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Old 27th July 2017, 04:22 AM   #31
Gonzalo G
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Note the presence of the spherical pommel, not to be confused with a discoidal pommel, more common on the European swords. This pommel maybe will evolve to the more dome-shaped with a finial as in the Nasrid swords, or maybe the last is a late stylistic import into North Africa or to Al-Andalus through North Africa. The provenance of this swords, in the opinion of most of the specialists, including Oakeshott, is occidental North Africa, around the 12th Century.
There are more illustrations in the study from Nicolle, which can be downloaded here:

Note the presence of the spherical pommel, not to be confused with a discoidal pommel, more common on the European swords. This pommel maybe will evolve to the more dome-shaped with a finial as in the Nasrid swords, or maybe the last is a late stylistic import into North Africa or to Al-Andalus through North Africa. The provenance of this swords, in the opinion of most of the specialists, including Oakeshott, is occidental North Africa, around the 12th Century.
There are more illustrations in the study from Nicolle, which can be downloaded here:




http://gladius.revistas.csic.es/ind.../download/59/60
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Old 27th July 2017, 04:27 AM   #32
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The finial of the late Nasrid sword could be a development of this type of pommel, from a sword hilt described as shared Mediterranean and Middle Eastern style, 11th Century, David Nicolle and Angus McBride, The Moors. The Islamic West 7th – 15th Centuries AD, p.10
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Old 27th July 2017, 04:28 AM   #33
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Please take notice of the finial, and also the type of quillons. They began to resemble those of the nimcha, or it is my imagination? More than any quillons in an European sword? Is there any European sword from the 11th Century or before with this type of quillons? I would like to see a picture, since I have not enough bibliography. And also see the broad blade. The provenance is unknown, but the sword is in the Museo del Ejército in Madrid. Given the globular pommel and other features, it is not difficult to imagine the origin, especially when Nicolle says “…the artistic evidence supports the idea that the spherical pommel was a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fashion…” (David Nicolle, “Two Swords from the Foundation of Gibraltar”, Gladius, Vol. XXII, 2002, p.174).
Not unlikely also North African. And one must take into account that North Africa and Al-Andalus, contrary to common ideas, were culturally more sophisticated than the rest of Europe during all the Middle Ages.
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Old 27th July 2017, 04:30 AM   #34
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The broadswords with downcurved quillons came to the Iberic Peninsula since the early Muslim rule, as stated in the bibliography given by Marc, to which I add the study by Rafael Carmona Ávila, already mentioned. But until the 11th Century those swords have not yet the type of quillons found in the Nasrid swords. Those last came in two types: ceremonial (more apltly denominated “dress swords”, the type of sword used by Boabdil) and fighting. An example of the last is seen in the article from Berástegui Lizeaga, Crespo Francés y Valero y Rosado Galdós, “Identificación de una Espada Jineta de Guerra”, Trabajos de Arqueología Navarra, No. 18, 2005, pp.91 to 112 (it can be downloaded from the Internet):
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Old 27th July 2017, 04:32 AM   #35
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This sword has more taper, no central fuller and more space to place the index finger over the quillons and under the blade. This is one of the very few existing jineta fighting swords, so we don’t know how representative is of his type. How can we fill the gap between the Muslim sword from the 10th-11th Centuries backwards with this new type? The only information we have is that the Berber Zenetes arrived in Al-Andalús around the 12th Century, and I quote again the work by Nicolle on the Gibraltar swords:

“A new type of sword and its associated tactics are believed to have been introduced to the Iberian peninsula by Berber mercenaries and conquerors in the 11th-12th centuries, perhaps as a precursor to or early version of the jinete light cavalry tactics clearly introduced from North Africa in the 13th-14th centuries. Light cavalry combat a la jinete was again associated with what western European came to know as the Italian Grip and, according to some scholars, with curved quillons 10. In fact the term jinete comes from Zanata, the tribe from which many of the Berber soldiers of both Granada and Morocco came. Their highly effective light cavalry tactics using minimal armour, light leather shields, relatively light swords and javelins thrown from horseback were adopted first by the native Andalusian troops of Granada, then by their Christian Iberian foes, and eventually by some other European cavalry as well.” Nicolle, Ibid., p.158.
Even if we concur with Marc in the fact that there are vague descriptions of the morphology of the jineta swords, we can establish: first, that the Zenetes Benimerines were the main military force under the Nasrid Emirate of Granada to almost its fall, so it is very likely that their military equipment dominate the military fashion of the emirate; second, the fighting sword already shown corresponds with the description, since it is not a broadsword, but a very tapered one, less heavy and more apt to pierce the evolved plate armor of the Christians (the cuirass); third, the quillons are more narrow and allow the “Italian grip” with more protection to the index finger than those given by the quillons of the traditional Muslim sword, since they almost close on the blade, like the later fingerguards, to which they very possibly evolved in time (see Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer, Idem., pp.32 and 34); the so-called Italian grip favored a more accurate thrust, which corresponds with the intended piercing action of the tapered blade; the Zenete sword was different to the classic Muslim broadsword, this is why it called strongly the atention in the Al-Andalus and Christian spheres, not only the morphology of the hilt and the quillons was different to the known Muslim broadswords from Al-Andalus, but also the morphology of the blade, and the souces insist that they were lighter; the difference among the dress swords and the fighting swords could be great in the Iberic Peninsula, just see how it evolved the rapier as a dress sword different from the military.
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Old 27th July 2017, 04:34 AM   #36
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Of course, the cultural interactions among the Christian and Muslim worlds were strong, but not in the simplistic way the European-centered specialists have written about. It was not a matter of fashion influences, but of military needs, which involved the style of fencing, the type of armour of the foe, the metallurgical capability to produce certain types of blades, etc. In this sense, it must be noted that the fighting jineta sword must be materially produced as a capable weapon. As any swordcraftsman or knifecraftsman knows, when the quality of materials is good enough, wider or thicker blades must be produced, in order to secure that the blade would not be broken or bended. Also, the broadswords could be used very effectively against certain types of body protection. The military evolution carried the need of a more tapered sword, but it only would be possible through better production methods, better quality of blades. A tapered sword not only have more thrusting capability, but also displaced the center of gravity toward the hand, a feature which gave more speed and maneuverability to the handling of the sword, which in turn modified the style of fencing. The production of tapered blades was initiated in Europe probably by the carolingian sword masters:

