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Old 20th August 2012, 08:06 PM   #1
Tatyana Dianova
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Default Saif for comment

I've got recently an Arabian Saif. Maybe somebody knows its more exact origin or age? Any comments are welcome!
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Old 20th August 2012, 09:38 PM   #2
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Unfortunately I can't help you - but I love your pictures .
Many years ago I had one with an ivory hilt with gold placater, but I sold it, as I collect Indian weapons.
Jens
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Old 20th August 2012, 11:07 PM   #3
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Isn't it a Mazar-i-Sharif stamp?
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Old 20th August 2012, 11:27 PM   #4
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Pretty saif! These are generally attributed to Zanzibar and is made for the Arab market or something like that. Prolly 19th century.

I like the blade alot! ;-)
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Old 20th August 2012, 11:56 PM   #5
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Very nice, i like it!
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Old 21st August 2012, 12:41 AM   #6
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Extremely attractive sabre Tatyana! and it appears to me to be of the type of hilt associated with Hadhramaut/Yemen. It does resemble many of the Zanzibari type hilts mentioned in Buttin (1933) in some degree, but those usually had a loop or ring extending from the crossguard, sometimes with pitones. This distinct hilt shape is described by Elgood as Hadhramati and the 18th-19th century were often elaborately covered in chased silver and often had chain links from pommel to guard.

This seems more modern and presented in traditional form, is the grip ebony or horn?

Jens, coincidentally many of these type sabres were produced in Hyderabad for the Arabian marketin the 18th -19th c., particularly the mercenary forces from Hadhramaut.
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Old 21st August 2012, 05:16 AM   #7
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This may help Jim. Pic of the Zanzibari Saif with the "ringed" guard herewith.
Stu
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Old 21st August 2012, 07:19 AM   #8
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Thank you all for the comments!
The Zanzibari hilts look really most similar to it, but this one have never had a loop on the crossguard...
The blade is of local manufacture, with makers's mark, pretty massive and heavy.
The hilt is most probably ebony.
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Old 21st August 2012, 06:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatyana Dianova
I've got recently an Arabian Saif. Maybe somebody knows its more exact origin or age? Any comments are welcome!



Salaams Tatyana Dianova ~ Jim of course is spot on and I dived for my copy of Buttin on this subject.. It is well covered in his sketches. The stamp appears to be Omani..(rare as I have not seen a stamp before like this). Probably Zanzibar. I would say possibly military mid to late 19th C.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 21st August 2012, 06:28 PM   #10
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Good evening,
I hope I'm not upsetting anybody if I say that the well formed ricasso and the equally well formed circular end to the fuller on what seems to be quite a hefty blade don't strike me as very Arab. Like Ariel I could quite believe it to be an Afghan blade. However my main point is to link the mark, which Ariel thinks is Mazar i Sharif and Ibrahim Omani, to those on the mysterious daggers in this thread http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...32&page=2&pp=30. It would seem this type of mark was really in quite widespread use.
Regards
Richard

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Old 21st August 2012, 06:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G
Good evening,
I hope I'm not upsetting anybody if I say that the well formed ricasso and the equally well formed circular end to the fuller on what seems to be quite a hefty blade don't strike me as very Arab. Like Ariel I could quite believe it to be an Afghan blade. However my main point is to link the mark, which Ariel thinks is Mazar al Sharif and Ibrahim Omani, to those on the mysterious daggers in this thread http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...32&page=2&pp=30. It would seem this type of mark was really in quite widespread use.
Regards
Richard


Salaams Richard G ~ Its quite different ~ The marks at your reference are various but the closest is a straight forward X in a rectangle. The Mark shown on the subject here appears to represent crossed swords over a dagger arrangement >I<
I rather think the blade to be European.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 21st August 2012, 07:24 PM   #12
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I was trying to stay away from the subject and the whole worng info about mazar e sharif thing but it seems like that is not happening.
First, there never was a Mazar e Sharif arsenal, I explained this b4 but for some odd reason it keep popping up again and again. It is a misconception that just causes confusion for people.
On this blade itself, I'd lean towards an European blade as Ibrahim is thinking.
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Old 21st August 2012, 07:48 PM   #13
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I do not believe the blade is European, because the fullers are very uneven and there are many small smithing "errors" where the layers (pieces) of metal were forged together - the blade was definitely hand forged.
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Old 21st August 2012, 08:06 PM   #14
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Hi All,
I'm inclined to agree with Tatyana, these fissures are not what I would expect to see on a 19thC European blade. Tatyana do you think the fuller is ground or forged?
My Regards,
Norman.

