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Old 7th May 2018, 07:42 PM   #1
Tatyana Dianova
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Default Firangi with European blade

A huge 120 cm long Firangi with a silvered handle has come my way recently. It has a European made blade marked with three moons with small stars on the both sides. Does anybody has an idea where the blade was made? Germany or maybe Spain?
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Old 8th May 2018, 05:29 AM   #2
Ian
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Very nice blade, Tatyana, and in excellent condition. The fullers are very crisp and clean.

German, Spanish, Italian ... ???

Ian.
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Old 27th May 2018, 03:50 PM   #3
Jens Nordlunde
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Tatyana, do you have other pictures of the hilt?
I am sorry but I cant help you with the blade.
Jens
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Old 28th May 2018, 03:35 PM   #4
Roland_M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatyana Dianova
A huge 120 cm long Firangi with a silvered handle has come my way recently. It has a European made blade marked with three moons with small stars on the both sides. Does anybody has an idea where the blade was made? Germany or maybe Spain?


Hello Tatyana,

Your blade is similar to European Cuirassier-swords of early to mid 19th ct..
All Cuirassier-swords are copies of French patterns from late 18th to early 19th ct..

But I also know for sure, that the Indians made copies of these long blades.

Your sword is probably from the 19th ct.. and I'm relatively sure, that there is no similar European army pattern in that period. Your sword is also clearly laminated, which would be unusual for European patterns of the early 19th. ct.. I dont know exactly how European swords in the late 18th and early 19th ct. were made, but visible laminations are not usual.

So I think your blade is of Indian origin and inspired by European army swords.


Roland
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Old 29th May 2018, 07:33 PM   #5
Tatyana Dianova
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Thank you Roland for your opinion! I am not an expert, but I have taken a look at Cuirassier sword blades and an earlier 17-18 century European blades, and the Firangi blade looks more similar to earlier blades. It is also relatively thin, lightly flexible and well balanced, unlike the Indian made blades. The blade is not laminated - I have put a Renaissance wax with a cloth to it. I was never able to melt the wax with a hair drier as advised to make it transparent and uniform.
Jens, thank you for your interest. I have made extra pictures of the handle. It is heavily silver plated. I guess it is South Indian or Deccani from 18th century or earlier?
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Old 30th May 2018, 08:48 AM   #6
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G'day Tatyana,

I have seen very similar blades mounted on early to mid 18th century Scottish basket hilts. Here is an almost identical blade, mounted on a British 1796 pattern heavy cavalry officers' hilt. The original owner was Scottish, so this is thought to be a remounted family blade. These Andrea Ferrara blades are generally thought to be German made.


Cheers,

Bryce
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Old 30th May 2018, 11:38 AM   #7
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indeed very nice sword.
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Old 30th May 2018, 12:19 PM   #8
Jens Nordlunde
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Tatyana, you have a very nice firangi, but I am wondering if the blade could be an Indian copy of an European blade. Does the blade have a ricasso?


Bryce, Andrea Ferrara lived in the city of Belluno in the south of Tirol, northern Italy, and at the time this part of Italy was ruled from Venice.
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Old 30th May 2018, 01:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatyana Dianova
It is also relatively thin, lightly flexible and well balanced, unlike the Indian made blades. The blade is not laminated - I have put a Renaissance wax with a cloth to it. I was never able to melt the wax with a hair drier as advised to make it transparent and uniform.
Jens, thank you for your interest. I have made extra pictures of the handle. It is heavily silver plated. I guess it is South Indian or Deccani from 18th century or earlier?


Hello Tatyana,

I added two pictures with visible laminations for you. At least I think they show open laminations, better macro-pictures would be helpful.

Especially the open laminations close to the ricasso makes me think it is of Indian origin.

Long European blades of the 18th and 19th ct. are normally not thin, because these were used as cavalry-swords and European cavalry horses were very massive. They also were often not well balanced so that they need a large and heavy hilt, sometimes plus a pommel.

Thin, flexible and well balanced blades are also a feature of some Indian blades and I own one.

I tend to believe, your Firangi has been made in the late 18th to mid 19th ct., because the blade is imho(!) too well preserved for middle 18th or 17th ct..

If you have problems with wax and a hairdryer, you should use a hot air pistol and an temperature of ~100-120°C. The airflow of your hair dryer is probably not hot enough. I always use the hot air pistol, the hair dryer is just an emergency solution.


Roland
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Old 30th May 2018, 07:12 PM   #10
Tatyana Dianova
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Jens: the ricasso you can see on the last picture in the Roland's reply.
Roland: thank you for the hot air pistol idea! The blade is not laminated in the sense of pattern-welding, but there are some imperfections near the hilt. Otherwise the blade is well forged.
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Old 30th May 2018, 08:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Bryce, Andrea Ferrara lived in the city of Belluno in the south of Tirol, northern Italy, and at the time this part of Italy was ruled from Venice.


G'day Jens,

Andrea Ferrara is the European equivalent of the famous Persian smith Assad Allah. There are just way too many surviving examples made over too long a time period to be the work of one smith. More than likely his name was used on these Solingen made blades to make them more attractive to buyers.

There is a good discussion on these types of blade in an ethnographic context over at the European Armoury forum.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...94&page=2&pp=30


Cheers,

Bryce

Last edited by Bryce : 30th May 2018 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 31st May 2018, 02:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatyana Dianova
Thank you Roland for your opinion! I am not an expert, but I have taken a look at Cuirassier sword blades and an earlier 17-18 century European blades, and the Firangi blade looks more similar to earlier blades. It is also relatively thin, lightly flexible and well balanced, unlike the Indian made blades. The blade is not laminated - I have put a Renaissance wax with a cloth to it. I was never able to melt the wax with a hair drier as advised to make it transparent and uniform.
Jens, thank you for your interest. I have made extra pictures of the handle. It is heavily silver plated. I guess it is South Indian or Deccani from 18th century or earlier?


I have seen many Firangis, and I even handled a Firangi almost like this one. From the looks of it this might not be a Deccan sword because a lot of basket hilt swords have Maratha style hilts, but this hilt doesn’t look lik the typical south Indian hilt. This sword might be of North Indian origin also because remeber Firangis, even those without Koftgari, were seen as luxury items by Indian nobles. Just lik European shoes, European blades of good quality were rare and nobles who got their hands on them tried their best to show off.
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