“The reign of Charlemagne also witnessed a significant change in the shape of the longsword blade. On earlier swords, the edges had run parallel for most of the length of the blade, then converged sharply a little way above the point. After about 800, however, the edges of the blade tapered gradually from hilt to tip, with the result that the centre of gravity shifted toward the sword grip, making the weapon significantly more maneuverable and facilitating swordplay. “
“To the south of the empire, the Saracens likewise recognized the quality of Carolingian swords, as is indicated by their demand for one hundred fifty such weapons as part of the ransom for Archbishop Rotland of Arles in 869.However, the Franks seem to have prized Saracen swords equally highly…”
“To summarize, as a result of technological changes during the reign of Charlemagne, the ninth-century Frankish sword was a considerably stronger and more maneuverable weapon than its antecedents. The swords’ signed blades and high cost both reflected the superior quality which made them greatly sought after by other peoples, including the Scandinavians.”
Simon Coupland, “Carolingian Arms and Armor in the Ninth Century”, en Viator. Medieval and Renaissance Studies, v.21 (1990).
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Old 27th July 2017, 04:35 AM   #37
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But it must be also noted that North Africa experimented a development in the production of arms and armour, as Nicolle and McBride write about this production in the 10th-11th Centuries:
“These centuries also witnessed a huge expansion in Noth African metallurgy, far beyond what had been seen in the Roman period; but although arms and horse-harness were made locally there was little exportation of finished goods”.
David Nicolle & Angus McBride, The Moors. The Islamic West 7th-15th Centuries AD, Osprey Military, Col. Men-at-Arms, No.348. 2001, UK, p.18.
In other words, the problem with North Africa and probably the Iberic Peninsula was not the quality of their weapons, but the capability to produce in mass with a more or less uniform quality, a feature which conditioned the need of imports into the Muslim world from elsewhere, including India and Europe, especially under the constraining needs extant in times of war. And the west North Africa and the Iberic Peninsula were always in recurrent times of war, more or less like Europe. This is a feature which will characterize many areas of the East, since their producing capabilities were not equilibrated with their military needs, as their more traditional crafts were not so “pre-industrial”, possibly with a less efficient labor division and technology, a feature which would be more developed under the pre-capitalist and capitalist European economy. It was already noted in other thread that the Indian swords produced in Deccan were superior to the English, at least until the 17th Century (R. Elgood, “Swords in the Deccan in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries”, pp.223, and 224), but still existed the need to import European blades, as they also imported the Persian blades, even made with Indian steel.
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Old 27th July 2017, 04:44 AM   #38
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My hypotheses: the original Zenete-Jineta was not the type of dressing sword used by the Nasrid nobility. This last had a blade more in accord with the traditional muslim broadsword, except for the hilt, which was influenced by the Zenete but highly ornamented, and not capable to support the “Italian grip”, since the altered form of the quillons did not allow it: they were literally closing over the blade. It is a common feature of the ceremonial swords to imitate old forms and use extreme ornamentation, since they gave to their owners the prestige of tradition and power. Fighting swords were another matter.

The Christians were influenced by this last type of sword, but with modified quillons and an incipient development of the ring guards, probably a development from the grip and quillons of the fighting jineta swords. It is not casual that the first ring guards, which evolved to the “crab claw”, appeared for the first time in the Iberic Peninsula, on the Christian Spanish and Portuguese swords (please see the Black Swords or “Colhona” used by the Portuguese). It must remembered that also Portugal was part of the Muslim domain and that to the 15th Century, even already independent, was influenced by the military traditions from the rest of the Peninsula.

The rapier evolved, at least in part, from this original fighting jineta sword. The cited study from Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer points in this direction.

The nimcha sword type of quillons does not necessarily owe to any European tradition. The cultural elements behind them were already in North Africa long time ago. In the Catálogo de la Real Amería de Madrid (the catalog of the royal armory of Madrid), we find a suggestive description of four sabres taken from the Spanish Expedition to Oran in 1732 (free translation): “Four Moorish sabers owned by the Bey of Oran. The first one with wood hilt and a cap of engraved silver; guard, quillon and guard rings ended in pythons, all this decorated. The second one has a hilt of horn with plaques of chiseled silver, guard with a quillon and ring guards made of steel. The other two have their hilts covered with shell, nacre and plaques of chiseled silver, guard, quillon and guard ring made of engraved metal. ” Catálogo de la Real Armería, edited by Aguado, Madrid, 1854. p.61. It must be noted thay they are sabres, had a guard (probably a knuckleguard) and only one quillon, since the word “gavilán” in spanish denotes a single quillon. Does this rings something? Maybe a nimcha?.

On the other side, just saying that the jineta or the nimcha are “likely” or “suggestedly” a product of influences from Italy or France, is patently a subjective judgment, as the words imply. And sometimes we found a wide abuse of this words, if not supported by clear facts. The first fact we have to take in consideration is that there are no European hilts in the 13th Century resembling those of the jineta sword. The second fact is that the crab-claw type of guards appear until 15th Century in the Iberic Peninsula (see Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer), and their only visible antecedent is the fighting jineta sword. Again, see the Castilian and Portuguese swords from this period.

