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Old 19th October 2017, 11:14 AM   #121
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Old 21st April 2008, 04:46 PM

Posted by:
TVV
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For future reference, here is a picture of the markings on a blade, mounted with a Moroccan hilt:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/attac...tid=28907&stc=1

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Old 19th October 2017, 11:15 AM   #122
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Old 21st April 2008, 05:30 PM

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That's a good idea, I'll toss in a link to my Ottoman naval dirk with what appears to be a French smallsword blade (or thusly inspired):

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=6263

,

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Old 19th October 2017, 11:15 AM   #123
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Old 27th April 2008, 04:10 PM

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Rm. 101, Glos. UK:


feeling devilish, i thought i'd throw these in to the pot.

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Old 19th October 2017, 11:15 AM   #124
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Old 27th April 2008, 05:23 PM

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Rm. 101, Glos. UK:

here's a better shot of the marking that i made a few minutes ago:


the blade is also marked closer to the tip


can you see what it is yet?



fairly good replica of a high ranking autro-hungarian hussar sabre, and a LOT cheaper than the original. just thought i'd show that just because it's marked doesn't mean it's not a copy or a blade marked to make it look classier. the marks are pretty clear examples tho, supposedly copied from the original in a museum.

made in germany (solingen) tho this year, instead of the mid-18th c., the marks are laser cut

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Old 19th October 2017, 11:16 AM   #125
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Default Trade marks, etchings?

Old 9th October 2008, 08:11 PM

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Hello everyone. Dr. Ann was kind enough to recommend this forum for your informed input. This Saracen was part of the Morossini collection and de-ascensioned in the early 60's. I am especially intrigued by the engravings in the blade as well as to what appears to be the camel bone grip. The metal on the grip acid tests to be 24kt gold with a Nubian emerald in the butt. I have included photos taken at 30X of the blade, but I can only tell you that there is iron included in the marriage of metals. At the base of the blade the flower (?) acid tests as silver. There is an emerald and ruby studded gold sheath that accompanies it, but sadly was "repaired" somewhere prior to 1963. At this time I am carefully restoring the sheath with hopes to keep the integrity of the piece. If anyone can give me some input on this item of intrigue, I would greatly appreciate it.

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Old 19th October 2017, 11:16 AM   #126
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Old 11th October 2008, 05:26 AM

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Hi Bjeweled, and welcome to the forum!
This is indeed an intriguing piece, and very attractive along with a most distinguished provenance. In my opinion, this is essentially a remounted 'koummya', which is the Moroccan version of the Arab janbiyya dagger. The blade is of the basic koummya profile, though the fullers are not commonly seen on most examples, suggesting this may be an earlier blade.
The intricate outlined motif on the blade seem to be in line with decorative motif on blades in Maghrebi regions, though I have not found exact duplicate of the zigzag linear.

The hilt is most unusual, and completely atypical for koummya, with the camel bone, gold mounted, and jeweled likely intended to honor a heirloom blade. The markings on the horn grip seem to be selected decoratively rather than specifically symbolic, and to carry aesthetically traditional theme.

The 'ichthys' or fish symbol, is of course considered a Christian symbol today, however in early times it was a Greek alphabetic symbol. Interestingly, through the Phoenicians presence in North Africa, this symbol became the letter 'f' in the ancient Berber alphabet, though it seems doubtful that this representation is intended in this motif.

The 'Star of Solomon' or 'Star of David' seems to even further complicate the markings on this weapon which would be most likely from Muslim regions in Morocco. Again, this six point star, now immediately associated with the Jewish Faith as the 'Magen David' (shield of David), had much earlier origins,with its intersecting triangles presenting complex symbolism in various cultures and religions.

Having noted these comments on these familiar symbols, it is important to note here that in art and decoration in North Africa in particular, such symbols were often used incongruently when intended simply as geometric motif.

The blade on this dagger seems to have some age, and as noted, is quite possibly a heirloom, with such remounting typically difficult to assess as far as age, especially with precious metal which does not reveal patination and aging as in standard metals.

