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Old 26th July 2015, 10:53 PM   #1
kronckew
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Default Takouba with dual crescent-P arks

for comment: tuareg?

just acquired this one via epray, will make the 1hr 50 min. journey up the m5 motorway to me shortly. no idea how old, looks like it's in decent shape. crescent-p marks both sides... looks vaguely famiiar tho. the marks look european.

had a search here on the forum thru the takouba threads /o much to add. i'm also tired. will research more tomorrow. any info/comments appreciated. thanks in advance.

73cm. blade 87 cm. LOA riple fullers both sides
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Old 27th July 2015, 10:26 AM   #2
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A pretty standard takouba of the 20th century or even the 21st. Likely not older than the 1970s.

The P mark looks to be a re-purposed European stamp and the blade is made from available scrap steel. Could be Tuareg or equally another group from the Mali/Niger/Northern Nigeria area.

These seem to have gained a pretty generic style by the late 20th century and not have as many regional clues.
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Old 27th July 2015, 11:20 AM   #3
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i suspected it was a locally made item with the cresent-p marks as a marketing device to simulate a solingen blade. went for a fairly low price. ws described as 'vintage', which i take to mean not made yesterday but not 100 yrs. old either. didn't want to prejudice comments, but it's why i didn't turn in a high bid, looked too new.

(to be more truthful i have installed a 'sniper' program i wanted to test to make sure it was working, so i spotted this & told it to snipe at a low price, expecting i'd lose if the previous bidder had a higher bid. he didn't so i won it anyway. )
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Old 27th July 2015, 03:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
i suspected it was a locally made item with the cresent-p marks as a marketing device to simulate a solingen blade. went for a fairly low price. ws described as 'vintage', which i take to mean not made yesterday but not 100 yrs. old either. didn't want to prejudice comments, but it's why i didn't turn in a high bid, looked too new.

(to be more truthful i have installed a 'sniper' program i wanted to test to make sure it was working, so i spotted this & told it to snipe at a low price, expecting i'd lose if the previous bidder had a higher bid. he didn't so i won it anyway. )
Never hurts to have another sharp and pointy thing.
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Old 27th July 2015, 10:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
i suspected it was a locally made item with the cresent-p marks as a marketing device to simulate a solingen blade. went for a fairly low price. ws described as 'vintage', which i take to mean not made yesterday but not 100 yrs. old either. didn't want to prejudice comments, but it's why i didn't turn in a high bid, looked too new.

(to be more truthful i have installed a 'sniper' program i wanted to test to make sure it was working, so i spotted this & told it to snipe at a low price, expecting i'd lose if the previous bidder had a higher bid. he didn't so i won it anyway. )

Not bad for a test run!!!
What's this 'vintage'???? Heck, Im 'vintage!!! and a lot older than this takouba
Nice going though, and thanks for the interesting query and chance to see these traditions still very present even into our own times.
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Old 27th July 2015, 11:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
Never hurts to have another sharp and pointy thing.
i wrote a message to the vendor yesterday, in part i said:

some poor tuareg must have traded this in for an ak-47.

bullets are expensive & run out, a good sword will literally last you a lifetime.

of course so will a bad sword. but that lifetime will be shorter.
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Old 4th August 2015, 07:34 PM   #7
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it arrived yesterday, currently going thru rust removal and stabilization. i was a bit surprised it was smaller & lighter than i expected. of course, i've never seen one in person before.

495 grams, 34.5 i. LOA, 28.75 in. blade, grip 3.5 in. between guard and pommel, leather covered cross guard 4.25 in. wide, blade is roughly 1.5 in. at the forte, and roughly 2mm or so thick & fsirly springy. fairly sharp edge.

the grip is more like on a viking sword or on a tulwar, in combination with the thinner blade and it's squared off point, this seems to favour the draw cuts of the tulwar rather than a european fencing style or a heavy chopping style...

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Old 4th August 2015, 10:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
it arrived yesterday, currently going thru rust removal and stabilization. i was a bit surprised it was smaller & lighter than i expected. of course, i've never seen one in person before.

495 grams, 34.5 i. LOA, 28.75 in. blade, grip 3.5 in. between guard and pommel, leather covered cross guard 4.25 in. wide, blade is roughly 1.5 in. at the forte, and roughly 2mm or so thick & fsirly springy. fairly sharp edge.

the grip is more like on a viking sword or on a tulwar, in combination with the thinner blade and it's squared off point, this seems to favour the draw cuts of the tulwar rather than a european fencing style or a heavy chopping style...
Yes, these are the hallmarks of the modern takouba and sadly don't reflect the fighting swords of the 19th century. Particularly those with imported blades. The main reason for the light weight is the evolution of pommel and guard into the modern form. Substantially smaller and less well built than in the past. The average older style tak would be somewhere between 700-800 grams. Some much heavier.

On the fighting style, yes from what can be discerned from surviving photos of mock fights and ritual dance movements as well as the physical evidence of extant older blades and sharpening habits a tip oriented cut was preferred, at least among the Tuareg where we see the most surviving photographic and video material. There may well have been variations among the more heavy cavalry oriented states like Bornu and Hausaland. However as I mentioned above most swords where quite a bit 'meatier' than the modern examples.
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Old 6th August 2015, 12:10 PM   #9
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I thought it would be worthwhile just for those who may come across this thread in the future to show a few heavier bladed taks and also a comparison of pommels. :-)

This is not in any way to draw away from the subject sword of this thread, just to lend a little visual element to the descriptions I was giving before of some of the characteristics of newer/older swords of this type and the transition seen in the pommel form over time.
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