And speaking of the possible diffusion into Europe, especially Italy, from this type of hilts, the berbers did have contact with Europe, contrary to what has been said. Europe did not came to North Africa, but the berbers went to Europe in this period. Just to mention some facts: Aghlabid Berbers conquered Sicily, North African Muslims colonized Bari, Taranto and Apulia in the 9th Century and in the 10th Century they fought in Southern France as allies in local Christian quarrels. Bishop Athanasius recruited Islamic troops and Muslims settled in the province of Lucania. David Nicolle & Angus McBride, The Moors. The Islamic West 7th-15th Centuries AD, Osprey Military, Col. Men-at-Arms, No.348. 2001, UK, p.16. And the Zenetes were a military contingent in all this armies. Just search in the history of the Berber emirates and dynasties and you will find.
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Old 27th July 2017, 11:29 PM   #39
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Salaams Gonzalo ! What a brilliant sequence of posts. It may take me some time to fully arrange in my mind the references but some I know and the others I will find. I find all what you write most compelling. There is surely a mirroring of Umayyid (or at least early Islamic battle sword themes) reflected in these weapons although the date span is somewhat later since the 13th C was when they appeared with the Berber tribes and the conquest of the Iberian peninsular.

Looping the index finger is interesting as it gives more control and pushes up the power in the favoured down strike of this cutting weapon and must also have added to power in thrusting.

I have little to add at this point~ though checking back I note one of the write ups I placed would look better in full thus I set out below the complete description from https://www.worthpoint.com/worthope...-denix-20531549
somewhat tidied up, viz;

Quote"JINETA SWORDS

Jineta (or Gineta) swords are the most direct, fair and rich inheritance of the hispano-arab panoply. The name origin comes from the Cronicles of Alphonso X which tells us about a berber tribe of the Benimerines also known as Zenetes who moved into the Iberic penninsula during the XIII century to fight at the service of Mohammed I of Granada, and brought with them this type of weapon, with a shorter and lighter blade but still as wide and with as great a quality of steel as swords used by Christian forces of the time.

Due to their quality and scarcity (nowadays hardly a dozen of these swords survive) the Jinetas are universally considered and admired. Besides a few now within private collections and worldwide museums, in Spain only three museums are fortunate enough to treasure some examples; the San Telmo Municipal Museum (Picture 9) in San Sebastian, Basque Country, The Army Museum (Museo del Ejercito)(Picture 10); and the National Archeological Museum (Museo Arqueologico Nacional)(Picture11) in Madrid.

Jineta swords are characteristic weapons of the Nazari period in Granada with no known north-African or middle eastern precendents which confers the a somewhat unclear origin. The are characterized by a double edge straight, light-weight and not so wide and medium length blade. Their most significant feature and what makes them stand upon their individuality are their hilts; in general magnificently decorated which has brought the arguable statement that most of the presently preserved Jinetas could have been designed as parade, dress or ceremonial swords.

In general the Jineta hilt consists of a extremely curved guard, in the horse shoe shape with the quillons pointed towards the blade, embracing the ricasso and decorated in the shape of animal heads or with filigree. the handle takes in general fusiform and the pommel is usually spherical or discoidal with a long, prominent and pointy top button. The scabbards are made of wood covered in leather with metallic fittings and usually showing two hanging rings to clip to a baldric or belt hangers. Pictorial depictions in paintings from Alhambra show the sword carried on baldrics over the shoulder in most cases. Both the scabbard neck fittings and the hilts usually match their decorations and motifs which, with the sword sheathed exhibit a design continuation and in some way masks the union between both pieces.

The materials used in decorating hilts and scabbards are plentiful in golden bronze, silver, gold filigrees, incrustations, gem stones, enamels, etc, which make these pieces astonishing and lavish sets of design and decoration. Many have gold, silver and enameled engravings, inlays and incrustations with verses of the Quran and praises to Allah and Mohammed.

Those who possessed these highly decorated Jinetas belonged to a high social status and was considered a symbol only achievable by high ranking officials, sultans and Arab Emirs. Christians were only allowed to carry Jinetas if received as a gift of some Emir or Muslim king or another very important person. But then in the XV century, while Granada was still in under Muslim rule, Jinetas began to appear among Christian soldiers either obtained as military trophies or acquired in Toledo where smiths began to copy the Muslim model of these swords after the battle of Elvira in 1431.

It is probable that the ones used for battle were not as decorated as the ones we are still able to appreciate in museums and private collections, however it is uncertain as none of the undecorated examples have survived up to our times.

As stated, quite few examples of Jineta swords have survived the scourge of time. One is kept in the National Library in Paris, obtained by french Napoleonic forces in Granada at the beginning of XIX century. One more is held at the Municipal Museum of the city of Kassel in Germany. One other is exhibited at the New York Metropolitan Museum. The majority of the surviving Jinetas are however kept in Spain and constitute some of their most priced treasures."Unquote.