An intriguing and extremely attractive item, likely refurbished for either presentation or as a keepsake for a person of importance.

Thank you so much for sharing it here!

All best regards,
Jim


P.S. Just found some zig zag info in notes suggesting that the Fulani and Dogon used this motif, likely putting this to the south of Morocco toward Mali. Not surprising! Trade routes...camels.....seems to fit pretty well.
.

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Old 19th October 2017, 11:17 AM   #127
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Old 12th October 2008, 12:27 AM

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Default Thank you Jim!
I so appreciate your input on this. To give you a little more background on this piece...there was a tag on the saracen, from the auction house, stating "TAKEN DURING THE SECOND CRUSADE". After researching the Morosini family I discovered an aristocratic family with lineage dating to 1148 when Domenico Morosini was elected Doge of Venice. With the Second Crusade taking place from 1147 through 1149...hmmm. Considering Giovanni Morosini (the collector) was given a desk by his brother that once belonged to Napolean I would presume his family were collectors as well and keepers of their family lot. This may be a bit of a presumption, but I wonder if the Doge was the original Venetian owner of this Saracen.
I agree with the possibility of the blade being remounted. Kudos to the artistian who matched the zig zag pattern from the blade to the hilt.

New York Times Archives; July 19, 1902
Sept. 16, 1932
Time Magazine; Oct. 17. 1932

.

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Old 19th October 2017, 11:21 AM   #128
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Posted by:
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You're most welcome Bejeweled, I enjoyed the research and it really is an attractive dagger. It sounds as if this Italian family has some very impressive lineage, and now that the crusades connection is revealed, the use of the antiquated term Saracen is explained. It is not unusual to see items of unusually elevated provenance appearing in auctions and sale catalogs.

I do not believe this blade, though earlier than most examples commonly found, could date much further back than the 18th century, possibly into the early 19th. As I noted, the zigzag motif seems to be somewhat a Saharan motif, and was likely added at the time the blade was mounted in the present horn mounts etc. It is not unusual to see most unusual items in the eclectic holdings of wealthy and noble collectors, and these items were purposely gathered to impressively decorate parlors and smoking rooms in Victorian times. I believe this item may have quite interesting provenance into this apparantly esteemed collection, but personally doubt the crusades part of it.

What are the cites to New York Times and Time magazine referencing?

All very best regards,
Jim
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:22 AM   #129
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Old 12th October 2008, 03:17 AM

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That so makes sense. I appreciate your passion and knowledge about this.

There is another interesting factor... The Nubian (Egyptian) emerald on the butt and the ones in the sheath haven't been mined since the mid 1500's upon the discovery of Columbia and their far more beautiful gemstones. Since I had to remove the emeralds from their bezels on the sheath to be able to do the soldering required to improve a terrible repair, I discovered a backing on the stones. Further investigating and magnification shows it to be a mixture of crushed malachite and bees wax, a technique used for thousands of years. Upon magnification of the emerald in the butt it has never been removed and has the same backing. So either the artisan stock piled the emeralds for 200 to 300 years or the sheath and grip were created long before the blade, or possibly the age of the blade is a bit older. As you referred to the fullers...just maybe? The techniques and tools used for the gold work and cutting of the gemstones is applicable of an earlier period than the 1500's.

Oh...I am a master jeweler with over 3 decades of experience, and an avid gemstone lover and collector.

This is so much fun, thank you again! It just becomes more interesting...

Yes, the cites are in reference to research on the Morosini's.

Kindest regards,
Bjeweled
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:22 AM   #130
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Old 12th October 2008, 05:31 AM

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Thank you Bejeweled for the kind comments, and this gets more and more fascinating! Trying to assess a piece from photographs, even as nicely posted as you have presented definitely has its drawbacks. My view on the blade is of course just opinion based on the profile, fullering and general appearance of the blade, which seems consistant to koummya blades of these regions. I will have to see if I can find more on other examples to see if they could date back further.

