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Old 28th August 2021, 11:23 PM   #9
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Default The Ultimate Karabela Guide PART 3

I decided to change the topic for Part 3 of this guide from a comparison of two weapons to something different to dive deeper into the possibilities of deciphering the history of a Karabela. Namely the possibilities of origin of older blades mounted on Karabela sabers.

This part will be more about images rather than written information.
Please consider looking for more information in catalogs of museums, auctions and so on. There is much to discover and the following is just an impression about where to start your search when considering if a blade has been reused.


The Ultimate Karabela Guide Part 3


Throughout history many blades have been reused on newer hilts. A good blade was expensive and fencing techniques depend equally on the design of the blade as well as the hilt design. In particular, European saber blades had a quite consistent design which permitted a fencer to use a 17th century blade with an early 19th century hilt. No problem in that.

Below is a list of sword-types which I know regularly or sometimes had blades we can find on later made Karabela-hilts, the kontuszowa versions (parade) and also battle versions:
  • Hungarian sabers
  • Polish-Hungarian sabers (Stefan Batory influenced, Polish King from 1576)
  • Ottoman sabers (a lot were captured at f.e. Chocim in 1673 and Vienna in 1683)
  • German sabers (f.e. "Säbel zu teutsch gefasst" or the Dussack
  • Older polish sabers (f.e. Class I, "Hussar saber" (this is the last time I use this term for class I!)



Figure 4. Hungarian saber, 17th century

Figure 5. Polish-Hungarian saber, 16th century (Rüstkammer, Dresden, Germany)

Figure 6. Ottoman saber, age unknown to me

Figure 7. German saber, 17th century (Wikipedia)

Figure 8. Polish saber Class I, around 1700(?) (National Museum in Cracow, Poland)

Figure 9. Example of a reused blade on a newer Karabela hilt - A Karabela kontuszowa with a 17th century blade (Gold inlay "IOANNES III REX POLONIARUM") with a mid- to late-18th century hilt (former Nuri Museum, Switzerland)

Figure 10. Another reused blade (Spocki Dom Aukcyjny, Poland)


Part 4 will continue as planned with a comparison of two sabers the same age but from different origin.
Enjoy and comment!
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Last edited by Ian; 31st August 2021 at 11:14 AM. Reason: Replaced graphics links with attachments
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