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Old 22nd February 2020, 06:44 PM   #1
urbanspaceman
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Default Tortuga

Hello Folks. Yes, I'm still alive; still researching the Shotley Bridge saga - but picking up a few interesting swords along the way; I didn't start off as a collector, but could not resist the odd piece that came my way while I was desperately searching for a 100% bona fide Shotley Bridge sword (i.e. one with the name on the blade, because contention exists in regard to the early use of the bushy tailed fox) which I finally found. Serendipitously, it is the sword off the front cover of Richardson's book on SB: which was the book that first got me interested in this affair.
Anyway, to business:
I recently bought this re-hilted transitional rapier and I remain absolutely puzzled with regard to the script in the fullers.
On the one side we have: xxx VIVA xxx ONOSA xxx RAINHA xxx
and on the other side: xxx DE xxx TORTUGA xxx
I've established it is Portuguese and means 'God save the Queen'... 'Of Tortuga'. At least I'm told that is what it means.
Trouble is, Tortuga never had a queen, and neither did Portugal during its ownership of the island.
Fernando, I was hoping you might wade in here with your specialised knowledge; but equally, I am also hoping there might be other info out there amongst the cognoscenti.
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Old 22nd February 2020, 09:26 PM   #2
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Old 22nd February 2020, 09:55 PM   #3
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Default Legs and Co

Thanks David; old friends; fond memories.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 10:41 AM   #4
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Anne Dieu-leVeut of Tortuga, 1660-1710, a Pirate Queen?
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Old 23rd February 2020, 01:35 PM   #5
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Default what God wants

Thank-you very much for this; I certainly never found it, despite endless searching online.
I've now read a few Google entries on this lassie: great stuff - a true Boys' Own adventure story personified... for girls. I always felt Geena Davis was a myth too far, but perhaps I was wrong; very easy on the eye though.
So, what does everyone think? (Of the blade - not Geena Davis.)
Main problem: where does Portuguese come into it?
Obviously it is not one of her blades, although it is a mite short for a trans' rap': 32inches compared to a similar style and period trans' rap' I own (also re-hilted - I think: see pic) which is 39inches.
Of course, if it was for maritime use, then the shorter length is virtually obligatory.
Does anyone recognize what is left of the maker mark; and the letter R? First glance I thought the Wundes family, but closer examination and out-referencing (Jim McDougall) proved it is much more likely the top of a shield.
Exciting stuff this!
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Old 23rd February 2020, 04:30 PM   #6
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There have been a number of female pirates over the centuries. See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_piracy

Some are better looking than Geena. Have always thought she looks a bit odd.

Have not looked into tranny or drag queen pirates. their personal recreational habits, other than sharp pointy metal things, are non of my business.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 04:44 PM   #7
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Wink What have you guys been drinking ?

Tortuga ???


VIVA A NOSSA RAÍNHA DE PORTUGAL

God save our queen of Portugal.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 04:49 PM   #8
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Default Queen

I think, as much fun as it is to explore this topic, there are two factors that remain unaccounted-for: one is 'Queen' of Tortuga; the other is 'Portuguese'.
This is where I grind to a halt.
The re-hilting of this blade indicates a degree of reputation I feel; anything mundane would indicate a simple 'make do and mend' approach that was common amongst pirates or sundry militia, but a silver hilt such as this speaks of value.
This style of hilt is late 1800s right?
Here's a question I have wanted an answer to for some time now:
can deeply embossed script be put into an old blade?
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Old 23rd February 2020, 04:56 PM   #9
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Default confusion

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Tortuga ???


VIVA A NOSSA RAÍNHA DE PORTUGAL

God save our queen of Portugal.


Now that is sending me back to the blade with a powerful magnifying glass Fernando; it may very well be the case.

