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 13th February 2014, 06:46 PM   #1
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,685
Default VOC BLADES: A comprehensive look

Presently we are discussing the Sinhalese kastane on a concurrent thread and one of the features which seems to arise on many examples are the blades marked VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indisch Compagnie) and prominently marked year dates such as 1775; 1757; 1768 etc.

It seems these Dutch East India company blades not only occur with some consistency on the kastanes, but throughout the Indonesian and Malaysian archipelagos on various types of indigenous swords and edged weapons.

Many of the VOC blades have Amsterdam town marks but of course the other key VOC ports may have been represented as well.

I would like to look further into the diffusion of these blades, which appear to be specifically issued for trade, and hope those out there with examples or knowledge on these blades might come together here and share in discussion.

It seems these blades are invariably 18th century from around 1740s to 1770s, though some earlier examples with 1606 or 1660 seem to be talismanically used numbers or commemorative dates perhaps.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2014, 09:59 AM   #2
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 6,247
Default

Hello Jim,

good idea! I have seen some Timor swords with dutch klewang blades and own one byself, see here: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...highlight=timor I will post some new pictures soon as possible and I am sure that members will own also swords like this. Will be nice to see others.

Regards,

Detlef
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2014, 04:18 PM   #3
Maurice
Member
 
Maurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,309
Default

Good idea to give this a good research.
Once I tried to research these VOC blades, but till now I didn't find anything what was usefull enough to start with. Also the pieces I've found, didn't had the right provenance to take the VOC marks serious.

But one thing I know. Blades with VOC on it will sell a lot better against a much higher price. So you can imagine that this had been stamped later on many blades to get it more interesting!

I hope somebody has good information for us, but hopefully not guesses, but marks supported with any kind of interesting provenance.

Allready a friendcollector and I tried to get more information in a Dutch museumlibrary, to find anything about these kind of stamps.
However we didn't succeed than, and after that we didn't had time to pick this up again.

Thanks for opening this interesting thread Jim!
Hopefully we can find something interesting...

Maurice
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2014, 09:32 PM   #4
asomotif
Member
 
asomotif's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 2,037
Default

Interesting subject.

It would help if the forum's search machine would support a search for "VOC Blade"
asomotif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th February 2014, 03:15 AM   #5
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,685
Default

Thank you so much for the support guys!!! All of you are in key position to learn more on these blades, and asomotif has noted, hopefully this thread will archive the topic of the VOC blades for future researches as well.
The goal here is to review more on these blades both as occurring on issued or regulation swords and cutlasses as well as how they diffused into the various colonial trade spheres.
Detlef, looking forward to photos!
Maurice great points on the faking of these kinds of marks, and your efforts to find more in that library are much appreciated, we always keep at it! so often more can be found at later attempts.

All the best,
JIm
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th February 2014, 07:58 AM   #6
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,985
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Thank you so much for the support guys!!! All of you are in key position to learn more on these blades, and asomotif has noted, hopefully this thread will archive the topic of the VOC blades for future researches as well.
The goal here is to review more on these blades both as occurring on issued or regulation swords and cutlasses as well as how they diffused into the various colonial trade spheres.
Detlef, looking forward to photos!
Maurice great points on the faking of these kinds of marks, and your efforts to find more in that library are much appreciated, we always keep at it! so often more can be found at later attempts.

All the best,
JIm


Salaams Jim, I was amazed that EIC simply did not stamp sword blades but did so on gunpowder weapons and bayonets.. For the latter see http://www.armsregister.com/article...bore_musket.pdf
The Dutch, as you state did... and many examples exist on web and forum.

I have not found any Kastane with Portuguese stamps... and reason that there were none because of the nature of the weapon which was a purebred native blade at the time of the Portuguese influx.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th February 2014, 12:00 PM   #7
Maurice
Member
 
Maurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,309
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
The Dutch, as you state did... and many examples exist on web and forum.


Yes many examples around. But which ones are fake, and which ones are real? Are there real VOC stamps on blades?
I need to see that on provenanced pieces, not on the examples which I can find on the internet.

If you have some with provenance, can you post pictures here?
I will if I find any...

