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Old 6th November 2018, 08:00 PM   #1
francantolin
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Default Turkish sword , good stuff ?

Hello everybody,
what do you think of this turkish sword ?
( pala sword) 18th century ??,
the blade seems nice and authentic ( no stamps or mark)
but the crossguard seems not so old and the repairs on the hilt made without care and maybe a recent work.
composite makeshift job ? ...
Any comment ?
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Old 6th November 2018, 08:08 PM   #2
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The welding-sticking between the handle and the guard
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Old 6th November 2018, 09:37 PM   #3
Edster
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Francotolin,

I'm not qualified to comment on your sword, but the repair looks dodgy to me. I'm really interested in the mechanics of how your blade, cross-guard and hilt are joined. This type of sword has been considered as a prototype to the Sudanese Kaskara, but I've never had an opportunity to explore the mechanics of it's joining. Also, the date of your sword type could inform when the Kaskara's mechanics could have been adopted.

I assume the cross-guard is cast copper alloy, but its internal shape is basically the same as the Kaskara's 4-piece forge-welded iron construction.Is the bottom of the handle wedged into the top of the guard to hold the blade in place and secure all three parts together? Also, it looks like there is a pin in the handle that would attach the handle to the blades tang.

Best regards,
Ed
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Old 6th November 2018, 10:14 PM   #4
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I do not think it is welding: one cannot weld anything to the cowhorn.
Modern adhesives ? Epoxy?
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Old 7th November 2018, 12:43 AM   #5
Battara
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From what I can tell I agree with Ariel - epoxy and the cross guard is made of bronze.
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Old 7th November 2018, 06:10 AM   #6
Martin Lubojacky
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I am not expert in "Turkish" weapons, nevertheless my view is, that you have nice kilij - from the category of "ordinary or normal kilijis" (very nice blade, nice handle, normal - maybe beg. of 20th century crossguard and maybe not the original one - I think made of brass, and it is always a pity that the scabbard is missing). Such miserable "repairs" (made quickly just to sell the sword asap) could be repaired, the sword needs restoreation. I think it is not from 18 century. My guess would be 19 century.
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Old 7th November 2018, 06:35 AM   #7
francantolin
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Hello and thank you all for your really precious comments !

I was thinking of welding because this stuff is dropped too on the brass side of the hilt maybe to seal everything together...
but it must be epoxy.
Bad work ...

Thank you and Kind regards !!!
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Old 7th November 2018, 07:36 AM   #8
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Specifically, that appears to be JB Weld. I HATE JB Weld for reasons like this. Whoever did the repair meant well, but used the worst stuff possible.

You can see some here where someone attempted to repair worm damage to a percussion rifle.



It's very difficult to remove.
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Old 7th November 2018, 09:57 AM   #9
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The only way to remove epoxy is to use Dremel. From time to time I see silver Ottoman crossguards on eBay. But yours has langets that fit the slots on the handle, and a new one will likely not. Stay with what you have.
For a complete restoration you will also need to find or fashion new tear-drop eyelets on the pommel. Much more difficult to accomplish than buying a Dremel tool .
Or just make peace with kisses of time.
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Old 7th November 2018, 10:16 AM   #10
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This sword is perfect, just remove the bad epoxy repair.
The cross guard is original to me, many Turkish swords have brass cross guards.
Good catch
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Old 8th November 2018, 01:50 AM   #11
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Heat will break the epoxy down, if you can first dismount the hilt by driving the pin. I'm not suggesting you should, just that's how it can be done.
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Old 8th November 2018, 04:17 AM   #12
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Well, sure, and after that face reassembly of the hilt, fashioning contemporaneous mastique, reattaching the tang band, and then go back to square one: how to re-attach the crossguard. Looks to me like scratching your right ear with your left big toe.

Get yourself a Dremel and spend 15 minutes freeing the crossguard and removing all traces of epoxy. Buy this:

https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tnpla/00260042?cid=ppc-google-New+-+Tapes+%26+Adhesives+-+PLA_sBsWHaKq7___164110845012_c_S&mkwid=sBsWHaKq7|dc&pcrid=164110845012&rd=k&product_id=00260042&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyNu9rPXD3gIVxMDACh25AQj2EAQYBSAB EgJGS_D_BwE


Devcon steel epoxy. Apply thin layer of the mixture to the sites of metal-to metal contact You will have to use literally microscopic amounts of it, with no oozing outside the borders and the strongest bond available: it is used industrially and , when hardened, can even be machined. If you overfill the bonding surfaces and the epoxy becomes visible, then, when it is still soft, just wipe the undesireable traces off with cotton wool wetted gently with alcohol. Hold together tight for 15 minutes, then let it cure for 24 hours.

Overall, piece of cake.
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Old 8th November 2018, 04:48 PM   #13
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Hello, Thank you for your precious advices !

I'll see when I will start it ! ( I'll show you what come out !)
Need to be really ready and sure at first...

