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Old 29th July 2010, 06:38 PM   #1
Dmitry
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Default Falchion with the Passau wolf.

Total length 75 cm.
Blade - 64 cm.

Blade features interesting markings, including the stylized version of the Passau wolf, or a similar canine.
Any input would certainly be appreciated. I've had it for a while, and haven't been able to find a similar one in my books.
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Old 1st August 2010, 03:07 AM   #2
Jim McDougall
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Looks to be Spanish colonial, probably South American latter 19th century quite possible. The markings have nothing to do with the Passau wolf, a most interesting topic and subject of a lot of discussion. The wolf had all but vanished by the 18th century, where it was last used by Samuel Harvey in England. The Hounslow and Shotley Bridge makers had used it in England in the 17th century in defiance of the guilds in Solingen, where its use finally ceased.

Never seen one with the hook at the forte, but the blade profile seems in line with machete blades of the times, and the hilt following the traditional espada ancha form with perpandicular stylized shellguard.
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Old 1st August 2010, 07:19 AM   #3
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I concur with Jim on this interesting sword. The downward-facing quillon is a typical feature of espada from 1850's onwards. I wonder what that hook was for? To cut the reins of a horse? Ahhh...the mind does wonder. Given that it's 19th c, would it be classified more as a cutlass vs a falchion?
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Old 1st August 2010, 10:44 PM   #4
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Thanks Mark! Really unusual feature on the root of this blade, and would be interesting to find some comparable example somewhere. The highly stylized markings present some interesting potential too. The falchion term is of course antiquated, and this seems to fall more into the machete category, though cutlass is as we know often in place as well. It seems through the years I have often seen espada anchas described as 'old Spanish cutlass'.

All the best,
Jim
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Old 2nd August 2010, 05:54 AM   #5
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I will expand the title of this thread, since the editing function is not available.
European falchion mounted with a glaive guisarme/fauchard-like blade with a zoomorphic proto-wolf marking.
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Old 2nd August 2010, 01:53 PM   #6
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Default zoomorphic proto-wolf marking.

No better results if you invert the markings ?
The M would easily become a W and the , W + Co would mean , W & Company ?
... and the zoomorphic guy would incidently have wheels .

.
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Old 2nd August 2010, 01:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
I wonder what that hook was for? To cut the reins of a horse?


It struck me as being for the user to loop the index finder around for tighter control of the swing if desired. It doesn't appear to be sharpened on its inside edge, the edge looks fairly thick.
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Old 2nd August 2010, 02:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitry
I will expand the title of this thread, since the editing function is not available.
European falchion mounted with a glaive guisarme/fauchard-like blade with a zoomorphic proto-wolf marking.



Now that is a fantastic title!!! eloquently and actually very artistically described. Speaking of artists, and looking at these markings, I have tried to look at the 'zoomorphic ' image from every angle and while the elements used in the so called 'Passau wolf' are actually there....they are not arranged in a form recognizable as a wolf.......and I got to thinking......Picasso was Spanish wasn't he? While all I can see is amoeba like visually.......maybe I am looking at it upside down. Perhaps the four lines atop the large image are to represent legs, although all in one location rather than symmetrically placed.

Even Oakeshott noted that these running wolf or animal figures were often indiscernable, and many of the forms are truly very much like modern art, ultra stylized...but none I have seen resemble this arrangement. There is no doubt these markings were deliberate, and interpretations of some kind...even the plus signs or 'x' s are familiar from many blade markings. It seems in one of the kaskara articles it was noted that a Sudanese chief looking at a running wolf marking on a blade thought it was a hippopotamus!!

The analogy noting the glaive/fauchard/ guisarme is well placed also, and it is well known that these polearm blades were indeed sometimes used mounted as swords in certain instances.
For some reason it seems I have seen this kind of unusual blade root profile on Spanish edged weapons from the Philippines, but not necessarily this hook shape.
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Old 2nd August 2010, 04:00 PM   #9
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I've spent a good two hours yesterday, going through my books, because I'm positive I have seen this "wolf" and a similar scribbled inscription somewhere before. A likeness of this guisarme-bladed sword, or as the Italians call it, a gisarma, is pictured in Boccia's book.
The little spike at the base of the blade is an often seen implement on this type of blade. Many, if not most surviving examples also have a spike at the back of the blade. Peasant weapons, like this one, being utilitarian tool, don't seem to have fared as well as their more decorated, better-made cousins.
Jim, I'm pretty sure this is not a Spanish Colonial sword, although the blade may be earlier than the hilt. The hilt, including the horn grip was covered in clear lacquer, as was customary with collectors and museums in the past. I think I might want to remove that.
I'll keep looking.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
No better results if you invert the markings ?
The M would easily become a W and the , W + Co would mean , W & Company ?


The other possibility is that this is actually a prescription written by a doctor.