P.S. Looks like a nice hefty functional blade.
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Old 21st August 2012, 08:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Tatyana Dianova ~ Jim of course is spot on and I dived for my copy of Buttin on this subject.. It is well covered in his sketches. The stamp appears to be Omani..(rare as I have not seen a stamp before like this). Probably Zanzibar. I would say possibly military mid to late 19th C.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

I am curious why you think this stamp is Omani, if as you say, you have not seen this before.
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Old 21st August 2012, 10:37 PM   #16
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Thank you Stu for posting the 'Zanzibari' form hilt, which clearly shows the distinct similarities in the channels profiling the grips which in this case seem to be horn. Interesting that the peaked decorated ferrule is very much the same as well.
The deep stamped mark at the ricasso as shown resembles these kinds of bold stamps apparantly occurring in blades which are typically regarded as from regions in Rajasthan. The effect of this stamp is mindful of those attributed to represent the Mosque at Mazir i Sharif, but is not the same.
As has been importantly noted, these MiS stamps are actually regime stamps from Abdur Rahman Khan 1880-1903 in Afghanistan, and not for a particular arsenal as AJ well noted in previous discussions.

I think the most important thing to recognize about this sabre is that it is strongly representative of the Red Sea trade, and the connections between Arabia and India, as well as East Africa. While these style hilts are known to have been popular in the Yemen in Arabia, as well as in Zanzibar with the Omani trade and Sultanate there....they were also produced in Hyderabad in India. There were profound connections between Baluchistan and Oman and I think that the rhino horn seen in examples of Central Asian weapons, including shashka type sabres with similar type marks alongside the government (MiS) stamp of Afghanistan, suggests the trade of these materials. It would seem possible that Omani craftsmen may have adopted these kinds of stamps much as they did with a number of Solingen marks in thier locally produced blades.

The prominant ricasso block is typically indicative of a European blade, but as noted, despite the European features, lacks the quality of typical European blades. In the Anglo-Afghan type sabres of c.1890s we have often discussed, these heavy , deeply channeled blades I have always thought of as European, it would seem these may well have been produced in Rajasthan in European style.

The complexity of this history in these regions is one of the reasons sabres such as this one are powerfully exciting as well as extremely attractive.
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Old 21st August 2012, 11:04 PM   #17
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Lovely Saif Tatiana!

The so called Mazir i Sharif stamp is actualy an Afghan goverment property marking. Nothing to do with the Mosque at Mazir i Sharif or an armoury there.

It was often stamped at Kabul arsenal on both localy made pieces & on imported swords & bayonets.

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Old 22nd August 2012, 01:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiral
Lovely Saif Tatiana!

The so called Mazir i Sharif stamp is actualy an Afghan goverment property marking. Nothing to do with the Mosque at Mazir i Sharif or an armoury there.

It was often stamped at Kabul arsenal on both localy made pieces & on imported swords & bayonets.

spiral



Actually the stamp is the regime stamp used during the rule of Emir Abdur Rahman Khan (r.1880-1901) and probably after by his son. It actually represents the Shrine of Hazrat Ali, the Mosque at Mazir i Sharif (Mazir i Sharif = Noble Shrine) and was used on coinage as well as seen on these stamped weapons.
It seems that these kinds of 'royal property' stamps are often regarded as 'arsenal' stamps in a number of cases with Indian arms as well, when a specific location was not necessarily indicated.
This was explained by AJ last year in the discussion linked, and in his post in this thread. Actually his post was what reminded me as I wrote my last post.

As also noted, the marking on Tatyana's sa'if is of a type used and diffused somewhat widely through the trade spheres mentioned and do not appear to be connected to the Afghan 'royal property' markings.
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Old 22nd August 2012, 06:11 AM   #19
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Salaams all ~ I think the stamp is Omani though I have never seen one before. Whilst it doesnt look like the Afghan mark it may be a stamp from that region however I suspect Omani Military as a possible solution.