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Old 28th July 2017, 02:54 AM   #40
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Ibrahiim, that description corresponds with the dressing sword of the Nasrid nobility. It was influenced by the original fighting jineta sword but they are not equal, as I said before, though they are also called "jineta". Practically there are fewer specimens of the last, since the those swords preserved were trophies from the defeated nobility, of great value and exotism by their ornamentation, but you could hardly think the Zenete Berber mass of soldiers carried the same kind of hilts, and also there is the subject of the form of the blade. The problem with the preserved Christian swords from the period, is that they are also swords used by the nobility, and as I can recall, even with Moorish blades. We have to see what kind of swords used the common cavalryman. I believe that the tendency goes to more tapered blades and hilts evolved from the Zenete fighting sword, or shorter broadswords instead, compared with those used by the rest of Christendom, in order to lighten the blade. The form of the pommel was not important, since this form was decorative and what mattered was its weight. But the quillons did matter, since they were part of a fencing technique.
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Old 28th July 2017, 05:18 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzalo G
Ibrahiim, that description corresponds with the dressing sword of the Nasrid nobility. It was influenced by the original fighting jineta sword but they are not equal, as I said before, though they are also called "jineta". Practically there are fewer specimens of the last, since the those swords preserved were trophies from the defeated nobility, of great value and exotism by their ornamentation, but you could hardly think the Zenete Berber mass of soldiers carried the same kind of hilts, and also there is the subject of the form of the blade. The problem with the preserved Christian swords from the period, is that they are also swords used by the nobility, and as I can recall, even with Moorish blades. We have to see what kind of swords used the common cavalryman. I believe that the tendency goes to more tapered blades and hilts evolved from the Zenete fighting sword, or shorter broadswords instead, compared with those used by the rest of Christendom, in order to lighten the blade. The form of the pommel was not important, since this form was decorative and what mattered was its weight. But the quillons did matter, since they were part of a fencing technique.
Regards



Yes but I did say that it would take me a while to catch up... and you are a bout 6 posts in front... Yes of course ... we have here almost two swords... One is the Jundee Sword of the common soldier and the other is the VIP Version covered in Bling ! One could simply apply the word Hybrid and it would perhaps suffice in describing the non combat richly ornate VIP item... Thus we almost by inference identify the sword at #34 which I think is the same sword I placed at #27 as~

1 - Sword found in Sangueza: pommel is missing (XIIIth century ?, probably the oldest known) and so far as I can deduce the only old style form.

So here is the sword we may begin to compare with other Islamic weapons.

From this weapon it can be seen how artisans produced the VIP versions seen in Museums and all over this thread.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 28th July 2017, 05:41 AM   #42
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Turned Down Quilon examples. Some are of a style I would say was revivalist seen in some turned down quilons in Indian forms...others beg the question how did this develop such as in the Nimcha style of Morocco. The big group of swords are Swords of The Prophet often worked several hundred years later in gold calligraphy and highly ornate... some quilons straight others turned down.

Of all the questions I am interested in is the relationship with Nimcha ...thus please see my next post.

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Old 28th July 2017, 06:11 AM   #43
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My question about these Jinetta and taking the original form ...How did the Jinetta pass the idea of form and style to the Moroccan Nimcha other than with the Baldric (clearly illustrated below).

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Old 28th July 2017, 07:47 AM   #44
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Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 28th July 2017 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 28th July 2017, 07:51 AM   #45
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Default The Carracks Black Sword. The Crab Sword.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzalo G
My hypotheses: the original Zenete-Jineta was not the type of dressing sword used by the Nasrid nobility. This last had a blade more in accord with the traditional muslim broadsword, except for the hilt, which was influenced by the Zenete but highly ornamented, and not capable to support the “Italian grip”, since the altered form of the quillons did not allow it: they were literally closing over the blade. It is a common feature of the ceremonial swords to imitate old forms and use extreme ornamentation, since they gave to their owners the prestige of tradition and power. Fighting swords were another matter.

The Christians were influenced by this last type of sword, but with modified quillons and an incipient development of the ring guards, probably a development from the grip and quillons of the fighting jineta swords. It is not casual that the first ring guards, which evolved to the “crab claw”, appeared for the first time in the Iberic Peninsula, on the Christian Spanish and Portuguese swords (please see the Black Swords or “Colhona” used by the Portuguese). It must remembered that also Portugal was part of the Muslim domain and that to the 15th Century, even already independent, was influenced by the military traditions from the rest of the Peninsula.


The rapier evolved, at least in part, from this original fighting jineta sword. The cited study from Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer points in this direction.

The nimcha sword type of quillons does not necessarily owe to any European tradition. The cultural elements behind them were already in North Africa long time ago. In the Catálogo de la Real Amería de Madrid (the catalog of the royal armory of Madrid), we find a suggestive description of four sabres taken from the Spanish Expedition to Oran in 1732 (free translation): “Four Moorish sabers owned by the Bey of Oran. The first one with wood hilt and a cap of engraved silver; guard, quillon and guard rings ended in pythons, all this decorated. The second one has a hilt of horn with plaques of chiseled silver, guard with a quillon and ring guards made of steel. The other two have their hilts covered with shell, nacre and plaques of chiseled silver, guard, quillon and guard ring made of engraved metal. ” Catálogo de la Real Armería, edited by Aguado, Madrid, 1854. p.61. It must be noted thay they are sabres, had a guard (probably a knuckleguard) and only one quillon, since the word “gavilán” in spanish denotes a single quillon. Does this rings something? Maybe a nimcha?.

On the other side, just saying that the jineta or the nimcha are “likely” or “suggestedly” a product of influences from Italy or France, is patently a subjective judgment, as the words imply. And sometimes we found a wide abuse of this words, if not supported by clear facts. The first fact we have to take in consideration is that there are no European hilts in the 13th Century resembling those of the jineta sword. The second fact is that the crab-claw type of guards appear until 15th Century in the Iberic Peninsula (see Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer), and their only visible antecedent is the fighting jineta sword. Again, see the Castilian and Portuguese swords from this period.

And speaking of the possible diffusion into Europe, especially Italy, from this type of hilts, the berbers did have contact with Europe, contrary to what has been said. Europe did not came to North Africa, but the berbers went to Europe in this period. Just to mention some facts: Aghlabid Berbers conquered Sicily, North African Muslims colonized Bari, Taranto and Apulia in the 9th Century and in the 10th Century they fought in Southern France as allies in local Christian quarrels. Bishop Athanasius recruited Islamic troops and Muslims settled in the province of Lucania. David Nicolle & Angus McBride, The Moors. The Islamic West 7th-15th Centuries AD, Osprey Military, Col. Men-at-Arms, No.348. 2001, UK, p.16. And the Zenetes were a military contingent in all this armies. Just search in the history of the Berber emirates and dynasties and you will find.


