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Old 23rd April 2019, 11:33 AM   #1
CharlesS's Avatar
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Default A Very Nice Nimcha

I wanted to share this lovely nimcha with my forum "peeps". It has become one of my very favorite swords even though it far more "blingy" than I usually care for, and generally, I am no fan of enameling. Somehow this one "spoke" to me and I had been looking for this blade type for some time, just didn't expect it to be in so special a "package"

I believe the sword dates to at least the early 19th century, likely even earlier.

The sword features the older style nimcha "cutlass-like" short, curved blade. There is a maker's stamp to the forte. The hilt is heavy silver enameled in dark blue, light blue, and green. You'll note the enameling is considerably cruder than what we might expect to find with Persian and Indian enameled pieces. Every square inch is detailed in some manner. The heavy hilt gives the sword a very nice balance.

The scabbard mounts are en suite with intricate floral motifs highlighted by the enameling. There are four bands of Islamic script along the scabbard fittings.

The baldric is old, but not "born with" the sword, though their colors match perfectly and they look like a natural combination.

Nimchas of this blade type are the most difficult to come by and I dare say, mounted in this manner, even rarer.

Overall length:32in.
Blade length:25in.
Blade width at the forte: just under one inch
Blade's widest point: 1.75in.
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Last edited by CharlesS : 23rd April 2019 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 23rd April 2019, 01:23 PM   #2
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A super piece, Charles ... i'd say. Can you 'macro' that makers stamp ? ... just curious .
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Old 23rd April 2019, 02:15 PM   #3
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One of the best Algerian nimcha ever!
I guess the guys of the Maritime museum will be jealous too
I think that you are righ, I would say 18th c. for sure if not 17thc...
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Old 23rd April 2019, 03:09 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Hi Charles

While blades are not in my regular sphere of collecting, I must say that is a beautiful nimcha. What a wonderful piece. As they say......Don't think it gets any better than this......Congratulations. What an impressive piece.

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Old 23rd April 2019, 03:24 PM   #5
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Whoa! That nimcha just screams grandiloquence! I've never before seen such a weapon of this type draped in such flair! You've really found a superb piece, especially for it being as old as you say it is!

The closest I have is a recently created Saif and Jambiya covered in gold as well. Though it's far from being as magnificent as what you carry. I must ask, where did you get such an impressive weapon?
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Old 23rd April 2019, 04:11 PM   #6
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Charles, this example is sublime, among the best, if not the best nimcha we have seen on this forum. Thank you for sharing!

As far as dating goes, the earliest reliably dated nimcha is one in the Rijksmuseum which belonged to Michiel de Ruyter, which places it in the mid 1600s:

Yours should not be much later than that, so perhaps late 17th or early 18th century, at least as far as the blade is concerned. The enameled mounts and the baldric could be later. There are examples of a 19th century enameled Moroccan saif scabbards in the sold section of Oriental Arms:

I do not know how early the enameling decorating technique made it to Morocco, but my guess is that you have an old 17th or 18th century sword remounted in the 19th century. Whoever did it, preserved the original form of the guard and the hilt. As you can see on the Rijksmueum sword, the original scabbards were made of cloth and leather and these materials tend to deteriorate unless stored in a perfect environment. Obviously it belonged to someone quite prominent, who loved this sword as much as you do. Most of the early nimchas we see are trophies taken during the conflicts between Habsburgs and Ottomans, and it is great tos ee one that appears to have remained in the Maghreb for a little while longer.

What a great sword!

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