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Old 25th May 2023, 03:10 PM   #1
10thRoyal
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Default "Nimcha blades" on European swords

I have absolutely no clue what forum category to put this in since it seems to fit both European and Ethnographic equally. I've seen many references to nimcha from the 18th to 19th century having so called "trade blades" mounted that are of German or Italian origin. Some of these are fairly teaceable with distinct markings pointing to one location and time period of manufacture. Others less so.

Many of the blades(later ones?) seem to have similar construction with a gently curving blade, slight clip point, and three fuller.
I.e. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=25325



If all of these blades are in fact imported as has been suggested many time, are there any similar blades y'all have seen that are clearly European in origin? I have seen earlier nimcha which have what look nearly identical to blades from dussacks or stortas but I'm talking about the stereotypical three fuller nimcha like the one shown above. Are there any Scandanavian dussacks with identical blades mounted or German hunting swords, etc. I feel like if these blades were trade goods, at least some would wind up on the European market. I would love to hear y'all's thoughts.

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Michael
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Old 25th May 2023, 03:36 PM   #2
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I don't have any examples myself and am certainly no expert, but I've seen very similar blades (though perhaps somewhat more curved) on some Polish or Hungarian sabers. I've seen at least one exact match but that one looked a little suspect to me at the time (but what do I know?). Unfortunately I am not a well organized person and I seem to have lost the picture of it.

The picture below is not an exact match but the closest I could find with a quick google search and has the subscript: "Sabers of Hungarian-Polish style, about 1600. (National Museum, Cracow)".
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Old 25th May 2023, 08:45 PM   #3
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Nevermind

Last edited by TVV; 25th May 2023 at 11:56 PM. Reason: HOST LINKS FOR PICTURES NOT ALLOWED
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Old 25th May 2023, 11:20 PM   #4
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Linked below is an example of a Backsword blade mounted as a Nimcha.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ghlight=nimcha
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Old 26th May 2023, 09:45 PM   #5
Jim McDougall
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This is interesting as one of the very reasons the European Armoury was created here was that the crossover with European weapon blades were so often used in ethnographic forms. One of the great references we have on European blade markings is "European Blades in Tuareg Swords and Daggers" (L.C.Briggs, 1965) as an ironic analogy.

With these Moroccan sa'if (often colloquially called 'nimcha' in collectors parlance) these were used throughout the Maghreb, thus from Morocco into Algeria (Briggs was in Algeria, and shows blade markings on one of these).

These swords were invariably mounted with trade blades from Arab entrepots, which might include a range of blades from various centers, but of course mostly German. The term backsword typically refers to a straight blade cavalry sword, often 18th century (broadsword typically means double edged).

These slightly curved saber blades as shown with East European provenance were typically Styrian and Austrian blades were often coming into North Africa in the mid 19th century and probably earlier. As well known, the straight broadsword blades were favored in the Sahara with Tuaregs and of course Sudan with the kaskara.

However in the Sahara there were cases of saber blades in Tuareg takoubas which might have come from numerous sources, often French or German.
These blades ended up in the regions were the Moroccan sa'if was typically in use, so any number of blades turn up in them.
The markings are not always attributable to particular European makers, and often interpretations of commonly known European marks are added.
i have seen examples of these 'nimchas' with Andrea Ferara as well as 'Spanish motto' blades.
It should be noted that both of these types of blades are Solingen products and were straight blades. So either curved or straight might occur on these nimchas.

Blades of the type known on Hungarian sabers were much favored in Arabia, and these often made it into circulation in North Africa. These blade forms remained in use for many years.
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Old 30th May 2023, 03:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
The markings are not always attributable to particular European makers, and often interpretations of commonly known European marks are added.
i have seen examples of these 'nimchas' with Andrea Ferara as well as 'Spanish motto' blades.
Funnily enough my question came from finding a three examples at an auction the other week which I wouldn't be surprised if they wound up on the forum soon. One had markings identical to the first image I posted and the other two were smithed by none other than the legendary "Andre Ferrrrara himself(or some other hilarious bastardization of that name to feign legitimacy on what was clearly an already nice blade). It was interesting to me that all three were high quality, of a time period with one another (whatever that means for these blades), and seemed to be of a similar pattern. Yet none of the blades seemed to be attributable to any location in particular.

Which as I slowly gain more knowledge about arms and arm, I've learned that this set of qualities seems to be the summation of what a "nimcha" is.
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