Salaams Gonzalo G,
In red ink above ...This sword form Shown Below is interesting and found their way down the West African diaspora with the Portuguese...The Carracks Black Sword sometimes called Crab Sword, is a type of sword invented in Portugal, during the 15th century, designed to be used by soldiers and sailors in ships and caravels in the Age of Discovery.

It is characterized by having a guard with two protective rings, with the guard terminals in the form of two flat drops, the referred guard terminals facing toward the tip of the blade, and forming round large plates, sharpened to the point where they can be used as extra blades, because they can be convenient in close combat.

The protective rings, in addition to the protective function of the fingers can also serve to trap an opponent's blade.

These swords were painted black not to reflect the light and announce their presence on ships, avoiding also its rusting when used near salt water.

It was also known by Portuguese soldiers as colhona (which in rude Portuguese means approximately “big balls”) due to the round shape of the terminal plates, reminiscent of a representation of the testicles in a phallic symbol in the form of sword.

This type of sword would have appeared between 1460 and 1480 and saw much of its use in Portuguese trading cities in Africa, coming to be used as a symbol of honor by the local chiefs.

In Green Catálogo de la Real Armería[/I], edited by Aguado, Madrid, 1854. p.61. It must be noted thay they are sabres, had a guard (probably a knuckleguard) and only one quillon, since the word “gavilán” in spanish denotes a single quillon

~ Actually see https://archive.org/details/catlogohistricod00real where there is no sword on that page but at page 200 theres a strange looking weapon with a knuckle guard two quilons but only half a Guard ... I think this is your sword.... Very interesting...I see the link you point to regarding Nimcha ...and I have placed it below.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 28th July 2017, 08:43 AM   #46
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The baldric has nothing to do, since it was the traditional way of the muslims to carry the sword.

And I didn't say anywhere that the nimcha evolved from the jineta. Please read more carefully and don't place one sword at the side of the other. What I said is that the cultural elements behind the design of the hilt of the nimcha were already present in North Africa long time ago (before its appearance), and more probably this design owes nothing to influences from Italy or France. The severe downturning of the quillons with wider "roundish" knobs is an element. The other element is the development of the finger guards (which in the nimcha are vestigial), and that this development, as also that of the pas-d'ane, is due to the influence from the fighting jineta sword. Please read Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer, "From Medieval Sword to Renaissance Rapier" in Gladius, Vol. II, 1963, especially pages 30 to 34, the downloading is free.

I will remark that the influences on the development of the curved quillons with ring guards, pas-d’anes and the “Italian grip”, in fact does not from Europe to North Africa. It is exactly the opposite. Let´s read what Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer writes in other work:

“When the Damascus Caliphate parts in an Eastern and a Western Caliphate with centres in Baghdad and in Cordoba, the Oriental line becomes reinforced on the Iberian peninsula, When some centuries later new Berber tribes are crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, particularly the Benu Marin tribes in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Latin line gets a strong impulse, which gives birth to the so-called finger-bows, the pas-d'anes and the “Italian” method of grasping the sword handle. This new method is seen on the Iberian peninsula already in the 13th century, if not before!”
Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer, “Introduction to the History of the European Sword”, Gladius, Vol. I, 1961, pp.43-44.

It is also possible that the endings of the ring guards and quillon of the nimcha would be a vestigial presence of pitons. About this, and also about the influence from North Africa to Europe in the 15th Century, please read:

"From these swords with pas-d'ane below the quillons it is no long
step to the next protective measure, the two small pitons, iron tiges
ending in small knobs projecting from the lower ends of the pas-d'ane.
They were possibly inspired by the Moroccan swords of about the same period.

Sha said "possibly", so it is not a fact, but this testifies to the early presence of pitons in Moroccan swords before their presence in Europe. The other element is the knuckleguard. This element probably is the only one on the hilt of the nimcha which is due to the influence of Europe, most probably through Spain, since the Spaniards had permanent military presence in Oran during this period. I mentioned before that in an inventory in the Catálogo de la Real Armería in Madrid are described four sabers which seems to correspond to nimchas, sabers coming from Oran during the expedition of 1732, so we can presume that this type was already present, if not well before.

Thus, elements developed from the Berber swords were used later in the design of the characteristic nimcha hilt, named the strong downcurved quillon and the (vestigial) finger guards. Also, references from the 15th Century describe the presence of knob-pitons. Probably the first references we have from them mention the presence of a curved blade or a straight single-edge blade. This is not the same that saying that the jineta evolved into a nimcha. The jineta, in any case, evolved into a type of European sword, with some admixtures or changes. We can even say that those swords are a hybrid. But the cultural inheritance of this proces was also owned by western North Africa, it did not came from Europe, probably only the use of a knuckleguard.
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Old 28th July 2017, 08:57 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
This type of sword would have appeared between 1460 and 1480 and saw much of its use in Portuguese trading cities in Africa, coming to be used as a symbol of honor by the local chiefs.


So? It is what I said before. Are you implying that the black sword influenced the development of Moroccan swords? Please read the serious works I referenced and stop copying pages from Wikipedia and jumping into conclusions from them. I know that stuff well.
Besides, the Portuguese only had few commercial post in the coast of Morocco and didn't penetrate into Berber land.

By the way, it is to be noted that foreign swords were used as symbols of prestige among many peoples. The French and the British also purchased oriental swords as "exotics". You know, to show off. The Deccan Court in the 16th-17th Century only purchased English swords as gifts, since they considered that they were useless as fighting weapons from their bad quality (see Robert Elgod in Sultans of the South).

