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Old 19th September 2021, 12:05 AM   #28
awdaniec666's Avatar
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 63

The Ultimate Karabela Guide - PART 4

This part is about makers marks. It is a quiet difficult topic and there is enough to write a book about it. This here is just for orientation. I recommend reading the "Early Makers Marks" thread in this forum, since a lot of Karabelas are marked with the toothed sickle mark, sometimes called "Gurda" in the Caucaus, "sierpy" in Poland. Those marks appear on A LOT of blades from between 1500 to 1700, Dussacks, Schiavonna, Wallon-swords etc..

Brief overview

Smiths providing blades which were used on Karabela hilts and had marks which allow for differentiation were mainly located in:

- Persia
- Ottoman Empire
- Hungary
- Northern Italy (Genua)
- Southern Germany (Solingen, Passau)
- Austria (Steiermark)

When it comes to the European workshops there is a huge problem in distinguishing some makers marks. Take the sickle for example. It is said to come from Genua and its colonies (They had colonies in the Caucasus -> Gurda). It has been copied by at least a handful of locations across Europe: Steiermark, Hungary, Poland and the Caucasus region.

How do you approach research in distinguishing similar marks:
Take the "Passauer wolf" as an example. This mark has been changed through history and locations and there is enough literature where you can easily look up how the wolf mark has been made in a specific time and which workshop used a specific example (as far we can know now).

See Image 1

The following images are here to provide you a basic understanding of how those marks were made and how they look like. Keep in mind that most of them (not all) have been stamped into the blade when it was still formable. Those stamps could be used few times before beeing destroyed in the process.

When it comes to the sickle-mark there are many variations. Sickles besides each other, sickles above each other, with stars around them, with simple dots etc..
The same goes for other marks, as you see in the Passauer wolf image.

There is no complete list of marks and their workshops. I doubt that there will be one. All we could do is to create a database where we gather those marks. One will probably not find out where every mark is from since import/export of blades back then was very common. Weapons were often build by "sword-makers" (German: "Schwertfeger") from imported parts: A blade could come from Germany, the crossguard could have been made by Armenians in Lwów, the wooden handle by a Hungarian craftsman. Such items were delivered or even ordered to a certain workshop where they were matched to a user-optimized weapon.

Most of these images have been taken from type II sabers. Three are from the "makers marks" thread on this forum. One has been taken from a 17th century German rapier. Another depicts the Persian lion mark which can be also found on Stephan Batorys saber in thr MWP in Warsaw. Because of time-lack I wont get into presenting the whole weapon with its marks. This would take too much time which I sadly have not.

Keywords you can use to find makers marks on the internet:

-Passauer Wolf
-Solingen mark
-Persian lion mark
Attached Images

Last edited by awdaniec666; 19th September 2021 at 12:11 AM. Reason: added persian lion mark
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