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Old 1st December 2019, 02:48 AM   #1
G. Mansfield
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Default A Different Kastane Trade Blade

This Sinhalese Kastane sold at auction recently for a good price. It is not very old, late 19th or early 20th century. The interesting characteristic is that the blade is not the common local forged style with inlaid brass nor is it the older Dutch VOC imports often seen on early models. Rather the blade is a Berber North African flyssa style with geometric design and brass inlays. This type of blade was often seen on the "wedding" style nimchas or small ottoman influenced hilts with flyssa wooden sheaths sold at souks in Algiers in the early 20th century. This seems to be a strange marriage between sword and blade for the kastane. Possibly remounted at a later date?

(Note: I did not buy this item from auction)

Regards,
Geoff
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Old 1st December 2019, 11:53 AM   #2
ariel
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For some reasons the blade reminds me of rather modern Flissa daggers
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Old 1st December 2019, 08:07 PM   #3
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Same here Ariel.
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Old 4th December 2019, 06:57 AM   #4
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Here are some examples of the flyssa and "wedding" nimcha dagger blades similar to the kastane posted. Does anyone have ideas of how this North African blade could have made its way mounted onto a Sri Lankan kastane? Any other similar examples known?
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Old 4th December 2019, 09:11 AM   #5
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Mine, just for thge heck of it, has a 1/4 in. think blade at the guard, distal tapered and razor sharp too. The OP's one above sure travelled a ways, maybe thru spain to portugal then Sri Lanka? Oh, what storys it could tell.
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Old 4th December 2019, 12:47 PM   #6
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Or, to be rude and cynical, the furniture of kastane ended up in the sweaty hands of contemporary N.African souvenir dealer who went thru his supply of touristy flissa blades and found one fitting the scabbard.
Pay attention to the whole product: the tang did not go all the way into the handle. Crude job, but good enough to sell it to some naďf.

Geoff, I wouldn’t buy it either:-) Wise decision on your part.
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Old 4th December 2019, 01:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
...
Pay attention to the whole product: the tang did not go all the way into the handle. ....


Looks like it fits perfectly and was made for it, and othewr Kastane tangs look just like that. Doesn't look crude at all to me. This style seems more used on the later more fancy ceremonial ones like the OP's but not on the earlier ones meant for actual battle use.

Example where tang reduces down to meet the smaller opening in the handle from where the two animal finials are almost touching the blade: (from elsewhere here on the forum. there are others.)

I prefer the earlier longer combat capable ones myself tho.
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Old 4th December 2019, 07:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
Looks like it fits perfectly and was made for it, and othewr Kastane tangs look just like that. Doesn't look crude at all to me. This style seems more used on the later more fancy ceremonial ones like the OP's but not on the earlier ones meant for actual battle use.

Example where tang reduces down to meet the smaller opening in the handle from where the two animal finials are almost touching the blade: (from elsewhere here on the forum. there are others.)

I prefer the earlier longer combat capable ones myself tho.

Wayne, i am not convinced that the kastane was ever a sword intended for combat.
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Old 4th December 2019, 07:58 PM   #9
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Quite possible, I tend to agree, which is why I've never bought one. Have seen a couple that looked almost there but their use was debated...
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Old 4th December 2019, 10:30 PM   #10
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While the weapon in discussion is of course in my view, entirely specious and comprised of elements intended to convey exotic character, it does bring the observations on the Sinhalese 'kastane' to the fore, it was not a 'combat' weapon. As we have long established in discussions here (in my view), it was a court, diplomatic and status piece.

This item has nothing to do with the traditional weapon of Sri Lanka other than the use of its appearance in the hilt, and the use of a Kabyle type blade again for appearance. Regardless, its always good to see discussion active.
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Old 7th December 2019, 09:05 AM   #11
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Reference A.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=castane

Reference B.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=castane

The Hatan kavya text “Seethawaka Hatana” written by a warrior who was supposed to have fought in the Great Battle of Mulleriyawela include a narrative in which he refers to at least 5 chiefs who fought with Kasthana swords. this is from Ref B #87....In Forum library.


THE CASTANE was a badge of office for Government clerks (MUDALIERS)..and secretaries not usually a battlefield weapon though it was worn by squad leaders and commanders in battle as a rank marker... but can be viewed in great depth on forum. Please see References above.

The weapon appears to have been in two forms since a battle style may be what we are seeing in the Sendai Museum exhibit and perhaps in the stone carving showing the Pinhao weapon. Thus battle Castane may date to the Portuguese period but following that the sword was only used as above...in the badge of office role.

Most weapons shown here refer to non battle Algerian forms some for use at weddings as cake cutters and none as far as I can make out for battles..They are unrelated as are belly dancing swords.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 7th December 2019 at 12:49 PM.
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