Bye
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Old 28th July 2017, 10:33 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Gonzalo G
So? It is what I said before. Are you implying that the black sword influenced the development of Moroccan swords? Please read the serious works I referenced and stop copying pages from Wikipedia and jumping into conclusions from them. I know that stuff well.
Besides, the Portuguese only had few commercial post in the coast of Morocco and didn't penetrate into Berber land.

By the way, it is to be noted that foreign swords were used as symbols of prestige among many peoples. The French and the British also purchased oriental swords as "exotics". You know, to show off. The Deccan Court in the 16th-17th Century only purchased English swords as gifts, since they considered that they were useless as fighting weapons from their bad quality (see Robert Elgod in Sultans of the South).

Bye



HA ! Tengo que llevar zapatos que me quedan o seguro que tendré un gavilán
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Old 28th July 2017, 12:30 PM   #49
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Exclamation Let us digress ... if you guys don't mind

For as much as authors claim their knowledge and state their opinions as if they were facts, lack of susbtantial evidence often forms their strong adversary.
The black sword episode, as i suppose originally brought up, comes in HOMENS ESPADAS E TOMATES (page 164), by Rainer Daehnhardt
The conclusion that black swords were to prevent them from rust and also to prevent them from light refection, is his assumption. There is nothing written to state so; the name given in period inventories was ESPADAS PRETAS DE BORDO (board black swords). Assuming the rust prevention sounds logical, the double purpose of light reflection, which the author cites in first place, may be taken, nothing avoids, as just a romantic touch.
On the other hand, the 'colhona' swords 'convenientely' having their terminals sharpened to function as extra blades in a man to man fight, being also a quotation present in the same book, may only lack the term 'often' as nothing shows that they all had this intervention, but still has its veracity, as stated and surely verified in an example shown in the said work.
Maybe the down curved quillons issue has a more precise approach in this thread, but still interesting to notice how this phenomenom spread around, as shown (again) in the quoted book. The location and age of these examples attributed by the author is facultative.

#1 Sword of 1500's navigator, of Venetian origin.
#2 Sword breaker, also called left hand dagger of the reeds, Portuguese
influence in the Orient, XVIII-XIX centuries.
#3 Sword of Portuguese navigator, end XV century. Attributed to Pedro
Alvares Cabral (Brazil discoverer).
#4 Portuguese colonial sword, XVI century. with the magic number 1441
and the Passau wolf engraved in the blade.
#5 Portuguese colonial sword, with the round terminals sharpened and
perforated with the cross symbol.
#6 Portuguese colonial sword, with golden brass guard.
#7 Navigator sword second half XV century, used both in the Iberian
Peninsula as also by Italian peoples, then cultularly interconnected.

(All examples belonging in the R.D. collection)
.
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Old 30th July 2017, 12:23 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
For as much as authors claim their knowledge and state their opinions as if they were facts, lack of susbtantial evidence often forms their strong adversary.
The black sword episode, as i suppose originally brought up, comes in HOMENS ESPADAS E TOMATES (page 164), by Rainer Daehnhardt
The conclusion that black swords were to prevent them from rust and also to prevent them from light refection, is his assumption. There is nothing written to state so; the name given in period inventories was ESPADAS PRETAS DE BORDO (board black swords). Assuming the rust prevention sounds logical, the double purpose of light reflection, which the author cites in first place, may be taken, nothing avoids, as just a romantic touch.
On the other hand, the 'colhona' swords 'convenientely' having their terminals sharpened to function as extra blades in a man to man fight, being also a quotation present in the same book, may only lack the term 'often' as nothing shows that they all had this intervention, but still has its veracity, as stated and surely verified in an example shown in the said work.
Maybe the down curved quillons issue has a more precise approach in this thread, but still interesting to notice how this phenomenom spread around, as shown (again) in the quoted book. The location and age of these examples attributed by the author is facultative.

#1 Sword of 1500's navigator, of Venetian origin.
#2 Sword breaker, also called left hand dagger of the reeds, Portuguese
influence in the Orient, XVIII-XIX centuries.
#3 Sword of Portuguese navigator, end XV century. Attributed to Pedro
Alvares Cabral (Brazil discoverer).
#4 Portuguese colonial sword, XVI century. with the magic number 1441
and the Passau wolf engraved in the blade.
#5 Portuguese colonial sword, with the round terminals sharpened and
perforated with the cross symbol.
#6 Portuguese colonial sword, with golden brass guard.
#7 Navigator sword second half XV century, used both in the Iberian
Peninsula as also by Italian peoples, then cultularly interconnected.

(All examples belonging in the R.D. collection)
.



Salaams Fernando~ First; your examples of the Crab swords are excellent and add weight around the general theme. In your opener you note about authors and knowledge and perhaps truth and fiction for it is a two edged sword writing books. It is as if whatever has been committed to print in a book must be true. As a foil to that theory what is written in Forums takes on an opposite slant... It becomes a target for knocking down and has to be stacked up with book based facts "Chapter and Verse" before it can be even considered! On balance I agree with that and it is on the hot anvil of discussion that these things are ironed out..sometimes quite fiercely indeed.

It goes without saying that one of the broadest puzzles is built in and around the Nimcha and one of the most contentious. Many mainly Mediterranean countries appear to claim some aspect of the architecture of this weapon but it hardly stops dead at the Moroccan version since that was its format at that time and aspects of that surely transmitted to other weapons... not least to the Zanzibari Nimcha and other swords which were exported to the Americas sporting similar hilts. The Great London Band's officers used the Nimcha; Tobias Blose is shown in a painting in the late Anthony North's Islamic Arms wearing the weapon.