Here below is the Omani emblem. It occurs on the National Flag and was in fact the Oman Army capbadge. Is the sword stamp derived from this flag insignia? ~ I have to say that although I have never seen this stamp before it may be a mark used on Zanzibari or military swords of that period (I havent seen any of them either! and I have never been to Zanzibar !!)

On blades on this style~ though there is no concrete rule~ I thought the blades were derived usually from Shashqa for this type of Nimcha sword and Karabela swords?

What is the true relationship between this sword and the Moroccan (Algerian and North African) and which one came first?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 22nd August 2012, 07:01 AM   #20
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Default Nimcha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Thank you Stu for posting the 'Zanzibari' form hilt, which clearly shows the distinct similarities in the channels profiling the grips which in this case seem to be horn. Interesting that the peaked decorated ferrule is very much the same as well.
The deep stamped mark at the ricasso as shown resembles these kinds of bold stamps apparantly occurring in blades which are typically regarded as from regions in Rajasthan. The effect of this stamp is mindful of those attributed to represent the Mosque at Mazir i Sharif, but is not the same.
As has been importantly noted, these MiS stamps are actually regime stamps from Abdur Rahman Khan 1880-1903 in Afghanistan, and not for a particular arsenal as AJ well noted in previous discussions.

I think the most important thing to recognize about this sabre is that it is strongly representative of the Red Sea trade, and the connections between Arabia and India, as well as East Africa. While these style hilts are known to have been popular in the Yemen in Arabia, as well as in Zanzibar with the Omani trade and Sultanate there....they were also produced in Hyderabad in India. There were profound connections between Baluchistan and Oman and I think that the rhino horn seen in examples of Central Asian weapons, including shashka type sabres with similar type marks alongside the government (MiS) stamp of Afghanistan, suggests the trade of these materials. It would seem possible that Omani craftsmen may have adopted these kinds of stamps much as they did with a number of Solingen marks in thier locally produced blades.

The prominant ricasso block is typically indicative of a European blade, but as noted, despite the European features, lacks the quality of typical European blades. In the Anglo-Afghan type sabres of c.1890s we have often discussed, these heavy , deeply channeled blades I have always thought of as European, it would seem these may well have been produced in Rajasthan in European style.

The complexity of this history in these regions is one of the reasons sabres such as this one are powerfully exciting as well as extremely attractive.





Reference http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...+zanzibar+yemen

Salaams Jim ~ May I refer readers to the reference above which shows a classic Zanzibari sword etc etc and for some background...(plus posts from you)
It is a good thing that I never got to explore Mazir i Sherif looking for their old armoury ! The explanations by various members clears that one up entirely... Where the wheel comes slightly off the bike is in the distinction between Moroccan and Zanzibari Nimcha (incl. Algerian and North African variants) supposedly transmitted by merchants and pirates along the North African Coast (from Italian styles) though there is substantial evidence to suggest that the weapon is a Spanish derived species(Jinetta). Can it be both? Further what is the relationship between that and the Red Sea variant drawn by Buttin in many forms covering as I recall Saudia or Arabian variants as well as Yemeni and Zanzibari.. The recognition marks seem relevant on the pure Zanzibari already discussed at some length on forum but I am puzzled by the differing provenances ..

Is it in fact plausible that Hyderabad which is known to have had links to the Yemeni sword production could be the source of the Zanzibari Nimcha style and that no transmission is attributable to Morocco at all?

In reference to Solingen marks on Omani blades. I am uncertain what Solingen marks are used upon local Omani blades since I cannot recall seeing one. I have seen Solingen marks on blades imported from the Red Sea zone and rehilted recently in Muscat (originally European) but I wondered which marks you refer to...? ... there was a reference to a western visitor to Hormuz seeing the Andrea Ferrera marks in the early 19th C?... but of others I see none. (though I am checking furiously !!) I add that insofar as the passau wolf is concerned I am not at all sure who inscribed the blades in the case of wolf stamp copies...which they all appear to be... was it the sword maker or the owner?...so I have discounted the wolf mark.