No, it is definitely TORTUGA

That was close... I had not seen the similarity; except, you don't call it Portugal in Portuguese do you.
I've been in Lisbon quite a lot recently... one of my favourite cities.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 04:58 PM   #10
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I see you have written it as VIVA A NOSA as opposed to VIVA xxx ONOSA; what is the difference? Is it an archaic spelling?
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Old 23rd February 2020, 05:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
Now that is sending me back to the blade with a powerful magnifying glass Fernando; it may very well be the case.

No, it is definitely TORTUGA

That was close... I had not seen the similarity; except, you don't call it Portugal in Portuguese do you.
I've been in Lisbon quite a lot recently... one of my favourite cities.



They call it 'Portugal'

Named after the City of Porto in the Galicia area. Rather nice city, known for excellent wine, food and Fernando. The Duoro river valley is cool. Lisbon is also a great oplace. loved it. Much better than the Al-Garve (Faro) tourist traps.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 05:28 PM   #12
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Default what's in a name

That has to be unique: the world calling a country by its proper name.
I would not have believed it.
I must have seen a million references to it in all the time I have been in Lisbon recently but I guess I just assumed it was a tourist affectation.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 05:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
I see you have written it as VIVA A NOSA as opposed to VIVA xxx ONOSA; what is the difference? Is it an archaic spelling?

No, no archaic in here; only trying to make words thst make sense, based on the common illiteracy of the blade smiths; with a further confucion caused by the siad smiths inscribing enticing phrases in blades to better sell them.
On the one hand, RAÍNHA call only be a Portuguese word, reason why i made it NOSSA, as also it could only be Portuguese; neither being spelled like that in Spanish ( REINA and NUESTRA). On the other hand, TORTUGA is Spanish for Turtle, the shape of the island looking by a swimming one when observed from Hispaniola. The Portuguese are not related with Tortuga; the Spaniards are ... and there was no Portuguese queen by then.
So you can take a pick. I would go for some (German) smith rehearsing some smart appeal in a marketing operation.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 06:58 PM   #14
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Default Marketing

Point taken re. illiteracy Fernando.
Equally, using any method possible to add value to the blade was common indeed.
However, assigning a Portuguese queen to Tortuga does not do it - because if it means anything to the customer, then it must also mean it is fabrication.
This is not really a typical battlefield blade, or a maritime one either; it is a civilian weapon or possibly an officer's court sword... even before the re-hilt, and I suspect either would be aware there was no Portuguese queen of Tortuga.
No, I'm afraid I remain very puzzled so far.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 06:58 PM   #15
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Hello,

Another Portuguese here, I amplified your photos and I read the same thing "Portugal" with no doubt! The queen for the type of sword refers to queen Maria I of Portugal.

Regards,

Bv
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Old 23rd February 2020, 07:22 PM   #16
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Default Eyesight

Hey Folks, I stand corrected and I am no longer confused: it is Portugal.
Well now, that problem is solved.
Is it Maria 1st, or 2nd?
The blade seems 1st but the hilt 2nd. Perhaps it was an heirloom passed down then re-hilted.
Wow...!
Thank-you Folks... Tortuga just did not make sense on any level.
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Old 23rd February 2020, 07:28 PM   #17
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I told you so!
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Old 23rd February 2020, 07:33 PM   #18
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Default smith mark

How about the smith's mark and that curious R?
I've looked all through Bezdek's book of German marks and cannot see anything that corresponds.
It is German, isn't it?
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Old 23rd February 2020, 07:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
How about the smith's mark and that curious R?
I've looked all through Bezdek's book of German marks and cannot see anything that corresponds.
It is German, isn't it?


I did not analyze that but i have 2 similar swords,1 made in solingen! other in toledo, maybe other ppl can help i have not a big documentation of sword marks! i don't think its portuguese made.

regards,

BV
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Old 23rd February 2020, 07:46 PM   #20
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Default common or not?

I have no intention of parting with it - I have a great fondness for trans' raps - but I am curious to know if it is rare or not.
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