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Old 1st July 2012, 07:04 PM   #1
Norman McCormick
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Default Matchets and a Cutlass

Hi,
Came across this illustration in a booklet kindly sent to me some years ago by Philip Lankester at the Royal Armouries. It may help some members identify the odd trade blade that has found its way into 'sword' usage. All are termed Matchets except the bottom one which is described as a Cutlass blade. Please see the photo attached of a Cutlass blade of mine, seems a pretty similar form. Hope this is of some interest.
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 1st July 2012, 08:30 PM   #2
Jim McDougall
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Wow! That is absolutely amazing and resoundingly pertinant Norman!!!!
This is pretty much the exact type trade blade which we are discussing on the concurrent 'nimcha' thread, and shows these blades as being produced in Solingen well into the 19th century. The term is fascinating as well, and seems closely associated to 'machete' which of course is the sword form which evolved in the America's as the utilitarian arm used to work through thick vegetation.
I think this plate or one like it appears in Gilkerson's "Boarders Away" as well.
Thank you for adding this! The rather degenerated GR with crown in the attached picture gives the thought, or wonder, if perhaps that marking configuration might be the source, in stylized form in the strange markings often found on kaskara.

All the best,
Jim
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Old 1st July 2012, 08:47 PM   #3
not2sharp
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Very Interesting. The machete shown on the OP seem very different in design from modern machetes. I wonder if these were intended for a different use. Can you provide us with the measurements for your example?

n2s
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Old 1st July 2012, 09:33 PM   #4
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Hi Jim,
The catalogue page I have illustrated is from the Sheffield manufactories (1816) so a bit earlier than Gilkerson. The machetes in Gilkerson are taken from the catalogue of Schnitzler and Kirschbaum which is dated to the mid-19thC. There is one in Gilkerson from this catalogue that has the GR cypher but Philip Lankester in this tract put this down to the fact that antique style cutlass blades were continually being manufactured well into the mid-19thC for the East and West Indian markets the cypher being added to imitate an accepted symbol of a good quality blade. The blades from Sheffield are 20 to 28 inches long but it is not known whether this is inclusive of the hilt or not.
My Regards,
Norman.


Hi n2s,
The example I have is a Cutlass blade similar to the last one on the illustration, it 26 1/4 inches blade only. Hope this helps.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 2nd July 2012, 11:51 AM   #5
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Thanks very much Norman for further detail on these catalog illustrations. It is remarkably important to know more on original sources as you have done here so that we can nearer establish period provenance on blade and marking forms.
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Old 5th July 2012, 01:08 AM   #6
KuKulzA28
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This is great! Machete are often neglected as a field of study...

Interestingly, in Trinidad, Tabago, and Guyana.. the machete is referred to as "cutlass" or "cutlash".
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