It seems that the stamp on the sword at this thread appears to be a formal stamp rather than a roughly hewn squigle as in the case of the fake wolf marks however I cannot be certain unless more stamps can be found. It is on my list for my next museum visit.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 22nd August 2012, 02:23 PM   #21
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Good afternoon,
Well, the discussion has certainly moved on. However it seems to me that of all the pictures we have seen, inluding Ibrahim's thread (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...+zanzibar+yemen) the blade here most resembles those in this thread (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=14298), i.e Afghan. Obviously there are any number of reasons why an Afghan blade could appear in a Zanzibari type hilt, including, of course, some we would rather not contemplate.
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Richard
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Old 22nd August 2012, 03:32 PM   #22
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I really dont get how the stamp on the blade resembles the supposed mazar sharif stamp. The stamp is basically an X within 2 squares and with an I across the X. Seems like an easy made up stamp that may resemble anything from Afghan to European stuff.

I would say that this blade is locally made and the stamp is the maker's mark, Simple as that.
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Old 22nd August 2012, 05:01 PM   #23
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Excellent suggestions Ibrahiim! and Lofty and Richard also great observations. The discussion has indeed moved forward perfectly.

As noted, this stamp, which is indeed probably used by either a maker or possibly importer is a formal type rather than crudely applied imitation, and has nothing to do with the Mazir i Sharif stamp. There is every possibility of course that the blade is of existing Afghan types as they typically used a considerable array of weapons from a number of sources.
As I noted also, the connections between the Sind and Baluchistan regions of India are well established, as the eastern sector of trade routes from Oman, then to Yemen and Zanzibar as the western sector.

The 'nimcha' or Moroccan sa'if is firmly developed from Arabian sabres (as I was once told by Dominique Buttin) with these type quillon systems derived apparantly from Italian hilts of 16th century (A. North, 1975). The same influences are notable in the Sinhalese 'kastane' (an even further east Arabian trade contact, Serandib or Ceylon). The arrival of these kinds of hilts in Zanzibar are of course via the Omani trade routes which also brought the well discussed Omani 'kattara' to this sphere. Presumably the same connections are somewhat related to these forms in Morocco (also in degree in Algeria in the Maghreb context).

I am unclear on which European stamps may be spuriously applied in Oman, but since European trade blades were present in some degree by the late 18th-19th century it seems likely that some were, much as the Andrea Ferara noted. It may be presumed that the example seen in 19th century reflected a much older presence given the anachronistic nature of the situations in Oman at the time and even relatively in more recent times.

I think the suggestion of the stylized Omani emblem is quite plausible and well placed as such key emblems were often less intricately reproduced in these kinds of circumstances. I think the 'Passau wolf' is a great example of such variation as well as others such as the dukari moons in North Africa.
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Old 23rd August 2012, 06:34 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Excellent suggestions Ibrahiim! and Lofty and Richard also great observations. The discussion has indeed moved forward perfectly.

As noted, this stamp, which is indeed probably used by either a maker or possibly importer is a formal type rather than crudely applied imitation, and has nothing to do with the Mazir i Sharif stamp. There is every possibility of course that the blade is of existing Afghan types as they typically used a considerable array of weapons from a number of sources.
As I noted also, the connections between the Sind and Baluchistan regions of India are well established, as the eastern sector of trade routes from Oman, then to Yemen and Zanzibar as the western sector.

The 'nimcha' or Moroccan sa'if is firmly developed from Arabian sabres (as I was once told by Dominique Buttin) with these type quillon systems derived apparantly from Italian hilts of 16th century (A. North, 1975). The same influences are notable in the Sinhalese 'kastane' (an even further east Arabian trade contact, Serandib or Ceylon). The arrival of these kinds of hilts in Zanzibar are of course via the Omani trade routes which also brought the well discussed Omani 'kattara' to this sphere. Presumably the same connections are somewhat related to these forms in Morocco (also in degree in Algeria in the Maghreb context).

