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Old 16th September 2023, 11:44 PM   #1
DavidFriedman
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Default Interesting Welsh Sword Shillelagh

Greetings,
This piece is outside of my area of experience. Does anyone have any insight on this sword club. It was described as Welsh, though I can imagine it could easily be Irish. The blade inside is interesting, no markings, 2 inches broad, fullered, flexible and light. In scabbard it is about 41 inches long.

Please see attached pictures, I would love to hear any thoughts on this one. Has anyone seen a similar example before?

Potential age?

Thanks
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Old 16th September 2023, 11:45 PM   #2
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Old 17th September 2023, 03:18 AM   #3
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And if no one has seen a compatible specimen before. Does anyone recognize this blade type? Thanks
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Old 18th September 2023, 05:04 PM   #4
M ELEY
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Hello David and welcome to the Forum. Did the person who sold the sword cane to you have any history on the piece? To me, the item doesn't look European and could possibly be African? They had swords very similar to this in several of their cultures, but not my area of expertise. You may want to post this on the Ethnographic side as well to see if my hunch is right. It is a cool piece, BTW! Good luck-

Just wanted to add that the Africans had 'swazistick' sword canes like the Europeans-

Last edited by M ELEY; 18th September 2023 at 05:05 PM. Reason: additional comment
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Old 18th September 2023, 07:11 PM   #5
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This is almost certainly a sword from Western Africa. The leather over cloth is typical of mandingo swords, and the pommel has some similarities as well. The blade could be a 19th century trade blade, or even an older blade that was repurposed.
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Old 18th September 2023, 08:24 PM   #6
M ELEY
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Thanks for confirming my suspicion, TVV. I wasn't sure of the area and tribe, so that's great that you narrowed it down for David. I know many of the blades froming into the African continent were for the trade (Sudanese kaskaras, Berber swords, etc). The wood looks genuinely old. Perhaps pre-1900???
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Old 19th September 2023, 03:05 PM   #7
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Thank you, I had never thought of that. It was described as a Welsh club swordstick from the seller in UK. I’ll definitely bring this to the ethnic section thanks!


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Originally Posted by M ELEY View Post
Hello David and welcome to the Forum. Did the person who sold the sword cane to you have any history on the piece? To me, the item doesn't look European and could possibly be African? They had swords very similar to this in several of their cultures, but not my area of expertise. You may want to post this on the Ethnographic side as well to see if my hunch is right. It is a cool piece, BTW! Good luck-

Just wanted to add that the Africans had 'swazistick' sword canes like the Europeans-
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Old 19th September 2023, 03:10 PM   #8
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Western Africa, very interesting. The wood is extremely light, and wide along scabbard and bulbous termination. It seems more suited as a concealed weapon, than a club that could then have the blade pulled out at an opportune moment, unless using the scabbard end in striking.

The 2 inch broad sharp blade is very light and thin, even with the central fuller. Very flexible.

The wrapping over the cloth doesn’t appear to be leather, but I was under the impression it was bark, that was adhered over the cloth. I’ll take a second look. It is truly a strange beast.

Thanks for all your pointers.


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Originally Posted by TVV View Post
This is almost certainly a sword from Western Africa. The leather over cloth is typical of mandingo swords, and the pommel has some similarities as well. The blade could be a 19th century trade blade, or even an older blade that was repurposed.
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