In another thread http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=nimcha there is included in quote a question about sword style transmission by Jewish craftsmen in red below viz;

Quote" Pallasch; Culture: blade - Italian, Milan (with Ottoman decorations), mount - Ottoman, vessel (Hilt?) - Morocco
Dated: 16th Century
Material and Technique: blade of iron, forged, etched and engraved grip of iron, wood, horn
Measurement: total length of 107.7cm; blade 93.9cm; weight 1817g

Elector Christian I of Saxony received the saber as a gift in 1587 by Francesco I de ‘Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. This weapon is one in many respects to the peculiarities of the Turkish Chamber. First and foremost, the impressive appearance is mentioned, which is caused by the massive, ornate edged blade.

This saber is made of very different work areas. While the vessel(hilt?) is from Morocco and the typical form there corresponds with strongly angled work and s-shaped quillons, the blade is an Italian work. She has been a chosen, and was crowned Pi marked accordingly in Milan.

The blade was then decorated in the Orient. The etched and partly engraved decoration consists of medallions with stripes and scrolls, flowers and leaves. The middle stripe is a Spanish inscription found in a secret script-like character.

How did this strange mixture of different origins (come about) is not yet clear. Could possibly play in the events following the reconquest of Spain by 1492. Many Spanish Jews left the country after the conquest of Granada and moved some of North Africa in the dominion of the Ottomans."Unquote.

Source & Copyright: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

The Nimcha hilt can be seen below..
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Old 30th July 2017, 09:38 AM   #51
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... Nothwithstanding those that i envy, whom by reading, learning and reasoning, achieve a level of wisdom and common sense that enables them to filter those often ocurred sources implausibilities. We may be glad to enjoy the presence of a number of these persons around here.

Have a look at this sword ... and read what the owner writes about it:

" The Moroccan Nimcha. A sabre of Portuguese influence. The handle with a shape of horse head is a remnant of the Lusitanian falcata, which descends from the Indo-European type. The shape of the guards, turned towards the blade, originates in Portuguese swords. The protecting ring and the (knuckle) guard that raises to the pommel were influenced by the Portuguese swords of the first half XVI century."

... Would you guys find this is plausible ?


.
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Old 30th July 2017, 10:25 AM   #52
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Default Drooping quillons, prestige, plausibility and all ...

Hoping that Ariel doesn't get upset for this diverting on his "Jineta/nimcha/kattara" topic ... .

This one, from the same collection, reads:

"Sword of a Benin sovereign, in the Costa da Mina, XVI-XVII centuries. The iron blade, with the brass inserted christian cross, has a classic shape, already seen in Pharaonic tumbs. The guard is of Portuguese influence, with two protection rings for the index finger, forming a protection bridge decorated with the face of a Portuguese. The grip shows infuence of Cingalese armoury, certainly brought by the Portuguese fleets ".


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Old 30th July 2017, 03:01 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
... Nothwithstanding those that i envy, whom by reading, learning and reasoning, achieve a level of wisdom and common sense that enables them to filter those often ocurred sources implausibilities. We may be glad to enjoy the presence of a number of these persons around here.

Have a look at this sword ... and read what the owner writes about it:

" The Moroccan Nimcha. A sabre of Portuguese influence. The handle with a shape of horse head is a remnant of the Lusitanian falcata, which descends from the Indo-European type. The shape of the guards, turned towards the blade, originates in Portuguese swords. The protecting ring and the (knuckle) guard that raises to the pommel were influenced by the Portuguese swords of the first half XVI century."

... Would you guys find this is plausible ?
.




Salaams Fernando, and again thanks for your input which is an eye opener ... The weapon you show as a Moroccan Nimcha, however, is Zanzibari. The knuckle guard is rounded not squared. The hilt is clearly of the Zanzibari type and I can also almost see the turtle insignia shape on top of the Pommel. Butin indicates this style on Zanzibari form. Are we saying that this style was introduced to Zanzibar by the Portuguese... ?

See Below; In Butin all the Knuckle Guards in Moroccan examples are squared off. In Zanzibar types they are all rounded.
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Old 30th July 2017, 04:24 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Fernando ... The weapon you show as a Moroccan Nimcha, however, is Zanzibari. The knuckle guard is rounded not squared...

I was not reputing as good the attribution given by the author to this nimcha; that was not the point. I was only quoting (by translation) his assumption .
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Old 30th July 2017, 04:40 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Hoping that Ariel doesn't get upset for this diverting on his "Jineta/nimcha/kattara" topic ... .

This one, from the same collection, reads:

"Sword of a Benin sovereign, in the Costa da Mina, XVI-XVII centuries. The iron blade, with the brass inserted christian cross, has a classic shape, already seen in Pharaonic tumbs. The guard is of Portuguese influence, with two protection rings for the index finger, forming a protection bridge decorated with the face of a Portuguese. The grip shows infuence of Cingalese armoury, certainly brought by the Portuguese fleets ".
.



The art work you show here is quite phenomenal and in all likelihood links the Kastane with Portuguese form at first glances. Can it be tied to Sri Lankan style? Does it not appear to be German? ...See below for other similar hilts. Could it not be Storta in form? I place a frame load of Storta for interest and comparison.
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Old 30th July 2017, 05:04 PM   #56
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Ah ... you raise this question to the author i have being quoting and he will immediately state that, the downturned quillons in the Kastane were brought to Ceilão by the Portuguese and, as the locals didn't resource to Portuguese fencing style, those quillons in Kastanes soon became 'atrophied'.


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Old 30th July 2017, 05:41 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by fernando
Ah ... you raise this question to the author i have being quoting and he will immediately state that, the downturned quillons in the Kastane were brought to Ceilão by the Portuguese and, as the locals didn't resource to Portuguese fencing style, those quillons in Kastanes soon became 'atrophied'.