Regards,
Maurice
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th February 2014, 06:25 PM   #8
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 6,247
Default

Here some new pictures of my Timor sword. There is a marking "Hembrug" on the blade. I have acquired this sword some years ago via ebay, see the link in up. When I get this sword the marking was covered by rust, so I think it's an original marking. But sadly nothing else is known about it's provenance but I don't have doubts about it's originality.
Attached Images
      
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th February 2014, 07:12 PM   #9
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 6,247
Default

Just get the information from a member that a Hembrug blade isn't a VOC blade, so my sword don't add any information to this thread. VOC blades are much older as this Hembrug blade. Sorry for any confusion!
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th February 2014, 07:16 PM   #10
asomotif
Member
 
asomotif's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 2,037
Default

A few years ago I read a book "De jacht op sandelhout" by Arend de Roever (2002).
It describes how the VOC forced themselves into the Sandalwood trade from Timor. The VOC was present on Timor from 1613 till 1799.
The trade was a complex system of all kinds of raw materials and semi finished products that where traded by the VOC between Europe, Indonesia, but also China, Japan, India.

Sandalwood was brought from Timor to China and India and Bali.
It describes also that sword blades where placed in the ships sailing from Europe as trade material and also serving as ballast.

Interestingly, a lot of weapons that I recall with VOC blades are timor swords. Sorry Maurice, This is getting close to speculation.

Best regards,
Willem
asomotif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th February 2014, 09:39 PM   #11
Maurice
Member
 
Maurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,309
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Just get the information from a member that a Hembrug blade isn't a VOC blade, so my sword don't add any information to this thread. VOC blades are much older as this Hembrug blade. Sorry for any confusion!

It's good bringing this one up Detlef.
It seemed that trade blades were used also in the latter period (after the
VOC time).

Kind regards,
Maurice
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th February 2014, 09:44 PM   #12
Maurice
Member
 
Maurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,309
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
A few years ago I read a book "De jacht op sandelhout" by Arend de Roever (2002).
It describes how the VOC forced themselves into the Sandalwood trade from Timor. The VOC was present on Timor from 1613 till 1799.
The trade was a complex system of all kinds of raw materials and semi finished products that where traded by the VOC between Europe, Indonesia, but also China, Japan, India.

Sandalwood was brought from Timor to China and India and Bali.
It describes also that sword blades where placed in the ships sailing from Europe as trade material and also serving as ballast.

Interestingly, a lot of weapons that I recall with VOC blades are timor swords. Sorry Maurice, This is getting close to speculation.

Best regards,
Willem
Thank you Willem for bringing it up.

Indeed very strange that most of the VOC blades are timor swords.
I don't know about Timor a lot, did they had own blacksmiths? If not that could be a reason for finding there so many trade blades.

However I have also seen VOC blades on old Preanger swords. Gavin had one nice gobang for sale with dated VOC blade recently.
Also I've seen a dated VOC blade on a Bandjermasin keris, and on a lanceblade from Borneo, which is in the Bronbeek museum now.

However all had not the right provenance to prove these really were old tradingblades from the VOC.

Maurice
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th February 2014, 10:57 PM   #13
kai
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,105
Default

Hello Maurice,

Quote:
Indeed very strange that most of the VOC blades are timor swords.
I don't know about Timor a lot, did they had own blacksmiths? If not that could be a reason for finding there so many trade blades.

This and the heavy VOC involvement makes it likely to find quite some of these there; I do seem to remember also examples from the greater Timor region (which may have been diffusing out of Timor proper).


Quote:
However I have also seen VOC blades on old Preanger swords. Gavin had one nice gobang for sale with dated VOC blade recently.
Also I've seen a dated VOC blade on a Bandjermasin keris, and on a lanceblade from Borneo, which is in the Bronbeek museum now.

I believe these are quite widespread: I've seen several out of Sumatra and also central Java.


Quote:
However all had not the right provenance to prove these really were old tradingblades from the VOC.

I am not sure what kind of provenance would be needed for an ethnographic combo to prove the point? Even when registered into any European nobility collection during the VOC period, this still could be a local "fake" of a possibly respected quality mark.

I know that real VOC swords are a kind of holy grail of Dutch/international military sword collectors and there certainly are a lot of fakes on the market.

