Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 28th January 2011, 03:55 PM   #1
ericlaude
Member
 
ericlaude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 187
Default Unusual Shotel

Good morning has all,
This Thread is for specialist of Ethiopian Shotel, if one of them can tell me more about this unusual shotel.
The strong handle is made in horn ( Rhino?), the pommel , the ferule and the guard are made in solid brass. its measre 36" Ovl 28" for the blade and large 2,2". It weighs 1,2Kg.
Thank you in advance
Best regards
Eric
Attached Images
      
ericlaude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2011, 03:57 PM   #2
ericlaude
Member
 
ericlaude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 187
Arrow

Seconds pictures
Attached Images
     
ericlaude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2011, 04:50 PM   #3
VANDOO
(deceased)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: OKLAHOMA, USA
Posts: 3,140
Thumbs up

A REMARKABLE SWORD. I WOULD SAY IT IS EUROPEAN MADE POSSIBLY GERMAN ,THE HORN HANDLE LOOKS MORE LIKE WATER BUFFALOW HORN NOT RHINO HARD TO TELL FROM THE PICTURES. IT DOES HAVE THE ETCHED AND BLUED BLADE WITH THE ETHIOPIAN ROYAL LION AS OFTEN SEEN ON IMPORTED GERMAN BLADES. IT INCORPORATES SOME TRUE ETHIOPIAN DESIGN BUT IS ARTISTICALLY MODIFIED TOWARD MOSTLY EUROPEAN DESIGN. VERY PLEASING TO THE EYE AND LIKELY ONE OF A KIND. WITH BETTER PICTURES PERHAPS SOMEONE CAN READ THE INSCRIPTION ON THE BLADE.
MY GUESS IS THIS WAS SPECIALLY MADE TO BE PRESENTED TO A PERSON OF IMPORTANCE IN ETHIOPIA. PERHAPS THE INSCRIPTION MAY SHED SOME LIGHT ON WHO MADE IT OR WHO IT WAS PRESENTED TO. GOOD LUCK

Last edited by VANDOO : 28th January 2011 at 09:35 PM.
VANDOO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2011, 06:49 PM   #4
DaveS
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 324
Default

Definitly the best i have ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!. What a find!!!!!!......Dave.
DaveS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2011, 02:29 AM   #5
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 6,136
Default

WW!
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2011, 04:52 AM   #6
roanoa
Member
 
roanoa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 195
Default

Absolutely fantastic piece. Trade? Sell? Just asking.... The inscription on the blade is backwards. Flip it 180 and it will read ITIYOPIA: TEBETSEHE: IDEWIHA: BEIGHEZEE'EBIHER:: That is: Ethiopia reaches out to to God.
It is one of the most common inscription found. It is written in Ge'ez: the ancient language used by the Ethiopian Coptic Church. The faces are those of Menelik II, Zewuditu (Empress) and (this is a guess..) Lij Eyasu. I have seen (and have one myself) some straight bladed SAIF swords with the same faces and inscription. I would say these blades are German. But...?? British is another guess. I will venture to say that the hilt was retrofitted. Maybe at the factory itself so that the blade could be handled. By the way, the hilt was mounted backwards as the shotel will have the tip pointing towards the opponent. Also, the red felt spacer would not make sense on a leather scabbard. Then again, I doubt this blade ever had a scabbard. Hilt looks Victorian. Not rhino. In any case, it is wonderful.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by roanoa : 29th January 2011 at 05:08 AM.
roanoa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2011, 09:56 AM   #7
ericlaude
Member
 
ericlaude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 187
Arrow

For the moment, just asking and showing, many thanks for yours reply, I will showing more details of the faces.
Attached Images
   

Last edited by ericlaude : 29th January 2011 at 03:26 PM.
ericlaude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2011, 10:30 PM   #8
Mauro
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 78
Default

Hello everybody, very nice shotel. Regarding the blade it could also be French: difficult to say. Roanoa is right that the same trylogy (Menelik, Eyasu and Taitu) is found also in other blades from England or Germany. However, the pommel with this classic head also has a French smell with this Greek hero and a classic helmet. The helmet has what appers to be a falcon but I do not see well if there is also a snake. It would be necessary a detailed photo on this part. On the side of the helmet seems that there is a sphinx. My knowledge of classics are not strong enough to recognize the God depicted in the Pommel. The falcon and the snake are sacred to Horus and Horus is compared to Apollo but this is only a supposition. France ??
Mauro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th January 2011, 07:55 PM   #9
Martin Lubojacky
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 701
Default

Exquisite blade !!!
As far as the handle is concerned, I think there are two possibilities - either made as it is as a gift for some of the Rases, or replacement /?/(two blades similiar to this (gilded) which I have seen had handles made of top grade reddish rhino horns...)
(Roanoa, I cannot read geez, but I often heard another, maybe liberal translation: "And Ethiopia reaches out its hands skywards" - which should be citation from
Martin Lubojacky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th January 2011, 07:59 PM   #10
Martin Lubojacky
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 701
Default

sorry - finger slipped on keyboard, so:
...which should be citation from the New Testament. Or is it totaly another woprding?)
Martin Lubojacky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th January 2011, 11:18 PM   #11
roanoa
Member
 
roanoa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 195
Default

Hi Martin. The inscription is taken indeed from the Coptic Bible and could be read as "Ethiopia asks for God's help", "Ethiopia reaches out to God", "Ethiopia holds its hands up to God". Liberal translations, but meaning the same thing. I understand Haile Selassie closed his speech to the League of Nation protesting the Italian invasion of his country with these words.
The catalogues of Julius Voos and Eickhorn (both from Solingen) and of Wilkinson show that the blades, even the more fancy ones, were supplied without hilt and scabbard. I believe the hilt (mounted BACKWARD) is either a replacement or it was mounted at the factory on the "salesman sample" to better handle the blade. Fantastic piece, regardless.
Do you happen to have pictures of the shotels you refer too?
roanoa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2011, 06:54 AM   #12
Martin Lubojacky
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 701
Default

