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Old 4th February 2013, 02:39 PM   #1
CutlassCollector
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Default Blade mark for identification.

Hi,

Can anyone help with the mark on this cutlass blade or even suggest a country of origin. It appears to be a plant or a tree or even perhaps bamboo. The handle is also unusual and incorporates a wood grip and a down-turned guard. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 4th February 2013, 03:07 PM   #2
fernando
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Hi Cutlass,

Can't you improve the close up picture of the mark?
Have you set the camera for "macro" ?
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Old 4th February 2013, 04:06 PM   #3
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Hi fernando,

Yep, it was a macro shot, had problem with file upload too big so cropped it. Hope this one is better. Bear in mind mark is not very clear anyway.
CC.
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Old 4th February 2013, 06:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CutlassCollector
... Bear in mind mark is not very clear anyway.
CC.

Much better, though
Now, let's see what the guys in here have to say about it; quite a few cutlass lovers around
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Old 5th February 2013, 07:50 PM   #5
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Hmm... I've been pondering this one since first posted. My initial reaction was to say, 'Yes, a European cutlass', but then I paused. This piece has a somewhat Asian feel to it in that the grip reminds me of Burmese dha and some Chinese pieces I have seen. The guard's shell and quillon are more lobe-shaped than rounded, reminding me again of some Chinese cutlass-types I've seen. The bamboo marking- could it possibly be a character/letter vs a design? In either case, such a decoration again lends to a possible Asian association. This isn't a bad thing, as the piece is still magnificent in my opinion. It calls to mind the Chinese River pirates and Malay pirate pieces we've discussed in the past.
Then again ( ), there were French patterns of naval cutlass that came out around the late 18th/early 19th century that were heavily influenced by items coming out of the Orient. Just as England was embracing naval dirks and swords that resembled jambiya and mameluke swords, as were Napolean's forces being exposed to other cultures. I've seen a fairly traditional m1800 French naval cutlass with 'willow' decorations to the blade. Also, in many of Frederick's sword catalogs in the past, I've seen French cuttoes and cutlass with distinctive Chinese patterns, including rather gaudy MOP inlaid grips, non-traditional shaped guards, etc.
In my dealings with naval items, I've been flummoxed and frustrated with identification many a time. Specifically when it comes to private purchase cutlass and axes. Sorry I couldn't be of much more help in exact ID. It's still a great piece for a naval collection, though.
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Old 6th February 2013, 11:32 AM   #6
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Thanks M. The Asian connection is a good theory which I had not considered. I originally thought early American or European. It was heavily rusted and I treated it with de-corroder fluid which revealed the bamboo motif - nice surprise - and the blade is very well made so probably not early US. It does have a hint of Chinese now that you mention it but so far my web search has not thrown up much to compare.
You're right of course sometimes there are no definite answers but it's still fun to research!
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