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Old 8th January 2014, 07:03 PM   #1
VANDOO
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Smile EUROPEAN WAVEY OR FLAME BLADES

I HAVE SEEN THE WAVEY BLADES ON SWORDS AND DAGGERS FROM FRANCE AND SPAIN AS WELL AS SEVERAL OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES. THEY WERE REFERED TO AS FLAME OR FLAMBU FORM IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY.
I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IN WHAT TIME PERIOD AND IN WHAT COUNTRIES AND ANY OTHER PERTINENT INFORMATION THESE BLADES OCCUR.
THEY OCCUR IN BOTH THE PHILIPPINE KRIS AND SOME DAGGERS AS WELL AS IN THE KERIS DAGGERS FROM MALAYSIA AND INDONESIA. BUT THERE THEY ARE OFTEN CALLED NAGA (SNAKE FORM) RATHER THAN FLAME FORM.
THIS FORM LIKELY OCCURS IN OTHER COUNTRIES AS WELL, IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO COMPARE TYPES, NAMES, REGIONS AND TIMES THEY OCCURED. WHERE AND WHEN DID THE FORM ORIGINATE? SNAKE OR FLAME?
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Old 8th January 2014, 09:01 PM   #2
Jim McDougall
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An absolutely excellent topic Barry!! and hope things are well there in the OK wing of the Smithsonian

I think the flammard was the way blade two hander of the landsknechts.

The flamberge term was apparently often misapplied to swords other than those with wavy blades, but generally refers to undulating blades on rapiers I believe.

There is a great deal of symbolism involved beyond any pragmatic application it would seem, and I have seen references suggesting that these blades were extremely difficult to sharpen etc.
As far as I have known most symbolism, at least in sword lore, is toward the 'flaming sword of paradise' from Genesis 3:24 in the Bible. In Freemasonry , according to Mackey (1873 &1878) this reference is used to describe the Tyler's sword of Masonic ceremony . While these were typically regarded as wavy, most Tyler's swords were of varied and celebrated forms.

The nagan or snake form as you have noted is well known in ethnographic forms, and many of the swords in India have blades like this . In Indonesia, the wavy blade of the keris is symbolically significant, and though unqualified to address this, I understand the number of waves (=luk) carry important meaning.

Returning to the European use of the wavy blade, it seems like the medieval to Renaissance use of these on two handers, and the use on a number of rapier blades were the most common instances.
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Old 9th January 2014, 12:05 PM   #3
fernando
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Wavy, flaming, flamberge, Flammen, flamboyant ... pick one.
Apart from two handers and rapiers, as well mentioned by Jim, you can/could see these wavy blades in cup hilted swords (Portuguese included), whore daggers and even hunting (plug) bayonets.
Hard to establish a real reason for the appearance of these blades; from mysticism to more effective thrust, you choose. Some say that the system was originated in sawtoothed blades to hack apart pole arms; otherd say that wavy blades make a better way to inflict wider wounds with a thrust while still keeping the blade light ... that being disputed lately. Also some pretend that it improves the parrying of opponents sword. You may even read that the purpose was to give it a better quality look.
You can also make a cocktail mixing two or more of such features.
As for who came first with such 'invention', the Asians or the Europeans, the hen and the egg dilemma, it could be one of these things that are so possible to occur in that, the thing occurred in either end at same or similar time; like the apperance of money, for one... primitive globalization to consider.

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Old 9th January 2014, 06:53 PM   #4
Timo Nieminen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Hard to establish a real reason for the appearance of these blades; from mysticism to more effective thrust, you choose. Some say that the system was originated in sawtoothed blades to hack apart pole arms; otherd say that wavy blades make a better way to inflict wider wounds with a thrust while still keeping the blade light ... that being disputed lately. Also some pretend that it improves the parrying of opponents sword. You may even read that the purpose was to give it a better quality look.


Perhaps also to make it more dangerous for the opponent to grab the blade. Might account for the popularity of flame-blade rapiers.
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Old 10th January 2014, 01:22 PM   #5
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Nieminen
Perhaps also to make it more dangerous for the opponent to grab the blade. Might account for the popularity of flame-blade rapiers.



Salaams Timo Nieminen ...This probably accounts for the shortage of piano players around that time.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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