However, ethnographic pieces don't enter those collecting circles AFAIK and among ethnographic collectors the VOC mark may be an interesting addition but it won't influence the usually moderate prices in such a way that convincing fakes would be economically lucrative. These are old and worn blades which doesn't make studying marks really easy. However, these are also not easy to apply fake stamps in recent times. It's not that we're looking at some sh***r c**l repros... Sorry, Jim, couldn't resist!

In most cases, experienced collectors are quite good at differentiating locally crafted blades (usually preferred) from European steel or trade blades. I'd suggest to compile all VOC-marked blades: Any VOC marks on blades apparently made from imported steel (including genuine VOC trade blades) should be carefully analyzed; very valuable would be marks from genuine VOC swords - there must be a few in Dutch musea? If we were to come across VOC marks on obviously locally crafted blades, these would make a good comparision, too! This may be a bit like reverse engineering - let's give it a try though!

Will try to load up some examples in the following days if time permits.

Regards,
Kai
kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th February 2014, 05:03 AM   #14
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,985
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello Maurice,


This and the heavy VOC involvement makes it likely to find quite some of these there; I do seem to remember also examples from the greater Timor region (which may have been diffusing out of Timor proper).



I believe these are quite widespread: I've seen several out of Sumatra and also central Java.



I am not sure what kind of provenance would be needed for an ethnographic combo to prove the point? Even when registered into any European nobility collection during the VOC period, this still could be a local "fake" of a possibly respected quality mark.

I know that real VOC swords are a kind of holy grail of Dutch/international military sword collectors and there certainly are a lot of fakes on the market.

However, ethnographic pieces don't enter those collecting circles AFAIK and among ethnographic collectors the VOC mark may be an interesting addition but it won't influence the usually moderate prices in such a way that convincing fakes would be economically lucrative. These are old and worn blades which doesn't make studying marks really easy. However, these are also not easy to apply fake stamps in recent times. It's not that we're looking at some sh***r c**l repros... Sorry, Jim, couldn't resist!

In most cases, experienced collectors are quite good at differentiating locally crafted blades (usually preferred) from European steel or trade blades. I'd suggest to compile all VOC-marked blades: Any VOC marks on blades apparently made from imported steel (including genuine VOC trade blades) should be carefully analyzed; very valuable would be marks from genuine VOC swords - there must be a few in Dutch musea? If we were to come across VOC marks on obviously locally crafted blades, these would make a good comparision, too! This may be a bit like reverse engineering - let's give it a try though!

Will try to load up some examples in the following days if time permits.

Regards,
Kai


Salaams Kai ... I must say yours is Excellent input ! I was just viewing some data on a sold auction Kastane but no photo ... the write up is interesting...
from Christies LondonQuote"Lot Description A DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY SWORD, dated 1757, with Ceylonese hilt, comprising a curved, single-edged blade stamped on both faces with the mark of the Amsterdam office of the V.O.C. and the year 1757; hilt of a Ceylonese kastane sword, comprising a carved wooden grip with lion's head pommed, metal ferrule decorated with foliage, and a brass knuckleguard (quillon A/F)
84.5cm. long

Lot Notes; In areas formely controlled by the Dutch VOC, many of its sword blades were traded and mounted with indigenous hilts by the native people, and sometimes worn until the 20th Century Lot Description A DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY SWORD, dated 1757, with Ceylonese hilt, comprising a curved, single-edged blade stamped on both faces with the mark of the Amsterdam office of the V.O.C. and the year 1757; hilt of a Ceylonese kastane sword, comprising a carved wooden grip with lion's head pommed, metal ferrule decorated with foliage, and a brass knuckleguard". Unquote.

