salaams Khanjar 1. I agree that hard evidence is worth observing when it exists. In this case the souk chain between Ethiopia and Yemen (Sanaa) and Salalah and Muttrah are well documented as being linked. Sanaa now, because of the war ...has no tourists... trades blades onward up the chain in huge consignments. These are first stripped of their rhino hilts and either refitted with backyard hilts as at #2 or are simply traded en masse on to Muttrah/Salalah. Something similar happens the other way between India and Sharjah souk with Tulvar blades....Muttrah fits the blades up with other hilts often extending the tangs to enable Omani Long Hilts to be fitted. Any other suitable looking hilts are thrown together with whatever spare blades are deemed potentially pass offable to gullible tourists passing through.

That was the reason why I wanted to show the Ethiopian hilts in my last post in their original form...

Thousands of such mixtures have been put together and sold there since 1970. So many have been offloaded to the worlds unsuspecting tourists that they almost form a sword type in their own right...The Muttrah!!.

Some are cleverly put together and certain museums in the area have been sold what appear to be genuine Portuguese 16th C Swords when in fact they are not. Oddly they are not technically fakes... a word many people don't like to use ...understandably... and since they are original fighting blades often European trade blades sent to Ethiopia... it takes some sorting out. However original swords they are certainly not...as the attempt is to pass them off for something else... So they are technically fighting blades re-hilted traded played with and manipulated for a better price and but for the fighting blades they are by any stretch of the imagination fake... or should I say faked...? clearly a better use of the word....and in an effort to sell...gain a better price... fitted up with hilts they were never associated with before.

Or as one tourist is said to have exclaimed.."Well if that isn't a fake its a damned good copy of one" !!

Come to Muttrah and see the hundreds of imported Ethiopian blades and visit the workshops that they are played with in... Sanaa did something similar by joining rough iron hilts made in basic workshops having stripped off the Rhino Hilts usually for Jambias... but because the souk there is largely defunct these re-hilts also get shipped into Muttrah.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 22nd April 2016, 02:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Ibrahiim, thank you for the insightful notes and comments. It seems that the information regarding the movement of swords out of Ethiopia into Yemen with the object of the rhino horn in the hilts for use on janbiyya and khanjhars has been around for some time.

I can recall hearing this from a number of individuals focused on weapons from Ethiopia and Arabia from about 10 or more years ago. It seemed like a quite plausible explanation for the number of Ethiopian blades turning up in Yemen and apparently hilted in San'aa.

What is most interesting is to have your insights into the activities of the various souks and commercially oriented production locations such as Mutrah and others who have produced considerable volume of 'combinations' using available components. It helps that you are there to view these things firsthand.

I think the biggest dilemma for collectors is examining the many variations and anomalies in these kinds of contexts, and determining which are actual ersatz weapons against those which are produced as 'souveniers'.

The term 'tourist' is misleading and ineffective, much as the word 'fake'.
The Yemen has virtually always been a volatile place, and the coup's, insurgencies, civil wars and general turbulence has provided a constant need for all manner of 'ersatz' weaponry.
In all of this, various major powers have had in place forces in or near these regions, and since the Sudan campaigns, there has been a cottage industry for 'souveniers' for occupying or posted forces.
This is the situation for many of these kinds of items, though a 'tourist' market may not be present.

I think it is important to have input from all sides when trying to evaluate these kinds of conundrums, and naturally we all form our own opinions.
I recall years ago when a sword claimed to be 'Revolutionary War' was being 'discussed' with powerful observations from reputable individuals extolling its authenticity. That is, until a source came in to reveal it was actually a reproduction......when questioned, he explained that he himself had made the sword several years earlier !

While actually witnessing the production of swords using these kinds of components might not constitute evidence to some, to me it seems pretty compelling. Sometimes if that individual has considerable background pertaining directly to the business itself, it further enhances that perspective.



Salaams Jim, Thank you for your post... The dilemma at Muttrah is so serious in the sword collecting world that it is rather like a spurious 1970 factory springing up and knocking out what look like perfectly legitimate weapons for the century or two before! Of the many hundreds of weapons for sale in Muttrah there is more than likely hardly one which is or could be said to be original. It would be a great test for the Forum members to spend an hour in there and to come out with a genuine item...I could arrange for the maker to meet the purchaser at the exit gate to explain exactly how he made the item... and where the parts came from... but of course I cannot.

I am not at all certain about the project sword which almost appears with a sort of Hangar hilt and it is not one I am that familiar with nor does it appear to be A Muttrah Sword... I hope therefor that my slight change of tac does not thwart that issue...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 22nd April 2016, 07:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Jim, Thank you for your post... The dilemma at Muttrah is so serious in the sword collecting world that it is rather like a spurious 1970 factory springing up and knocking out what look like perfectly legitimate weapons for the century or two before! Of the many hundreds of weapons for sale in Muttrah there is more than likely hardly one which is or could be said to be original. It would be a great test for the Forum members to spend an hour in there and to come out with a genuine item...I could arrange for the maker to meet the purchaser at the exit gate to explain exactly how he made the item... and where the parts came from... but of course I cannot.

I am not at all certain about the project sword which almost appears with a sort of Hangar hilt and it is not one I am that familiar with nor does it appear to be A Muttrah Sword... I hope therefor that my slight change of tac does not thwart that issue...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Perhaps some pics of the swords in the Muttrah Souk.......? If there are as many as you say, then I am sure that Members here would be interested to see.......
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Old 24th April 2016, 08:40 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Perhaps some pics of the swords in the Muttrah Souk.......? If there are as many as you say, then I am sure that Members here would be interested to see.......