Any pharmacists here. Because only a pharmacist might decipher it.
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Old 2nd August 2010, 05:47 PM   #10
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Just to toss in another possibility on this sword, especially given the odd protrusion at the hilt/blade connection, is that this is a sword from Aceh with strong Dutch influences. The overall shape of the blade with the protrusion, which can be found on a number of swords and daggers from the Archipelego region, feels very Sumatran/Indonesian and the horn hilt with lacquer finish, which again many hilts from this region would have a nice varnish, and then showing strong European/Dutch influences in the hilt guard. Sumatra was a strong trading center and you find many cross cultural pieces there. Have a very close look at the blade in good sunlight and see if you can notice any patterning in the blade as I would expect a blade from this region to be of good pattern welding. The markings on the blade could be imitation of markings found on other blades or have some other meaning as they seem to have been made post blade manufacture.
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Old 2nd August 2010, 07:12 PM   #11
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LOL! good one Dmitri on the prescription !. sure could use a memory pill, because as always, these markings seem familiar...maybe I've looked at so many through the years its all a blur. Which Boccia book do you have...I looked into Boccia & Coelho "Armi Bianchi Italiene" but could not find this sword type. The sword blade profiles and unusual designs on polearms do seem to reflect various types of appendages and such features though.
On p.422 there were lettered markings M : C + 1781 in what seemed period inscription on a schiavona, which seemed to have a T O L E D O marking and comments that were in Italian but suggested Brescia. This was of course a Spanish province in those times and earlier, and the Toledo addition was sometimes seen on Italian blades.

Obviously the schiavona has nothing to do with this, but what I thought was interesting was the lettering which seemed similar, and the Spanish associations which are mentioned simply as a consideration since the Spanish colonial suggestion is present.

The curious image with the small lines that seem hairlike and cannot see how extensively present they might have been. There are only the strange scorpion type figures seen on a number of the Italian blades that seem to ring bells with odd shapes and hairlike accents.

Rick, good suggestion on the Sumatran/Indonesian potential, and it seems that some of the klewangs etc. had blade root features of some similarity but cannot recall for sure. What does strike me as compelling are some of the downward quillon shapes on some Philippines edged weapons, which may be a link toward Spanish influence (attached). Note the ferrule as well. The knuckleguard countinuing over the pommel and peened is similar to espada anchas, though this one seems to be separated.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 01:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
...I looked into Boccia & Coelho "Armi Bianchi Italiene" but could not find this sword type. The sword blade profiles and unusual designs on polearms do seem to reflect various types of appendages and such features though.


Exactly. In the back of the book, look at the Table B, weapon 3. He calls it a falchion.
The spike on last hilt you showed does pose some questions in regards to the similarities between the two swords!

I've looked at the blade again, it does show some striations that could possible be signs of folded steel, OR just signs of cleanings throughout the years.
Some more pics.
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Old 6th August 2010, 12:28 AM   #13
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I think I've figured out the inscription and the mark!
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Old 6th August 2010, 04:27 AM   #14
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Well, Dmitry, don't just keep us in suspense!!
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Old 6th August 2010, 05:18 AM   #15
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Well, if you insist. It is a Dutch cryptic phrase, and a university-trained linguist came up with this transcription -
Hallo, mijn naam is Shaver Cool, en dit is wat ik eruit nadat ik uit de douche.

Looks like my fancy European falchion theory is bunk.
Truth be told, after perusing this site, looks like it might be a Parang Nabur, akin to the pieces displayed in this thread -
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ht=parang+nabur

The similarities in the guard construction and the blade form are strong.
IMHO, the inscription might be an attempt to imitate the European talismanic inscriptions, as is the amoeba-like creature. Who made it, when, and for who, I have no idea.


I think it's time to enlist the experts from the Ethnographic Weapons section.

I am especially thankful to RSWORD for pointing me to the direction of the Dutch East Indies.

Last edited by Dmitry : 6th August 2010 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 6th August 2010, 07:40 AM   #16
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Default It's a sundang... ;)

This is certainly not a Beladah Belabang, the correct name for the Negara sword misidentified by Stone as a "Parang Nabur" (the name being based on the Niabor of the Iban). I don't see any similarities to Bornean swords (nor Malay/Indonesian in general either).

There are semblances to what has been referred to as bathead(-pommel) Batangas sword/bolo and which likely comes from the southern Luzon region (Bizol currently being the top contender but AFAIK no sure provenance has been established for any of the 19th century pieces yet).

The piece discussed in this thread has a blade shape which seems to differ from the typical bathead-pommel swords (less curved blade, narrower tip, prominent protrusion at the base) and I'd be weary to positively identify it as such (given that there's also not the typical hilt style). 20th century blades from Bizol as shown by Zel seem to come in a variety of shapes and hilt types and a later date would also make the combination with a rather generic D-guard hilt (possibly Filipino with European influences) more likely.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 6th August 2010, 03:04 PM   #17
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Default Scorpion ?

I would interpret the 'Passau Wolf' mark more as a representation of a stinging insect .

I see legs on both sides of this mark .
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Old 6th August 2010, 11:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
I would interpret the 'Passau Wolf' mark more as a representation of a stinging insect .

I see legs on both sides of this mark .



Im with you somewhat on that Rick, and in the Boccia reference and others the 'scorpion' mark appears, though it is a pretty Picasso-esque reach for this amoeba looking thing to match up with these scorpions. The little lines could represent legs, but the position is really bizarre.
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Old 7th August 2010, 01:44 AM   #19
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So, doctors of entomology, have we reached the consensus on the origins of this fly-catcher? Philippines?
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Old 7th August 2010, 04:13 AM   #20
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Wink

" Hallo, mijn naam is Shaver Cool, en dit is wat ik eruit nadat ik uit de douche."

Not so sure I want to run this through GooGle Translate Dmitry .

This insect-like mark I seem to recall having seen on Philippine blades before .
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