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Old 24th March 2013, 12:07 PM   #1
Iain
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Default Strange marks on a takouba for ID

Hi all,

I'm posting this with the permission of the owner in the hopes that someone can identify the blade marks.

It is a nice brass hilted takouba with an unusual blade and marks. The blade is thick and solid but doesn't seem like one of the normal trade blades - the marks consist of a circle and two overlapping circles.

The owner notes that the blade has a few odd features which make it seem unusual if it were a European blade - the blade is forge welded near the tip and it is also lap-welded 5 inches from the hilt.

Any ideas about this one?
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Old 24th March 2013, 04:48 PM   #2
Lee
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I have not seen this pattern of marks before. I would expect this is an African-made blade, though you can see the lap welds in European made blades.
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Old 24th March 2013, 06:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
I have not seen this pattern of marks before. I would expect this is an African-made blade, though you can see the lap welds in European made blades.


Hi Lee,

This seems quite a bit thicker and heavier than most locally produced blades I have seen. But I think it is certainly possible if extremely unusual. As I understand it lap welds are not common on later European blades but only on quite early ones?
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Old 24th March 2013, 07:09 PM   #4
Jim McDougall
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Can you guys elaborate more on 'lap welds'? Are these typically used in repair circumstances or would they have been used in primary construction of blades as well? I can only think of an instance in a M1796 heavy cavalry sword (one of my first swords back in the 60s) where the blade was welded in a dovetail type pattern about dead center, as if it was once broken. Would a blade so welded be subject to breakage again most likely?

On the markings Iain, while I have never seen this configuration before, it does seem consistant with cosmological preference in markings on North African blades in many cases. For example, on kaskaras some of the so called lohr panels using phases of the moon. The placement in this area of the blade does seem aligned with that of other marks on kaskara blades but such markings seem unusual on takoubas. It would seem that this blade would be from sources other than the typically seen blade sources with the triple fuller blades with dukari moons.,
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Old 24th March 2013, 07:51 PM   #5
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Hopefully others with more knowledge of forging and metallurgy can explain it better - but my basic understanding of lap welding in this context is that it is a part of the construction and forging of the blade not repair. The classic example I know of in a European context would be for a viking sword where the harder edges are lap welded to the softer core.

The complete oval is best known to me in a Sahel context as part of the cross and orb symbolism rather than as an element on its own. Making this quite unusual. However I would agree this is perhaps a cosmological arrangement - I can't think of a better explanation at the moment!
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Old 28th March 2013, 10:00 AM   #6
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http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/attac...ntid=5115&stc=1


I see these tags on items for tourists.
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Old 28th March 2013, 02:13 PM   #7
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Yes, circular motifs do appear on modern tourist items, but even these patterns are taken from historic motifs. In the case of the modern items you linked to - the motif is less a circle and is based on the half circle most likely derived from the half moon stamps.

I would consider it quite different than the full circle that is the stamp on the sword shown in this thread.
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