In the sword above, the VOC mark would have been accompanied by the A mark denoting Amsterdam...and interestingly the write up mentions the traded function of goods in Sri Lanka at that time... They didn't have a useable monetary system but bartered for everything... The only people who had money... were the Chieftains/ Royalty (but not exclusively) who actually hoarded coin...Some traders and especially the Moors did actually use money but the general effect of the mass of the population using bartering and the tendency of hoarding coin by VIP's had the effect of fossilising the money supply..This underpins the Caste system in which no monetary system was needed... craftsmen didn't get wages...and the Territorial Army for example had duty to serve the ruler in times of strife sewn into their agreement to work on the land...and again for which goods could be exchanged ... not money; The main bartering instrument being grain. See http://www.cmb.ac.lk/administration...alph_Pieris.pdf

It is of further interest that neither the Portuguese nor the English stamped blades (except stamped bayonets by EIC) but the Dutch did stamp sword blades using the capital first letter of the factory or warehouse where the stamp was done ...e.g. Amsterdam, Rotterdam etc...and that ceramics were used as trade items for swapping/bartering for the important spices of the region in particular Cinnamon/spices..particularly by the Dutch.

For interest see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?p=109394

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 17th February 2014 at 07:19 AM.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th February 2014, 05:27 AM   #15
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,985
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

VOC Warehouse in Amsterdam.
Attached Images
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th February 2014, 04:04 PM   #16
Andrew
Vikingsword Staff
 
Andrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,725
Wink *ahem*

Andrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th February 2014, 06:36 PM   #17
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,685
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew



OH NO!!!!!!
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th February 2014, 08:43 AM   #18
Maurice
Member
 
Maurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,309
Default

Hello Kai,

I understand what's your point here, and I agree about that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
I believe these are quite widespread: I've seen several out of Sumatra and also central Java.

They are certainly widespread, but most of the time it is a select kind of swords which have those VOC blades. Like the Timor swords, or the Preanger gobangs (Central Javanese), or the Bandjermasin area.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
I am not sure what kind of provenance would be needed for an ethnographic combo to prove the point? Even when registered into any European nobility collection during the VOC period, this still could be a local "fake" of a possibly respected quality mark.

If it was local, I think it would have been done another way. They would not use these kind of stamps to mark the blades, but it would be a more elegently and smoothly writing/decoration in the blade.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
I know that real VOC swords are a kind of holy grail of Dutch/international military sword collectors and there certainly are a lot of fakes on the market.

Yes, I hope to have one in future myself. But first want to do more research.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
very valuable would be marks from genuine VOC swords - there must be a few in Dutch musea? If we were to come across VOC marks on obviously locally crafted blades, these would make a good comparision, too! This may be a bit like reverse engineering - let's give it a try though!

I will try finding some genuine VOC swords. But the ones I've seen in Dutch museums didn't had the VOC mark. Though I've seen one in the former Legermuseum in Delft, but don't know anymore what the provenance of that sword was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Will try to load up some examples in the following days if time permits.

OK let's make this a project of us all! Add images, even without provenance, to discuss and compare, for the moment we will find a good provenanced old genuine one.

Regards,
Maurice
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th February 2014, 08:56 AM   #19
Maurice
Member
 
Maurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,309
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Presently we are discussing the Sinhalese kastane on a concurrent thread and one of the features which seems to arise on many examples are the blades marked VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indisch Compagnie) and prominently marked year dates such as 1775; 1757; 1768 etc.


Hello Jim. Maybe it's nice to have a look at the following image, which had been drawned by Jan Brandes in 1785.
It's a scene around a show piece with the VOC emblem.
To the left we see the Singalese/Ceylonese VOC militaries and minders/guards,
to the right the kings envoys of Kandy with a letter of the king.

Regards,
Maurice
Attached Images
 
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th February 2014, 01:22 PM   #20
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,985
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice
Hello Jim. Maybe it's nice to have a look at the following image, which had been drawned by Jan Brandes in 1785.
It's a scene around a show piece with the VOC emblem.
To the left we see the Singalese/Ceylonese VOC militaries and minders/guards,
to the right the kings envoys of Kandy with a letter of the king.

Regards,
Maurice


Salaams Maurice, A quick note from my perspective as this is an important picture showing a group of Mudalyars and what looks like a personal guard on the right with Kastane drawn in salute and with the envoy carrying the letter...... the other members of the entourage being fan carriers and servants possibly to the head Mudalyer who has shoes! Those with a sash are depicted in their Kastane hanging to the left side .. Various others are guards variously with guns and spears.