Hi Roanoa,
One of the blades is at home - in Prague, I do not have picture and unfortunately I will be there in half a year. Nevertheless this is not shotel - but Ethiopian saif with straight, Wilkinson blade. There ere still traces of gilding in etched design. Another one, in this case shotel, I saw in Ethiopia cca 15 years ago.

At home I have also gorade(shabola) with etched real partrait of young man, some peaople said it was young Haile Sellassie from his Harrar times, when he was cca 15 (?) years old. When I am back in Prague, I will post it.
Martin Lubojacky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2011, 07:40 PM   #13
Tim Simmons
Member
 
Tim Simmons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: What is still UK
Posts: 5,360
Default spelling

I am probably way off but take a long hard look at the helmet on the head pommel knob. I may well be French. The winged sphinx is seems a hang over from the French exploits in Egypt. Look at the side view, the crest is an eagle. The face on view ie the beak is more stylised but it does have a snake in its mouth. I think that is most intesting considering French action in Mexico.

Last edited by Tim Simmons : 31st January 2011 at 07:51 PM.
Tim Simmons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2011, 08:20 PM   #14
Tim Simmons
Member
 
Tim Simmons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: What is still UK
Posts: 5,360
Default

You can google "eagle eating snake imagery" but not much for "falcon eating snake imagery"
Tim Simmons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2011, 08:47 PM   #15
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,194
Default

Truly remarkable piece. I would say that the hunting hanger style grip represents distinct European style for earlier court oriented weapons, and the neo-classical figure on the pommel suggests French hilting. I would say this is probably a diplomatically intended presentation or gift to a figure in important standing in Abyssinia. This high end piece might have to do with dealings during the Anglo Egyptian condominium and post Fashoda incident (1898) territorial disputes in these regions between that and France. The blade to me seems German. It is tempting to align the fluer de lis style in the quillons to France also.

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 1st February 2011 at 07:18 PM. Reason: typo in wording
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2011, 08:56 PM   #16
Tim Simmons
Member
 
Tim Simmons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: What is still UK
Posts: 5,360
Default

As roanoa has already pointed out that the handle is on the wrong way round. The shotel is used with the concave edge leading. Why could this be?
Tim Simmons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2011, 09:00 PM   #17
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,194
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Simmons
As roanoa has already pointed out that the handle is on the wrong way round. The shotel is used with the concave edge leading. Why could this be?


Maybe because if it was hilted in France, they werent cognizant of the error as the item was intended for presentation rather than actual use?
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2011, 01:10 AM   #18
roanoa
Member
 
roanoa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 195
Default

Just for the fun of it, since I am not that much into mythology, that does not look like a Sphinx to me... A Chimera? Not that it makes much of a difference....
roanoa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2011, 01:16 AM   #19
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,721
Red face

Could one suggest the unsuggestable word here ?

Begins with a 'C' ... <ducks and covers>

Last edited by Rick : 1st February 2011 at 01:34 AM.
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2011, 03:59 PM   #20
Tim Simmons
Member
 
Tim Simmons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: What is still UK
Posts: 5,360
Default

Okay. winged lion sphinx like thing .
Attached Images
 
Tim Simmons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2011, 09:39 PM   #21
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,194
Default

While the intense debate continues on the pommel figure, I am as always distracted by trying to learn more on the possible history of this potentially presentation or diplomatic gift grade shotel.

For those readers out there also considering that aspect of the sword, I wanted to note some things I discovered on the geopolitical situation in Ethiopia c.1890s.
Menelik II (r.1889-1913) was in power in then Abysssinia, the British were trying to stabilize the Sudanese regions after the demise of the Mahdi, and were prepared to acknowledge Italian suzereinty in Ethiopian regions.

France however was encouraging Menelik to oppose the Italian threat by delineating the borders of his empire. They had already been granted the authority by Menelik to build a railroad from Addis Ababa to Djibouti (French Somaliland). They joined Menelik in 1898 to penetrate the Sudan against the British at Fashoda in the strained conflicts which ultimately resulted in the Tripartite treat of Dec. 13,1906 between the UK, France and Ethiopia.

Since it seems to me that the character of this 'shotel' reflects prevalent French character (the pommel is likely the neoclassic image of Mars/Ares), with likely a German made blade, the events of these times suggest the possible diplomatic nature of this sword.

I have seen another diplomatically oriented sword with similar blued and gilt blade motif including Amharic inscription, Lion of Judah and regalia type images, on a European style sabre blade, this one during the rule of Theodore.

While unclear exactly which event or figures this sword may pertain to or more definite date, it seems worthy to consider those described as being possibilities.

In the attached, image of Mars as often portrayed in neoclassic motif, not with snake or birds here, but the snake figure as seen with some of these mythological images is typically just noted as a 'poisonous snake' in lieu of the dragons in mythology.

The map shows French interests c.1898, in pink.
Attached Images
  
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 01:16 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.