.


But they aren't Quilons per se. These come from the Vajra format in the religion of the region... Probably Tibetan origin. Pre 5th C. AD
I would further suggest that the Kastane became a court sword and transitioned before that as a secretaries sword in the equivalent of the civil service but that in the Portuguese era another form may have existed...similar to the stone carved example below, lying on the ground, bearing in mind that differences in the guard may be the result of it having been made by a Portuguese stone mason.... so it may be slightly wrong...however, it seems the blade is a battle field one; and the rest of the carving is accurate. Not the flimsy blade seen on Kastane afterwards. I could go on to suggest that the early battlefield Kastane may not have had quilons at all; like the weapon below in stone. It has a straight guard. No quilons.

By the way the sword you have ringed above is in the Japanese Museum and was purchased as a gift by Hasekura in the Philipines. In my view that hilt is a Storta as well... hardly surprising since Iberian shipping was in the region full time and in huge numbers thus a Storta or two would certainly have been on board some of them so cross hilting could certainly have occured. That blade seems to me to be a Battlefield blade as well.

Would it not be more plausible to suggest that the sword shown from your author of the broad curved paddle style blade at #52 may have gone into the Indian Ocean ( on board a Portuguese Battleship) as a Portuguese/Benin weapon and came out in the same format unchanged and actually with no link with the Kastane?
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Old 31st July 2017, 01:51 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
" The Moroccan Nimcha. A sabre of Portuguese influence. The handle with a shape of horse head is a remnant of the Lusitanian falcata, which descends from the Indo-European type. The shape of the guards, turned towards the blade, originates in Portuguese swords. The protecting ring and the (knuckle) guard that raises to the pommel were influenced by the Portuguese swords of the first half XVI century."

... Would you guys find this is plausible ?.


Ahhhh! The typical colonial discourse…the civilizing role of Europe into the rest of the (colonized) world...And today, even the colonial notions about an Indo-Aryan “conquest” are deeply questioned, the idea of the “heroic white people” taking control of Europe in a great epic saga, ahhhh, a beautiful story.

We have seen that the quillons turned toward the blade is a centuries old use among the Oriental peoples, and that the strongly downcurved quillons were used first (before the Portuguese or the Spanish peoples) by the Berbers, at least from the 13th Century, if not before. The fighting jineta sword illustrated above is from this century, and Ibrahiim also posted a picture showing that it is the older jineta already found (re: post #27, the Sangueza sword). And why the falcata is a Lusitania sword? As far I know, it is a Celtic-Iberian weapon, and the notion of “Portugal” or “Spain” did not exist in that time. Numerous findings of falcatas with horse-head hilts were also made in the actual territory of Spain.

In the 16th Century those swords were buried for more than 1,300 years, and the Portuguese even didn´t know them, maybe until the 19th or 20th Century, when archaeological discoveries bring them to the modern knowledge.

Berber or Moor raids into the Iberic Penisula were known at least from the roman times, but no evidence of those horse-head hilts is found in the pre-nimcha period in North Africa for more than a thousand years. But the use of animal headed hilts was common in this period in the Orient and surely the head of a horse was not an unknown feature among the cavalry-oriented Berbers.

This quote seems Portuguese-biased, who is the author? I have seem similar statements in Portuguese web sites. Very nationalistic. And why the knuckleguard would be influence of the Portuguese? Contrary to the Spanish, they didn’t have presence in North Africa in this century. In the 16th Century the Portuguese invasions to Morocco were defeated repeatedly by the Saadis, which also defeated the Ottoman intents. At the end of the 16th Century, Portugal became a Spanish dominion.

I lack of bibliography on Portuguese swords. I would like to see those with knuckleguards from the first half of the 16th Century, could you provide some examples?

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Old 31st July 2017, 04:05 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando
Have a look at this sword ... and read what the owner writes about it:

" The Moroccan Nimcha. A sabre of Portuguese influence. The handle with a shape of horse head is a remnant of the Lusitanian falcata, which descends from the Indo-European type. The shape of the guards, turned towards the blade, originates in Portuguese swords. The protecting ring and the (knuckle) guard that raises to the pommel were influenced by the Portuguese swords of the first half XVI century."

... Would you guys find this is plausible ?


.


Well, for one thing, I do not believe the pictured sword is Moroccan. I believe it is actually from East Africa, possibly Zanzibar. There was of course, significant Portuguese presence there, even more so than Morocco.

Since the description starts with an error in the attribution, it is kind of hard to accept the conclusions of the author without questioning them. That being said, the European influence is undeniable - the ring guard for example.

As for the dragon quillons on Ceylonese swords, one has to be careful prior to jumping to conclusions. I am attaching a picture of a Timurid (pre 1500) Central Asian nephrite sword guard from the Met collections. The kastane guard therefore could be Asian, and not European inspired.
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Old 31st July 2017, 10:27 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
...Would it not be more plausible to suggest that the sword shown from your author of the broad curved paddle style blade at #52 may have gone into the Indian Ocean ( on board a Portuguese Battleship) as a Portuguese/Benin weapon and came out in the same format unchanged and actually with no link with the Kastane?

I don't think i (after the author) said the Benin sword has anything to do with the Kastane. It would be more plausible to assume that, while the Portuguese wandered around Benin lands, they brought this sword directly to their homeland. ... don't ask me how they have acquired it.
It was in a different approach that i mentioned his statement that the down curved arms in the Kastane were of Portuguese influence, this obviously not referring to the whole sword. Actually, in the various pictures he shows of these swords from his collection in his book, he always tags them as Cingalese. But it is equally true his statement that also their ricasso shows Portuguese influence ... for what is worth.
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