See also http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18111

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th February 2014, 01:34 PM   #21
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,985
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Salaams All...
Interesting to note that the method of paying for spices by the VOC was often by ceramics barter(obtained from China and for many years exclusively by the Dutch from Japan). The items were stamped VOC as below. The map shows that to get to the Indian Ocean, Dutch Ships steered virtually to the Americas and essentially hung a sharp left letting the trade winds do the work..

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Attached Images
  
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th February 2014, 01:39 PM   #22
Maurice
Member
 
Maurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,309
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Maurice, A quick note from my perspective as this is an important picture showing a group of Mudalyars and what looks like a personal guard on the right with Kastane drawn in salute and with the envoy carrying the letter...... the other members of the entourage being fan carriers and servants possibly to the head Mudalyer who has shoes! Those with a sash are depicted in their Kastane hanging to the left side .. Various others are guards variously with guns and spears.

See also http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18111

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Hello Ibrahiim,

Thank you for your input. But I have to debunk your perspective according the people standing in the left.
The text I've added about the drawing had been written by the drawer himself, Jan Brandes in a book.
The ones in the left are definately the Singalese employed by the VOC. I've seen those kind of blue clothing also on other images from Jan Brandes.
These style of jackets (if that's the right name) are a bit like the Dutch VOC people carried.

About the people on the right side you're correct, as I also have been written before.
PS.: I don't have any knowledge about them nor kastanes etc. I just transferred the text from the guy who had made the drawing almost 250 years ago.

Probably the people in the other kastane thread you're referring to, are still using the fashion of the blue VOC jackets hundreds of years ago?

Regards,
Maurice

Last edited by Maurice : 20th February 2014 at 01:58 PM.
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th February 2014, 04:56 PM   #23
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,985
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice
Hello Ibrahiim,

Thank you for your input. But I have to debunk your perspective according the people standing in the left.
The text I've added about the drawing had been written by the drawer himself, Jan Brandes in a book.
The ones in the left are definately the Singalese employed by the VOC. I've seen those kind of blue clothing also on other images from Jan Brandes.
These style of jackets (if that's the right name) are a bit like the Dutch VOC people carried.

About the people on the right side you're correct, as I also have been written before.
PS.: I don't have any knowledge about them nor kastanes etc. I just transferred the text from the guy who had made the drawing almost 250 years ago.

Probably the people in the other kastane thread you're referring to, are still using the fashion of the blue VOC jackets hundreds of years ago?

Regards,
Maurice



Salaams Maurice Its a great drawing but... The chaps to the left are wearing sash and sword..Kastane. They are Mudalyars. They are the middle aristocracy and officers of the beaurocracy ... head civil servants/officers... through whom the Dutch did their bidding. I think however that we are speaking the same language since they were Sri Lankan and working essentially for the Dutch... and a few years after no doubt for the English.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th February 2014, 06:43 PM   #24
Maurice
Member
 
Maurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,309
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Maurice Its a great drawing but... The chaps to the left are wearing sash and sword..Kastane. They are Mudalyars. They are the middle aristocracy and officers of the beaurocracy ... head civil servants/officers... through whom the Dutch did their bidding. I think however that we are speaking the same language since they were Sri Lankan and working essentially for the Dutch... and a few years after no doubt for the English.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Hello Ibrahiim,

OK thank you for noticing. I really didn't know they were, all I could get from the text was that they were natives, but employed by the VOC.

I'll post more on the subject later..

Regards,
Maurice
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th February 2014, 07:08 PM   #25
Maurice
Member
 
Maurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,309
Default

Before we are looking and discussing at the VOC stamps on swordblades, it might be usefull to look on what other items these marks are found.

I've added some images: A VOC latern, dated between 1700-1800; A longgun with the VOC stamp of Amsterdam, dated between 1725-1798; A pistol, dated around 1780, with stamp VOC IH or HI; A VOC canon, stamped VOC A, dated 1667; A lawchair used in Ambon in 1709, with VOC A stamp and date 1709; on VOC coins; Chest with VOC and date 1728 at the back; On boxes, like we can see at the drawing ca. 1770 of a Chinese trading store; On little boxes as seen on a drawing of a cabin on a VOC ship, dated 1785-1786.