I am unclear on which European stamps may be spuriously applied in Oman, but since European trade blades were present in some degree by the late 18th-19th century it seems likely that some were, much as the Andrea Ferara noted. It may be presumed that the example seen in 19th century reflected a much older presence given the anachronistic nature of the situations in Oman at the time and even relatively in more recent times.

I think the suggestion of the stylized Omani emblem is quite plausible and well placed as such key emblems were often less intricately reproduced in these kinds of circumstances. I think the 'Passau wolf' is a great example of such variation as well as others such as the dukari moons in North Africa.



Salaams Jim ~ Thankyou for the excellent reply~ I looked at the stamp many times trying to figure it out but its just not clear enough... at one point I thought it could have been two budgies feet facing each other or the possibility of some sort of Omani Naval or military stamp is still floating..Although the blade looks European it could be Indian or Yemeni so there could be some relevance in greater Hyderabad and or Hadramauti influence here...

It is interesting that you actually met Buttin and that must have been a great exchange of ideas. I only have a few extracts mainly sketches of his main page refering to Nimchas and I wondered if he stated where they came from... Morocco or Italy? It is certainly an ideal weapon particularly for ship work and men with a smaller build.

As an entirely different note I also wonder if Schiavona similarly drifted into the Red Sea region as this could be the lead which has brought several "Omani looking" but non flexible blades into that arena, their provenance made harder since they are rehilted on various different hilts.

I sent my camera crew to Muscat a few days ago with the mission to retrieve pictures from certain museums and hopefully we shall get some results soon...like what were the "military swords" of Oman like in the 19th C?

Meanwhile this blade is a puzzle both in the stamp and its make up... and one area we have rather not been able to put under the scope is Sri Lanka with its peculiar but very own specific Nimcha (Kastane) and the Arab link.
I think this is a great debate and very much opens up the entire Nimcha story.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 24th August 2012, 05:37 AM   #25
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Hi Ibrahim,
It was indeed a great exchange of ideas, and especially talking about his esteemed grandfather who had apparantly lived in Morocco a good number of years. The 'nimchas' in Buttins catalog (1933) were all from either North Africa or Arab provenance asI recall. Actually the late Anthony North recalled the details of the suggestions of North Italian beginnings of these Arab swords in a 1975 article, noting that Buttin had pointed out the resemblances of the kastane and nimchas to the stortas of Italy of the late 15th century.

It seems that nimchas in North Africa often had full size blades rather than the shorter, cutlass type blades associated with onboard close quarters fighting. It seems these 'corsairs' often were involved more in raiding on shore than at sea.
I think that blades from Italy did enter the Red Sea trade, but these were not necessarily schiavona (which refers more to the hilt configuration) but full size arming sword blades. The presence of Italian trade had of course been in many regions of North Africa from early times, and the influence of Italian arms well placed among a number of weapon forms there.

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 24th August 2012, 08:34 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Hi Ibrahim,
It was indeed a great exchange of ideas, and especially talking about his esteemed grandfather who had apparantly lived in Morocco a good number of years. The 'nimchas' in Buttins catalog (1933) were all from either North Africa or Arab provenance asI recall. Actually the late Anthony North recalled the details of the suggestions of North Italian beginnings of these Arab swords in a 1975 article, noting that Buttin had pointed out the resemblances of the kastane and nimchas to the stortas of Italy of the late 15th century.

It seems that nimchas in North Africa often had full size blades rather than the shorter, cutlass type blades associated with onboard close quarters fighting. It seems these 'corsairs' often were involved more in raiding on shore than at sea.
I think that blades from Italy did enter the Red Sea trade, but these were not necessarily schiavona (which refers more to the hilt configuration) but full size arming sword blades. The presence of Italian trade had of course been in many regions of North Africa from early times, and the influence of Italian arms well placed among a number of weapon forms there.

All best regards,
Jim


References;
A http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=nimcha see # 26 by Kurt.

Salaams Jim ~ I thought a picture of Buttins page above on the subject would be useful. It appears that these were Arab styles.
On the subject of Schiavona, actually, I refer to blade form rather than hilt form and in particular double edged blades. It makes sense that blades leaked into the red sea region from this Italian style and would have been re hilted. It goes as rather a note in the marjin since I have no extended proof though I suspect the non flexible blades occasionally seen on some Omani rehilts and in some museums/souks in Yemen and Saudia may be related to these though for me, as yet, it remains penciled in for a further look later.

