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Old 19th May 2014, 08:00 PM   #1
blue lander
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Default Determining age of Takouba

I'm sure everybody's tired of these "run of the mill" Takoubas, but I just got this one in the mail and it's giving me mixed signals of how old it is. On the one hand it's in great condition and the blade looks native made with ground fullers. So it seems like it could have been made yesterday. On the other hand the blade's nice and thick and sturdy, the moon faces on the blade are fairly well marked, and it looks like it's been sharpened a few times. It's very top heavy, I doubt you'd have any problems putting the hurt on someone with this thing even through heavy clothes. It feels like it was meant for business.

The rings on the scabbard are pretty nice and thick as well. They're brass and have some decorations on them. I've read that newer Takoubas have triangular rings. I know the age of the scabbard and the age of the blade are often very different, but I'd assume the blade wouldn't be any younger than it's scabbard.

I imagine it must be firmly 20th century, but do you think it's pre or post WWII?
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Old 23rd May 2014, 02:24 AM   #2
Jim McDougall
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Interesting note on the triangular scabbard rings, had not been aware of that note. Keep in mind these blades were remounted many, many times through generations, but I would say this is certainly post WWII .
While it is true we do see of lot of these, they remain fascinating vestiges of the Saharan cultures, particularly the Tuareg. The ongoing work by Iain on these and his website, collections and historical data is exemplary and has established amazing perspective on these which renders even the most commonly seen examples far from mundane.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 04:09 PM   #3
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I'd agree on post WWII but it's certainly not made yesterday. The rings are a good sign, the blade has seen some use. Things age quickly in these areas.

This looks like something that was worn for quite a while in it's environment. Not a bad piece.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 04:36 PM   #4
blue lander
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Thanks! I like it alot better than my other Takouba. This one feels more like a sword than just a sword shaped piece of sheet metal.

Another sign of wear and tear I noticed - the front of the chape is bare metal, but the back appears to be plated with brass or whatever. I assume because of exposure to the elements.
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