PS.: all are from a Dutch museum, and not from some kind of private collections!
Attached Images
           
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st February 2014, 01:41 PM   #26
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,985
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice
Hello Ibrahiim,

OK thank you for noticing. I really didn't know they were, all I could get from the text was that they were natives, but employed by the VOC.

I'll post more on the subject later..

Regards,
Maurice



Salaams Maurice.. Great pictures like yours are a pleasure to see on thread.. and underpins an awful lot of research and interest... thank you. I note several points which you will probably be aware of ... The wonderful Dutch Chest which we see several similar in Oman...and the box containers marked VOC with A over the top meaning Amsterdam. The odd dish hanging on the doctors ships cabin wall being for shaving thus the shape and oriental floral design from the Dutch Chinese or Japanese connnections.... Batavia meaning the present day Jakarta marked on the coinage.

The early example of a lion with sword carved into the chair is "interesting."

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st February 2014, 01:53 PM   #27
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,685
Default

Maurice and Ibrahiim, thank you guys so much for all these images and the excellent context they bring into the discussion! and Kai, Willem and Sajen than you for the outstanding support here. Indeed this is an exciting topic which can give us all a better understanding of the diffusion of these blades through these regions and the history that surrounded them! Great discussion!!!!

All the best,
Jim
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st February 2014, 04:03 PM   #28
Maurice
Member
 
Maurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,309
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi

The early example of a lion with sword carved into the chair is "interesting."


The Dutch Lion is a symbol of heraldry.
Allready in the earliest heraldry works we find lions, symbol of strength, on weapon shields.

Maurice
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd February 2014, 07:27 PM   #29
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice
The Dutch Lion is a symbol of heraldry.
Allready in the earliest heraldry works we find lions, symbol of strength, on weapon shields.

Maurice


Good point Maurice, and important to note here that representation of animals in a totemic sense extends to prehistoric times, and often individuals and later clans adopted the image of various creatures as their own symbolically . Totemic symbolism was well known in many cultures and the use of these symbols in a heraldic sense was used by many nomadic tribes such as the Scythians, and of course the Celts, Vikings and others used such imagery in the same manner.

Medieval heraldry used mythical beasts in the same manner in Europe as the mythical creatures used in many ethnographic cultures.

One of the fascinating features of the kasthane, in fact probably the key element, is the identification of the creatures represented on its hilt, and compelling parallels with various European hilts.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd February 2014, 08:55 PM   #30
Amuk Murugul
Member
 
Amuk Murugul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Rahiangtang Taroem: 'Sama Marantaw Badjaoe'
Posts: 343
Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Presently we are discussing the Sinhalese kastane on a concurrent thread and one of the features which seems to arise on many examples are the blades marked VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indisch Compagnie) and prominently marked year dates such as 1775; 1757; 1768 etc.

It seems these Dutch East India company blades not only occur with some consistency on the kastanes, but throughout the Indonesian and Malaysian archipelagos on various types of indigenous swords and edged weapons.

Many of the VOC blades have Amsterdam town marks but of course the other key VOC ports may have been represented as well.

I would like to look further into the diffusion of these blades, which appear to be specifically issued for trade, and hope those out there with examples or knowledge on these blades might come together here and share in discussion.

It seems these blades are invariably 18th century from around 1740s to 1770s, though some earlier examples with 1606 or 1660 seem to be talismanically used numbers or commemorative dates perhaps.


Hullo everybody!

Has anybody considered that during the latter part of the 18thC:
The proliferation of VOC-stamped blades throughout the Archipelago, especially towards the more eastern parts may be tied in with:
- The British were consolidating their interests in the Archipelago, mainly in the Straits and Soematera/Riaoe. Thus putting pressure on VOC trade.
- VOC (by this time often referred to as Vergaan Onder Corruptie) was in decline and facing bankruptcy. The blades were a sure source of revenue, as they were easier to procure by the locals than locally-made ones.

As for the the various city stamps, I either own or have seen blades with the initials for Amsterdam, Hoorn, Rotterdam and Middelburg. That leaves only Enkhuizen and Delft

Best,

Last edited by Amuk Murugul : 22nd February 2014 at 09:00 PM. Reason: grammar
Amuk Murugul 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 02:16 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, 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.