It is truly fascinating to hear this perspective on the gemstones on this piece, especially knowing of your clearly well versed knowledge and experience on this topic (now I understand the psuedonym !. It becomes really exciting when evaluating a piece when the stones used offer such historic potential!
So the emeralds in Egypt were substandard to those found in Colombia, and the mining ceased entirely after the 1500's? It does seem that in regions of North Africa, time really does stand still in many ways, and anachronism prevails. If these gemstones were part of an early cache from early trade interaction or raids, common in Saharan tribal culture, it does seem possible they might have been secreted away for hundreds of years.

It seems like new discoveries are constantly being revealed in these remote regions, like the fact that Timbuktu, once considered 'the middle of nowhere' hence the oft used expression, was actually a cultural and academic center, far beyond the dusty, mud building trade stop in the middle of the Sahara.

I think gemstones are fascinating as well, and am currently in Arizona, and have been travelling through the southwest. The history and lore of the turquoise, malachite, and other stones is beyond compelling, and once you are taken in by it, you simply cannot stop trying to learn more! While I am admittedly a complete novice, the fascination has no bounds, and now that you have brought this piece in with these mysterious gemstones...I want to learn more.

Can you possibly show the scabbard, even if not entirely complete?
Do you mean that the techniques and tools used in mounting these on the hilt and scabbard, and the cut on the stones are pre-1500's?
Is it possible that these are indeed very old stones held as heirlooms or hidden away as ancestral treasure, and that the tools and techniques used follow old traditional methods and implements? In indiginous tribal areas it seems that ancient methods prevail in many instances, especially in more remote regions and in the case of tribes who live essentially as they have for countless centuries.

It is both interesting and exciting that you have approached the research on this dagger in such depth, including the outstanding work on the history of this family. With your expertise in jewelry and gemstones, along with the mystery of those used in the mounting of the dagger, this does indeed get more fun!
In the words of Carroll....."curiouser and curiouser!".

Lets keep working on it OK? Has Dr. Ann looked at the blade BTW?

All very best regards,
Jim
.

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Old 19th October 2017, 11:22 AM   #131
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Old 13th October 2008, 03:21 AM

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I agree that this blade has a koummya profile and I believe that is it's origin. I do question if the engravings are purely decorative or a geometric motiff. Perhaps it is me being a romantic, but I believe there is some sort of symbolism reference. The engravings are worn on both the hilt and the blade, but it appears that the auction house blackened the zig zag pattern on the hilt to appear more obvious.

Not all of the Nubian emeralds were substandard to the Columbian, but the vast majority, yes. Emerald (beryl) depends upon it's depth of color from chromium, and unfortunately mother earth placed very little in that region. As of this time, we are aware of 3 productive mines in Egypt, one which was named after Cleopatra and her passion thereof.

Arizona...Route 66...how nice! I love the west and visit as often as possible...mostly Santa Fe. Actually the first time I visited my beloved southwest was Tucson, for the international gem shows. It just feels like home, hopefully someday it will be. Are you aware of your wonderful Ant Hill garnets? Spectacular! And the mining techniques (none) are even more amazing.

I have low quality photos of the scabbard at another computer. Tomorrow I will email it to you. Another interesting note...when applying heat to the gold, little impurities pop and fizzle from the metal, showing the inability to refine gold as we do now. See, it's still fun!

Dr. Ann has only seen low resolution photos of the dagger. I have yet to have professional microphotography photos taken of the blade, as needed for a better identification as to whether it is wootz, very old wootz, or not. Actually, could you tell me what magnification strength would provide the best results? She is such an extremely knowledable and considerate lady, with a burning drive for her passion...such an admirable person!

I am so pleased that you want to continue working on this! Perhaps someday when I visit my "future" home, you would like to have a hands on inspection?

Kindest regards,
bjeweled
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:23 AM   #132
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Old 13th October 2008, 12:02 PM

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How about a more prosaic view? Couldn't this be sort like an artillery dagger, with a measure for either black powder load or perhaps gun caliber?