I find it very interesting about the stortas linkage..

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 24th August 2012, 09:56 PM   #27
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Thank you so much for posting the Buttin page Ibrahiim! As I recall I once obtained one of these 'Zanzibar' type sa'if from a grouping which came out of Yemen. It seems that the traffic of arms mounted with trade blades in Zanzibar supplied Yemen as well as of course Oman in some degree as they returned. I am naturally not as well informed on the actual forms or distribution of these weapons to and from Oman, but the presence of the Omani sa'if does appear to have followed trade routes into North Africa. I still believe that these swords deeply influenced the Manding sabres of Mali, as Timbouctou was not only a key trade center but Islamic cultural center of profound importance.

It seems likely if not established that Italian blades had continued coming into North Africa in varying degree from earlier times, and became even more prevalent in the latter 19th century as colonization increased. It is often difficult to determine as Solingen producers spuriously applied so many established maker and guild type markings from Italy. Actually, many schiavona blades were indeed Solingen produced with such markings.

It is most interesting to see the hilt quillon systems on many of these 16th century Italian swords, particularly the storta, and the remarkable similarity to the 'nimcha' saif and the kastane. It seems the earliest known example of the kastane in the familiar hilt form was 1622, from a Japanese diplomatic mission which stopped in Ceylon and returned to Tokyo that year. This would suggest of course that the late 16th century Italian swords had established thier influence in those early decades. There are portraits of English merchants trading in Morocco wearing the familiar 'nimcha' hilts c. 1640s so the influence had been established there presumably in roughly the same period.

Ibrahiim I really appreciate the way you keep discussions going and extend well thought through ideas and suggestions which promote serious evaluations of material and evidence. I very much like your tenacity in ongoing research as clearly shown in your outstanding note regarding items penciled in for further look....as we always say..more research to be done!!!

All the best,
Jim
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Old 25th August 2012, 06:38 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Thank you so much for posting the Buttin page Ibrahiim! As I recall I once obtained one of these 'Zanzibar' type sa'if from a grouping which came out of Yemen. It seems that the traffic of arms mounted with trade blades in Zanzibar supplied Yemen as well as of course Oman in some degree as they returned. I am naturally not as well informed on the actual forms or distribution of these weapons to and from Oman, but the presence of the Omani sa'if does appear to have followed trade routes into North Africa. I still believe that these swords deeply influenced the Manding sabres of Mali, as Timbouctou was not only a key trade center but Islamic cultural center of profound importance.

It seems likely if not established that Italian blades had continued coming into North Africa in varying degree from earlier times, and became even more prevalent in the latter 19th century as colonization increased. It is often difficult to determine as Solingen producers spuriously applied so many established maker and guild type markings from Italy. Actually, many schiavona blades were indeed Solingen produced with such markings.

It is most interesting to see the hilt quillon systems on many of these 16th century Italian swords, particularly the storta, and the remarkable similarity to the 'nimcha' saif and the kastane. It seems the earliest known example of the kastane in the familiar hilt form was 1622, from a Japanese diplomatic mission which stopped in Ceylon and returned to Tokyo that year. This would suggest of course that the late 16th century Italian swords had established thier influence in those early decades. There are portraits of English merchants trading in Morocco wearing the familiar 'nimcha' hilts c. 1640s so the influence had been established there presumably in roughly the same period.

Ibrahiim I really appreciate the way you keep discussions going and extend well thought through ideas and suggestions which promote serious evaluations of material and evidence. I very much like your tenacity in ongoing research as clearly shown in your outstanding note regarding items penciled in for further look....as we always say..more research to be done!!!

All the best,
Jim


Salaams Jim~ Thank you for your input much of which I note.

Regarding the Zanzibar influence into Yemen, however,my question of which way round the influence was applied is still up for discussion. I am not as yet convinced that Zanzibar was the producer of Nimcha but that a large hand was applied possibly from Hadramaut and Hyderabad. It may never be discovered. Maybe they all had a hand in it !

