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Old 16th February 2015, 08:29 AM   #1
Sentrad
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Default Visayan sword? Identification needed!

I bought this “rare Philippines sword” some time ago, but I have no idea where it is coming from.
It is a single-edge stabbing sword with a long thick shoulder and spear point. The shoulder is deeply impressed with alternate groups of three sickle marks and three arrow head form (?) marks. The blade has a crusty brown patina.
Very interesting is the handle, it is elaborately built up hilt with broad finger stalls and hook form terminal. The broad tang is flanked by an alternate horn and copper lamination, three each sided. The horn strips are inset with tightly spaced copper hobnails, most of them lacking. At the pommel where the tang ends are some more layers. At the outside of this construction are finely formed thick tortoiseshell scales. The whole grip-tang-construction is fixed with a row of 16 brass rivets. The grip bottom is deteriorated at both sides.
Total length 65,2 cm; blade length 49,9 cm / 19 1/2"; max. width 2,6 cm; max. thickness 0,7 cm.
For me it is absolutely impressive sword with a handle like a Naga.
Every comment would be very welcome.
Udo
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Old 16th February 2015, 10:55 AM   #2
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For me, it's a Berber sword, from the north of Morocco (Ceuta & Tangier).

Look this thread:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=berber+morocco

Best,
Kubur
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Old 16th February 2015, 12:35 PM   #3
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A lot of discussion about this type here. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=6342
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Old 16th February 2015, 12:56 PM   #4
Battara
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This is a Spanish-American War era Cuban sword and not Visayan or even Filipino. There has been a lot of confusion on this type of sword.
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Old 16th February 2015, 05:14 PM   #5
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Hello Udo,
agree with Jose, not Visayan/Philippine but Cuban, see the link David R has provided.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 16th February 2015, 08:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
For me, it's a Berber sword, from the north of Morocco (Ceuta & Tangier).

Look this thread:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=berber+morocco

Best,
Kubur


Kubur,

The swords you are referencing in the linked thread are actually also from the Caribbean, most likely the Dominican Republic in particular. And yes, there is a nice similar Cuban sword with a shell guard in that thread as well, with Jim providing a very good explanation of its attribution.

Regards,
Teodor
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Old 16th February 2015, 10:16 PM   #7
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Hi Teodor,

Are you sure?
Because I have seen such swords with nice African scabbards...
Who were copies of old Portuguese scabbards...
May be the link is the Portuguese, not the Spanish.

Best,
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Old 16th February 2015, 11:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi Teodor,

Are you sure?
Because I have seen such swords with nice African scabbards...
Who were copies of old Portuguese scabbards...
May be the link is the Portuguese, not the Spanish.

Best,


Given the evidence I am reasonably sure that the so called Berber swords are from the Dominican republic, absolutely. The similarities between scabbards from Western Africa and the Caribbean are not surprising given the large number of African slaves who were shipped to the West Indies over a period of a few centuries.

I am not sure how the Berber attribution started: I suspect it may have been Tirri's notoriously erroneous catalog. I am yet to see any evidence which shows these swords in a North African context.

On the other hand we have a sword with attribution in the Toledo Museo del Ejercito and a few swords with inscriptions in Spanish on the blade which reference the Dominican Republic or parts of it.

Regards,
Teodor
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Old 21st February 2015, 04:13 PM   #9
Sentrad
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Default Visayan sword: It is a Spanish colonial sword from Cuba

Many thanks to everybody who helped me to get an answer to the question of determination of this interesting sword!
So it seems to be that it is used by the “Chasseurs del Rey”, a kind of gendarmerie in Cuba already 1803 based on a proper description of handle and blade (but without illustration). By regular troops in Cuba it was a service sword “Modelo 1891 para la Infantería del Ejército de Cuba”, typo Deguanabacoa, based on an article of Juan L. Calvó in an auction catalog 2007.

There are still some questions: Is the rare form of handles really based on African slaves? In 1803 the Viceroyalty of New Spain was still in existence, could it be a Mexican / Aztec / Maya motive? What is with the row of deeply incised sickle and arrow motives in the blade? Perhaps somebody will find an answer.

Thanks again
Udo
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Old 21st February 2015, 05:19 PM   #10
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I don't believe it has Aztec/Maya characteristics at all. I see more Spanish influence than anything else. This may explain the Berber attribution, since Spain ruled the Spanish Sahara (and still has a presence in Morocco).

Yes for sure Caribbean (Cuba, etc)
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