Kind regards
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Old 8th November 2018, 08:34 PM   #14
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edster
Francotolin,

I'm not qualified to comment on your sword, but the repair looks dodgy to me. I'm really interested in the mechanics of how your blade, cross-guard and hilt are joined. This type of sword has been considered as a prototype to the Sudanese Kaskara, but I've never had an opportunity to explore the mechanics of it's joining. Also, the date of your sword type could inform when the Kaskara's mechanics could have been adopted.

I assume the cross-guard is cast copper alloy, but its internal shape is basically the same as the Kaskara's 4-piece forge-welded iron construction.Is the bottom of the handle wedged into the top of the guard to hold the blade in place and secure all three parts together? Also, it looks like there is a pin in the handle that would attach the handle to the blades tang.

Best regards,
Ed




Ed, this is a fantastic insight! I had never thought of the similarity of this Ottoman hilt crossguard in comparison to that of the kaskara. Clearly the proximity would offer such influence for the profoundly produced examples of the Mahdiyya and after.
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Old 8th November 2018, 10:18 PM   #15
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As a matter of fact, Sudanese crossguards resemble not the Ottoman , but rather old Mamluk guards.
One only has to check the book by Yucel to see that they are virtually identical twins, only the Sudanese are cruder.

Ottoman ones are slender, with thin langets and are either silver or brass ( or silvered brass) Both Mamluk and Sudanese are massive and made out of iron.

And the general construction of the entire swords is virtually identical : straight double-edged blades . Some Sudanese kaskaras have furrows virtually identical to the Mamluk one: the last one of the attached is an ancestor of the Doukerry:-)

This is not surprising: Egyptian Mamluks controlled or semi-controlled Sudan for centuries, well before the establishment of the Ottoman Empire.
Then, the Ottomans took some later Mamluk swords and modified them. I suspect that Persian influence played a role there.
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Old 9th November 2018, 01:49 AM   #16
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Jim,

Thanks for the compliment.

Ariel,

I agree that your examples look externally similar to the kaskara. But I've not seen how their grip, cross-guard and blade are joined. Does the C-G have a slot in it that fits over the tang to the top of the blade with two grip scales held in place with the common three rivets OR do they go together like the kaskara with all wedged together by a one piece wooden grip fitted into the C-G hole and supported by the top langets? If the early swords and the kaskara assemblies are virtually the same, I support your view completely.

The inside of the C-G shown as the subject sword is very similar to the kaskara. The quillon profile, materials, and methods of making are not alike, but that's not the point

Say in 1800 or so some shade tree blacksmith in Eastern Sudan had an imported German blade and needed to make a C-G that would secure the three pieces together, he would look for a model that he could adapt to his needs. I believe he would like what the subject sword, contemporary and at hand, presents, forge a likeness from iron, and the prototype kaskara would be born.
He is unlikely to search for an Abbasid relic to copy.

Best regards,
Ed

Last edited by Edster : 9th November 2018 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 9th November 2018, 12:32 PM   #17
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Ed,

I have no idea how Mamluk and Ottoman guards were secured. I looked at mine and could not find any mastique or rivets. Sudanese and Syrians used wrappings of different materials and degree of sophistication. On top of purely engineering questions there is the atrocious quality of Yucel illustrations : see my pictures. It seems superficially that Ottoman guards just fit their upper langets into slots of the handle. But that would not assure any security of attachment and there are many examples of bent langets totally outside of the slots and the guards are still rock solid.

If anybody here knows the secret, I would be very grateful for revealing it to me.


I do not think we have to insist on absolute similarity of handles to claim
belonging to the same family. Persian, North and South Arabian, Baloch, Turkish or Indian shamshirs have very different handles, but there is no doubt that they belong to the same family and have a common ancestor: their blades are the same and often came from the same source i.e. Persian trade blades.

Kaskaras and early Mamluk swords have remarkably similar blades, and the added similarity of crossguards is just an additional point. Not a miracle, taking into account geographic proximity and close relations between the two societies. Whether the original source was pre-Islamic Arabia or Byzantine spathion I do not know. One can even speculate that even pre-Islamic straight swords came from the spathion. Then one might get boggle down in the question of Sassanid straight swords and the spathion etc. Separating descent and parallel development is always a semi-impossible task. The word “perhaps” must be used generously:-)

Your point about Abbasids is well taken, but that is not what I had in mind. It is not that Sudanese copied slender Persian guards ( which they did not), but the Ottomans. I must have not made myself clear. Sorry.

Last edited by ariel : 9th November 2018 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 9th November 2018, 04:22 PM   #18
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Ariel,

I agree with most of your assertions. Afterall a broadsword is a pretty simple 3 to 4 part device over time, not counting the elaborate hand guards of the Renaissance. The main variation is how the parts were fabricated and mechanically secured over time.

Take care,
Ed
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