Best
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M


Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
The problem for the layman in attributing to a determined set of figures an esoteric conotation, is a two ended stick. If you don't pay any notice, you might be missing something valuable, but if you bring the thing to the others attention, and it ends up being a fake or a nonsense , you play the role of you know what i mean .
I have posted this dagger in the UBB Forum five years ago. It had no clear classification from the members, as possibly being either a put together piece with a salvaged blade, or hardly a main gauche, maybe even a side arm, and so on. I would go for the ( civilian ) side arm myself, possibly ( possibly ) rehilted, but not certainly "rebladed", as the said looks to me having never being longer or different than how it is now. It has a losangular cross section and measures 14" ( 36 cms. ), quite long for a comon dagger.
However this time i show it for the purpose of apreciating the marks struck on both grip and guard.
Would you people say this has a mystic flavour, or was only the smith that had these punctions at hand and decided to make his own naive creation?
Fernando (Quote)
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:23 AM   #133
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Old 13th October 2008, 03:53 PM

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More zigzag pattern ?
This time a Balkan ca 1800 Yataghan scabbard .

This Koummya blade looks very early and somewhat crude .

Fascinating story .

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Old 19th October 2017, 11:24 AM   #134
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Old 13th October 2008, 04:39 PM

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This has a Spanish provenance, but undoubtfully with a Moorish influence.

Fernando

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Old 19th October 2017, 11:24 AM   #135
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Smile So Many Questions

Old 13th October 2008, 05:04 PM

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What really strikes me is how unfinished the blade is; design is beautiful but so crude looking .
In the 12th century a better finish could have been acheived .

So does that make this a blade of humble origin ??
-
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:25 AM   #136
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Old 13th October 2008, 05:04 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
How about a more prosaic view? Couldn't this be sort like an artillery dagger, with a measure for either black powder load or perhaps gun caliber?

Best

M (Quote)


That also has already been under consideration:

http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001319.html

Could actualy only be no more than a prosaic view ... untill real evidence pops up, which i doubt.
Fernando
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:25 AM   #137
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Old 13th October 2008, 05:56 PM

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Originally Posted by celtan:
How about a more prosaic view? Couldn't this be sort like an artillery dagger, with a measure for either black powder load or perhaps gun caliber?

Best

M (Quote)


Actually this is an extremely interesting topic Manolo! though I feel doubtful that it applies with this piece. I am always happy to entertain every possibility in identifying and understanding any weapon, and if more could be found to support the idea it would provide some interesting potential.

The only weapons I have seen with distinct intention of use for artillery charge measuring were the so called 'bombardier' stilettos from Italy, if I recall correctly. Might be an excellent topic for another thread !

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:25 AM   #138
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Default koummya

Old 13th October 2008, 10:27 PM

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Thank you Rick...it fascinates me also!
With much regard,
bjeweled
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:26 AM   #139
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Old 13th October 2008, 11:42 PM

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Thank you Rick, the yataghan scabbard example is great! and Fernando, very interesting navaja, indeed Moorish influence present. One other example of the zigzag pattern is seen on flyssa scabbards.
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:26 AM   #140
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Old 14th October 2008, 02:16 AM

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Hi Fernando and Jim,

Had not seen that other post, very interesting the Montjuich Main Gauche pics posted by Marc. I have always been fascinated by these weapons.

Myself, I feel that the handle was made explicitly for that weapon, and that the owner had a practical use for the marks. Music tempo? Military Engineer marks? Naval measures?

Sooner of later, one of us will get to the answer...