In terms of Omani Saif.. "The straight flexible dancing sword" ... I question the influence upon African swords since it is my belief that the Omani dancing sword only appeared late in proceedings about 1800 or thereabouts.

Frankly I could argue more clearly the other way around if I was asked to say what sword in the region inspired Oman to go for a non battle flexible dancing sword in about 1800. Was this a sword that appeared with the new dynasty ~ The Al Busaidi Dynastic Sword...?? Pageants Only.
Ahmad bin Said Al Busaidi founded that Dynasty in 1744. I must add here, however, that I believe the sword that actually inspired the dancing sayf was the old Omani Battle Sword Sayf Yamaani to which I have compared it on the thread Kattara for comments.. please see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=10455 at # 312.

The sword that certainly went to that part of Africa as a badge of office with traders and slavers was the Omani Kattara ~the long curved single edge weapon which though mounted on the long Omani conical hilt is a very different proposition to the dancing blade. Omani dancing blades were, however, used in Zanzibari and other Omani outposts in the role of pageantry as they were designed solely for this.(exclusively for Omani nationals only) The other swords that went to the outposts were Nimcha and of course the Omani battle sword affectionately known as Sayf Yamaani.... and a few dignatorial weapons like the odd royal hilted styles (post 1840) and some Persian variants (Shamshir). However, I see no reflection in the Mandingo of the Omani dancing Sayf.

Regarding the Moroccan Nimchas ~ I read somewhere (Perhaps in Anthony Norths book) that swords carried by the trained bands of London, Officers, were derived from that region..? Where I get somewhat confused is that it seems the Moroccan Nimcha was a design taken from the Jinetta of Spain whereas the Italian weapon ~ stortas ~ appear to be the commanding influence on Red Sea Nimchas.

I am not at all clear as to why the Moroccan weapon didn't export via Timbuktu and thus across Africa by trade route to the Zanzibar hub and the Red Sea? It may be another case of two regions both Italy and Morocco influencing these weapons at roughly the same time ~ though as you point out Kastane are much earlier...and Arab by influence..since the Sri Lankan merchant class who introduced them appear to be Arabs. That would mean the Nimcha was in the Red sea/ Zanzibar far earlier than supposed.(thinking aloud here as I dont believe that ~ as there is no proof and no actual early weapons to go by...yet) Of course that also begs the question (pulling my hair out !) what influence is there on the Nimcha (or some of them) of the Red Sea from Sri Lanka? My paragraph does not aproach the vast influence and supply throughout Africa from the blades of Germany ~ I dont know if there was a sword hilt on an earlier blade which we would recognise as Nimcha...in other words what was the date of the appearance of Nimchas in The Red Sea region?

More furious scribbled notes in the margin for me! well put by your last line above.

For an absorbing discussion please see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=kastane

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 25th August 2012 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 25th August 2012, 07:39 AM   #29
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Default Somali Influence on Nimcha Pommel?

Salaams all ~ Please see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ed=1#post144305 and note the pommel on the Somali weapon closely resembles the pommel on the Buttin Nimcha example at his sketch XXX 1009which you can access on this thread # 26.

See http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=nimcha (On posts #11 #16 # 26.)
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 25th August 2012 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 26th August 2012, 12:12 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Actually the stamp is the regime stamp used during the rule of Emir Abdur Rahman Khan (r.1880-1901) and probably after by his son. It actually represents the Shrine of Hazrat Ali, the Mosque at Mazir i Sharif (Mazir i Sharif = Noble Shrine) and was used on coinage as well as seen on these stamped weapons.
It seems that these kinds of 'royal property' stamps are often regarded as 'arsenal' stamps in a number of cases with Indian arms as well, when a specific location was not necessarily indicated.
This was explained by AJ last year in the discussion linked, and in his post in this thread. Actually his post was what reminded me as I wrote my last post.

As also noted, the marking on Tatyana's sa'if is of a type used and diffused somewhat widely through the trade spheres mentioned and do not appear to be connected to the Afghan 'royal property' markings.


Thanks Jim, Id looked at hundreds of photos of the mosque & it made no sense, as soon as you add the word shrine it all comes together, Thank you!

I think the same crest has been used by many goverments of Afghanistan untill the present day?

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