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Old 14th June 2005, 11:18 PM   #1
RSWORD
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Default Translation assistance with Amharic script

I seem to recall that there might be some forum members who can translate Amharic or have friends that can. I was hoping to get some assistance on the following translation.(I hope I have them right side up) The first two are overall shots and the second couple are close up shots of the second inscription which was a bit longer. Thanks in advance.
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Old 15th June 2005, 02:53 AM   #2
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Dude,

where is the rest of that sword?????????????

I had a great contact, an Ethiopian student in college here, but we've lost contact. Roano Azzi still knows some folks that can translate though. I'll ask him.

Now let's see the rest of that baby.

-d
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Old 15th June 2005, 02:55 AM   #3
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BTW, A lot of them will have very general statements, such as "Ethiopia lifts her hand toward God" or "Sword of a hero", but this is going to be something more specific. NOT that this means it will be interesting. I had one that went on and on about being made by Wilkinson. In Amharic. ho-hum.
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Old 15th June 2005, 09:49 PM   #4
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The first is right, but the next two are upside-down

Not that I can read Amharic, mind you, but I lived in Ethiopia for a year, so at least I know how it looks (sort of). It might actually be in Ge'ez and not Amharic. Ge'ez is the liturgical language of the Ethiopian Orthodox church, and seems to be used on swords sometimes. I asked an Ethiopian acquaintance if they could translate a sword inscription and it turned out to be Ge'ez. It uses the same alphabet but is a very different language -- sort of like Latin is to English.

So, you may need a priest for that one.
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Old 16th June 2005, 12:09 AM   #5
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Derek,

As requested, here are additional pictures of the sword. The hilt is rhino horn and the saber style blade is English made. Henry Wilkinson, cutlers to his majesty, King Edward VII. I believe this dates the blade to circa 1901-1910. The etching is the nicest I have ever seen on one of these examples. It is much more crisp than the German blade examples that I have seen and both are superior to locally etched blades. I am curious now what the translation will reveal. Perhaps it will be similar to your example and exalt the Wilkinson Company!
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Old 17th June 2005, 12:54 AM   #6
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Hi Rick,

I asked Roano to look at it and this is what he said:

"First: the sword is a Wilkinson blade with the same writing that appears in the little catalogue pattern 120. The pattern may not be the same but the writing is. It means: MUHAMMED ALI QUBAGNA (Qubagna means Company). It is simply the name of the importer in Abyssinia. I believe he was active in Harrar. The longer script on the other side is the usual Henry Wilkinson maker of swords for King Edward (or George) Pall Mall London."

Interesting bit about the importer, but I told you it might be a bit mundane. Gorgeous sword all the same.

-d
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Old 17th June 2005, 12:59 AM   #7
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Derek

Thanks for the information. Interestingly, on the spine, it is marked "Mohamed Ally & Co". Also, the hilt is a single piece of rhino horn versus the three pieces one often sees.
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Old 17th June 2005, 04:07 AM   #8
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BTW,

It should be pattern 222 in the 1906 Wilkinson catalog. pic below:
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Old 5th August 2012, 09:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSWORD
Derek

Thanks for the information. Interestingly, on the spine, it is marked "Mohamed Ally & Co". Also, the hilt is a single piece of rhino horn versus the three pieces one often sees.


Rick,

One from the depths. Whilst researching a sword recently sold bearing the same marks along the spine I found this;

http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00093439/00252

I have not yet dug anything further on Mohamed Ally & Co but I suspect if they built a building they were big players in the region.

A little time has transpired between posting and the spelling edit... Mohamedally & Co where the primary and major trading company in Ethiopia with origins in India, I have a few details on the subject in a recent sold listing of a similar type with a narrower blade.

Gav

Last edited by freebooter : 5th August 2012 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 5th August 2012, 11:13 AM   #10
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Hi Rick,

Have you tried asking Robert Wilkinson-Latham?
He might have access to the original records/orders etc?

ATB
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Old 6th August 2012, 12:57 AM   #11
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Edward VII only reigned from January to December 1936. The company was B.M.Mohammedally & Co. of Addis Ababa, who had offices also in Harrar.
They were heavily involved in ivory trade early in the century and in many of the intrigues which transpired toward the Italian invasion in 1935-36. Wilkinson undoubtedly supplied blades to this importer/exporter just as they had been supplying blades to Haile Selassie in many years prior (as seen in the catalogs noted).
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Old 6th August 2012, 07:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Edward VII only reigned from January to December 1936. The company was B.M.Mohammedally & Co. of Addis Ababa, who had offices also in Harrar.
They were heavily involved in ivory trade early in the century and in many of the intrigues which transpired toward the Italian invasion in 1935-36. Wilkinson undoubtedly supplied blades to this importer/exporter just as they had been supplying blades to Haile Selassie in many years prior (as seen in the catalogs noted).

Hi Jim, I assume you mean Edward VIII (8th)?? Edward 7th reigned 1901 to 1910
Stu
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