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Old 1st October 2019, 06:30 PM   #1
ariel
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Default A very unusual nimcha

Here it is, active rust removed, black rust left in place, protected with Renaissance wax.

This is the first one with at least 3 unusual features that I have encounered:

1. All-metal handle of unusual configuration.
2. Spanish cavalry blade 1728 pattern : notice typical hexagonal profile.
3. Leather scabbard with " Tuareg" type decor.

Any help in attributing/dating it?
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Old 1st October 2019, 07:04 PM   #2
TVV
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Interesting sword. Charles posted a similar one not long ago here:

http://vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=23241

These swords appear to be a local interpretation of a Moroccan Saif in Western Africa, anywhere from Mauritania to Mali and Guinea. The leatherwork is reminiscent of the so called Mandingo swords. The hexagonal blade cross section is unusual, but can we tell for certain if this is a reworked Spanish blade or a locally made one? To me it looks like the latter.

Teodor
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Old 1st October 2019, 07:16 PM   #3
Jim McDougall
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This is one of the MOST unusual versions of 'nimcha' or Maghrebi sa'if I have seen!
It has a most ersatz, munitions grade characters which I would probably classify as very 'Saharan'. It is of combined elements of the Spanish military broadsword blade, an unusual guard which combines the general quillon system of the typical Moroccan/Algerian nimcha but with an atypically placed center block. Also the knuckle guard has an extended block to join with the most unusual cylindrical grip.

My speculation would be this was probably assembled in Saharan regions on the trade circuits between Algerian and Moroccan areas, and likely of the latter 19th early 20th c. It may well have been in 1920s if Morocco, or WWI period in Algerian regions near North Nigeria, Kaocen Revolt 1916.

These Spanish blades were well circulated into the Americas and of course likely the Spanish colonies in Morocco well through the 19th c. The 1728 designation of these 'dragoon' blades was extremely approximated and these were more well known on the military patterns of late 1760s + They were still seen on Spanish colonial swords into mid 19th c.
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Old 1st October 2019, 07:21 PM   #4
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We crossed posts Teodor, well noted, it could possibly be locally made, but this hexagonal section was not one commonly seen on Saharan takouba or others. The Maghrebi sa'if seems often to have been mounted with European broadsword blades (most of these Spanish pattern blades were Solingen) which were broadsword types. This was quite contrary to the sabre type hilt of the 'nimcha'....but the same thing happened with these 'dragoon' blades mounted on sabre hilts in Spains colonies in the Americas.
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Old 1st October 2019, 09:03 PM   #5
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Very little to say, this clever monkey of Teodor said everything...
Maybe the blade, this kind of blade is quite common on Tunisian swords...
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Old 2nd October 2019, 11:11 AM   #6
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Probably the most unusual sword of this type I have seen .. its not a Nimcha because nothing like it appears in Butins charts and the blade is double edged, however, the quillons are clearly related and the hilt with knuckle guard appears to suggest a Nimcha style ...I agree with the thoughts above entirely in that this is a weapon made in a tribal workshop using various spare parts and a general plan based upon Nimcha architecture... the detail on the scabbard is compelling as pointing to Tuareg workmanship.
The fact is that Nimcha have a single edge and a heavy back edge rather ruling out this as a Nimcha but it is fascinating and quite amazing how the style has clearly been formatted on this Tuareg workshop weapon...


THERE IS A BIG "HOWEVER" ATTACHED SINCE IN FACT THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES IS INDICATED AS HAVING A TWO EDGE FORM AT THE START. PLEASE SEE http://nimcha.fr/N-introd.htm WHERE THE AUTHOR ALSO TIES IN MUCH EARLIER SWORDS GOING BACK TO SWORDS OF THE PROPHET.. WITH SIMILARITIES IN QUILONS AND UPON TWO EDGED BLADES....

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Old 2nd October 2019, 03:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Probably the most unusual sword of this type I have seen .. its not a Nimcha because nothing like it appears in Butins charts and the blade is double edged, however, the quillons are clearly related and the hilt with knuckle guard appears to suggest a Nimcha style ...I agree with the thoughts above entirely in that this is a weapon made in a tribal workshop using various spare parts and a general plan based upon Nimcha architecture... the detail on the scabbard is compelling as pointing to Tuareg workmanship.
The fact is that Nimcha have a single edge and a heavy back edge rather ruling out this as a Nimcha but it is fascinating and quite amazing how the style has clearly been formatted on this Tuareg workshop weapon...


THERE IS A BIG "HOWEVER" ATTACHED SINCE IN FACT THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES IS INDICATED AS HAVING A TWO EDGE FORM AT THE START. PLEASE SEE http://nimcha.fr/N-introd.htm WHERE THE AUTHOR ALSO TIES IN MUCH EARLIER SWORDS GOING BACK TO SWORDS OF THE PROPHET.. WITH SIMILARITIES IN QUILONS AND UPON TWO EDGED BLADES....



That is a most interesting and salient point about the prevalence of the double edge or broadsword blade in the tribal regions of North Africa such as seemingly consistently found on takouba and kaskara. Actually many of these 'nimchas' are mounted with broadsword blades as well.

While it may be argued that it was simply the availability of European trade blades that drove this, the profound link to the physical descriptions of the Sword of the Prophet cannot be notably discounted.

The example posted by Charles in 2017 linked by Teodor suggests this was not a one off form . The obviously variant form of the guard suggests these were produced in an area outside the regular mounting entrepots where the volume of nimcha were traditionally mounted.

As Charles well noted in his thread of 2017, the scabbard is indeed with the characteristics of the Manding artisans, but here again, could that influence have carried into the Sahara in the broad Tuareg sphere in the same manner?

It would be interesting to hear Charles' thoughts as he has clearly researched well in these areas of material on swords of these regions.
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