Best

M


Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
That also has already been under consideration:
http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001319.html
Could actualy only be no more than a prosaic view ... untill real evidence pops up, which i doubt. (Quote)
Fernando

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Old 19th October 2017, 11:27 AM   #141
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Old 14th October 2008, 12:49 PM

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We can see that smiths are equiped with a set of punches of different shapes, from straight to semi circular. With these being continuously applied next to each other, they form the different designs. Also they appear to vary in length; the ones used in my navaja are quite small ( circa 1/2"), with two different gouge shapes.
Hell, this revelation was quite worthy of a genius
Fernando
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:27 AM   #142
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Old 14th October 2008, 12:54 PM

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Originally Posted by celtan
... Sooner of later, one of us will get to the answer... (Quote)


Soon i will bring (once more) this to European Armoury Forum.
Who knows, with fresh members and all
Fernando
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:27 AM   #143
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Default Rocker-engraving

Old 14th October 2008, 02:15 PM

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Another term for the "zig-zag" in the context of Native American jewelry is "rocker-engraving," so named as a short bladed chisel is rocked from corner to corner as it is advanced forward to created the larger design.

Example from an early southwestern or plains bracelet:

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Old 19th October 2017, 11:28 AM   #144
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Default Rocker engraving

Old 14th October 2008, 02:59 PM

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I first thaught this would be the technique, but later considered it couldn't be the one used in metals, specially on steel/iron, as needing considerable strenght to impress the marks. Also i found it rather unhandy to rock curved shapes like, for example, some small circular ones in my navaja.
I had the idea that such rock engraving tools were used in old shoe making and other leather crafts.
So much for my geniality

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Old 19th October 2017, 11:28 AM   #145
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Default Rocker-engraving, continued

Old 14th October 2008, 07:29 PM

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The Native Americans would have been into steel tools by this time; if the bracelet above is Navajo, then it is likely early 1870s, right at the dawn of their silver working. I would agree this technique would be difficult once you were away from soft metals.

(I recently bought a collection of iron arrow points represented as Native American at a local antique store. An advanced bow collector who had passed on first sight, later found an article (I am still waiting for the promised copy) about these arrow tips, and returned to but them the next day. I always think of flint and other stone when I think Native American arrow points, but the very little that I could find on line was a real awakening for me and that was that iron arrowheads were adopted pretty much as soon as the material became available... but that will be another thread).
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:29 AM   #146
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Default Rocker engraving

Old 14th October 2008, 08:34 PM

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Ok guys...A friend of mine who is a fabulous artist/engraver, receives new blades from the manufacturer, softened, engraves the design of his choice or his client, then ships them back to the manufacturer to have them hardened and mounted into the hilt. This is how you get around the non-soft metals.
.

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Old 19th October 2017, 11:30 AM   #147
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Default Blade signed by TOMAS AYALA

Old 4th December 2008, 07:54 PM

Posted by:
Kuba
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Hello

I looking information about this blade

Is signed TOMAS AYALA and St. Clement's Cross

and have 35 cm long

In my opinion it is German imitation of XVIII century

Thank you for your help
.
Kuba
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Last edited by fernando : 20th October 2017 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:34 AM   #148
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Old 4th December 2008, 07:56 PM

Posted by:
Kuba
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and next photo:
.
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Last edited by fernando : 20th October 2017 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:34 AM   #149
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Old 5th December 2008, 03:56 PM

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fernando
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Hi Kuba,
Welcome to the Forum.
Before the knowledge people come in, let me speculate a bit .
Visibly a blade cut (or broken), suiting a dagger size. Tang also shortened, basicaly for the same purpose. The wrongly centered hole could have two purposes; either for fixing a dagger handle or simply to use the blade as a wall hanger
Why do you think the signature is not original and this blade was made over a century after that sword smith existed ? Anyway, Tomas de Ayala was one of the most imitated signatures of the period.
Let the experts come by and give a consistent diagnosis.
Fernando
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Last edited by fernando : 20th October 2017 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 19th October 2017, 11:35 AM   #150
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Old 5th December 2008, 04:57 PM

Posted by:
katana
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Hi Kuba,
welcome, the hole in the tang appears to be 'punched' and not drilled....this could be a very good sign of age. Notice the metal is slightly 'raised' on the tang's edge and follows the contour of the hole. If the tang was shortened, I feel it could have been left longer...even for a dagger.
The blade's patina does seem to suggest a good age.

Regards David

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Last edited by fernando : 21st October 2017 at 06:17 PM.
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