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Old 6th January 2017, 12:48 PM   #1
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Default Ottoman Yataghan with Toledo Blade

Here's an unusual cross-cultural item - a Yataghan with old Spanish Toledo blade. Likely not originally designed as such and "married" later, although the tang joint as well as the scabbard are old and original to the item when it was put together and I estimate it to the late 19thC (so perhaps it was original design? . The blade is older one with "Toledo" engraved in the central groove. I'd like to hear from our cross-cultural experts, especially Charles and Rick, and of course from all others who may offer suggestions on blade's markings and when (the blade) was made. Even though a European blade, I placed it into Ethnographic category due to being cross-cultural and Yataghan.
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Old 6th January 2017, 04:33 PM   #2
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IMHO this is a Toledo blade. Age ? 18 th cent. ??
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Old 7th January 2017, 03:34 AM   #3
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Blade, heavily worked, does seem 18th century and very much like the characteristic Solingen examples using spurious Spanish markings including the magic and cabala letter devices often emplaced within the TOLEDO on blades. The 'anchor' device was also added at fuller terminus often on these. By the 18th century, the sword making in Toledo had been decimated since the previous century, and though foreign makers had come to Spain to try to maintain the craft, there was no serious effort to revive it until about 1780. Even then the result was limited for some time.

These markings, though very close to the often unusual lettering in the older inscriptions on these blades, seem a bit misaligned and disproportionate. While this brings to mind the idea of them added later to of course imbue the blade with character, or perhaps may have been authentically placed by a less than skilled worker in a German shop.

The 19th century assessment of the Ottoman mounts seems right.
Interesting hybridization!

Alex, thank you for the attention to the cross cultural circumstances with this, and for cross referencing to the European forum. That was the very reason for the inception of that forum, that so many ethnographic weapons not only often used European components, but the influences between these arms was often considerable.
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Old 7th January 2017, 10:36 AM   #4
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Interesting that despite having no significant knowledge regarding Toledo and Solingen blades, as soon as I saw this blade, I had a gut feeling like the blade was screeming "Solingen"...
So Jim's comment provides a very accurate explanation of what I noticed but wasn't able to explain.
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Old 7th January 2017, 02:40 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for your astute comments. When I posted this, I saw YOUR ANOTHER POST on similarly featured blade, and saw the potential connection. Thank you for confirming it. It is interesting to see an old German blade reworked into 19thC Yataghan indeed.
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Old 7th January 2017, 08:35 PM   #6
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Hi Alex,

Interesting example you have there. Cross cultural items are fascinating and sometimes you can immediately recognize the connection or most likely connection. Sometimes it is less obvious which makes it a fun mystery. This is such an example. I have seen bayonets mounted in Yat dress but never a reworked rapier blade. With the consensus leaning towards a Solingen origin it makes a few connections possible. The Germans were actively involved with training the Ottoman army in the 19th century. Perhaps the blade was a gift that the recipient decided to mount as a Yat. Solingen blades were traded wide and far so it could have very well found its way to any number of people that decided to mount it as a Yat. Given that it seems to have been together for awhile I think the most likely scenario is a gift or trade item that the owner was proud enough of to have it reworked as a Yat. Man, if these things could only talk.
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