Salaams Khanjar1. See http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15083 where I started formatting the Muttrah souk content and where you will see almost identical swords from there... because that is where they arrive from Sanaa with the roughly made iron rehilts done in Sanaa...from Ethiopian blades having had their Rhino hilts removed usually to be put on Jambias ; originally European trade blades. Souk traders consign hundreds of blades at a time... sometimes thousands... and push out huge volumes to the mass tourist market mainly at Muttrah. This is done in a variety of configurations with Omani Long Hilts and others being subsequently fitted to extended tangs on any blade they want...in the workshop a short distance away. This has been done since 1970 when the veil was lifted on Oman as it rejoined the modern world. This rehilting became almost accidentally prolific taking on a momentum of its own and flooding thousands of swords out onto the worlds collections..Collectors know them simply by the Sooq name..as;

"Ah thats a Muttrah" such is their dominance as an invented breed over the past almost half a century!!

Sitting opposite the souk entrance there are often cruise ships containing 3 to 4 thousand tourists...and they pummel the souk with groups eager to buy. The projected runway reconfiguration at Seeb the main Muscat Airport is gearing up to take millions more tourists ...and the main souk is Muttrah.

I have a visit to Muttrah soon and will take my camera but you will find many examples on my work on Omani swords where they come into conflict with what are purely made up swords thrown together for the tourist market all over this Forum. Your sword/swords are Sanaa rehilts in the case of the rough worked hilts..though the blades are Ethiopian (European trade blades). These also often appear and tourists buy them in Muttrah. Since no one else buys them I tend to regard them as Tourist swords.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 25th April 2016, 01:33 AM   #24
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Ibrahiim,
Here are some of mine.
Scabbards are very old, the leather is torn and dry and the wooden inserts are thin, irregular, worn-out and dark, the blades are local, nothing European or Ethiopian, with local damages and patches of old patina.

Are they also new from Muttrah??
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Old 25th April 2016, 08:45 PM   #25
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[QUOTE=ariel]Ibrahiim,
.. Here are some of mine.
Scabbards are very old, the leather is torn and dry and the wooden inserts are thin, irregular, worn-out and dark, the blades are local, nothing European or Ethiopian, with local damages and patches of old patina.

Are they also new from Muttrah??[/QUOTE

Salaam Ariel.. Thank you for the pictures and an excellent question.. No these are not Muttrah.. taking these from the top I think the first is either Syrian or Othmali.
The second and third are Yemeni probably hilted in Sanaa.
The fourth is a Karabela. Othmali but possibly a Red Sea variant.

The almost impossible decision is hidden around the number two and three since swords rehilted in Sanaa similar to this were sold to tourists there.. but because of strife and war that market vanished.. and hilted and unhilted blades ... we're recycled to Salalah and Muttrah. All l can be pretty sure of is they (2 and 3) are Sanaa rehilts...

Regards,
lbrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 25th April 2016 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 25th April 2016, 09:09 PM   #26
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What is Othmali?
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Old 25th April 2016, 10:54 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
What is Othmali?



Salaams Ariel... That was my pathetic attempt at spelling Othmanli on my handheld; at 120 kph in a crosswind... Ottoman to the initiated...awfully sorry for the spelling mistake.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 25th April 2016, 11:15 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
moroccan? berber? spanish colonial? just acquired this one, looks like it was made this way from a local copy of a european trade blade and has been shortened after a break. eyebrow marks both sides, no sign it ever had any guard that i can see. metal plate both ends of the horn grip, pommel one looks like steel. blade 20 in., 25 1/4 in. overall, 466 grams (1.03 lb.) on it's way over from france...



Salaams kronckew ...I wondered about your project sword and thought it may be evolved from something vaguely from the Red Sea region perhaps even a reworked Karabela hilt or rehilted with a reworked hilt that I cannot decide upon... It has been severely chopped about and I cannot trust the notch below the pommel since it looks not original... The blade I cannot crack but it is similar to those shown by Ariel above with no apparent markings...other than the very clear ...almost too perfect hogs back marks...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 26th April 2016, 01:18 AM   #29
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Ibrahiim,
Assigning Ottoman origin to these swords is a pretty safe bet: till the end of WWI Syria, Iraq, Aravia were all Ottoman provinces. Ethnically, however, they have nothing to do with the core of the Ottoman Empire, i.e. Turkey.
Well, perhaps with the exception of the Karabela: even though it is clearly South Aravian, the name Karabela stems from the Turkish town Karabel. I doubt, however, that the original owner(s) ever called it by that name: just "sayf" :-)



As to ## 2 and 3, I re-examined them very carefully and could not find any evidence of re-hilting. There is still uncleaned black patina of the blades by the quillon block, the gaps between the blades and the handles are filled with old and crumbly mastique. The tang protrusions on the pommel are covered with very old patina and rust. The wooden handles are heavily patinated , with scars, losses and a myriad of old " kisses of time". If the re-hitting happened at all, it happened hell of a lot of years ago.

Sorry, old buddy, but you look at their pics, whereas I am holding them in my hands:-)
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Old 26th April 2016, 04:52 AM   #30
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Here are some similar examples, is there any argument about these examples being authentic?
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