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Old 28th March 2024, 07:02 AM   #1
AbuMansourah
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Arrow Need help with identifying Moroccan Koummya

Hello,

I'm new to this forum and this is my first koummya.
The seller told me he bought it on a auction and that the koummya dates from 1870 - 1910. I highly doubt that because of the 5 ram's head silver Dahir stamps which Morocco started with since 1925 i understand.

I've done my research in this forum on koummya's and also online on YouTube. So far i have discovered what the stamp means (800 silver, with the M of Marrakech). Now, there is i think writings in red on the bottom curve and i dont know if it's spanish, french or maybe even hebrew. The lemmet has no stamps or markings. Also, do you advise me to clean the wood?
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Old 28th March 2024, 09:39 AM   #2
milandro
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if this is an old piece the color of the metal and the fact that it shows as being very crisply chiselled would be extraordinary. There is no sign of use and that would be extraordinary in an old piece.

I think this is a high quality modern piece.

Older pieces look rubbed in places.

It certainly looks like it may be Hebrew (which I read a bit) but if that is the case it is a number probably showing the year according to the Jewish tradition.
The writing is a bit indistinct and I read a year that , if true , would be ancient so I doubt it.


calculate yourself here


http://creounity.com/apps/time_machi...el.php&lang=en

these are two museum pieces
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Old 28th March 2024, 11:33 AM   #3
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I would be careful to label this piece as recent. I think that high-quality koummyas have long been given as gifts to diplomats.
However, I am not an expert in this area. Not all old koummyas have been worn.
And yes, I personally would clean the wood.
Regards,
Detlef
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Old 28th March 2024, 11:34 AM   #4
milandro
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but regardless to whom they were given they cannot fight the passing of time and this really doesn't look that old, old metal ages and this looks very crispy


I think that they may very well be the '40.


anyway here another thread where the silver markings are discussed

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15807

I've done some research


The rams head is originally a French Hallmark which was used to mark Moroccan Silver from 1925.... onwards !

this site says it was used until the end of the 20th century

Tête de bélier

https://poincons.interor.fr/tete-de-...poincon-maroc/

Last edited by milandro; 28th March 2024 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 28th March 2024, 02:50 PM   #5
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Abu-Mansourah, I agree with Detlef. This piece could be 100 years old—never worn and placed in a drawer or cupboard where it was not subjected to any damage. The amount of oxidation was considerable judging from the "before" pictures, and that is what old, long ignored silver looks like. It's a nice item and you have done some good research on it.
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Old 28th March 2024, 04:38 PM   #6
Bob A
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The silver work is of high quality, and the attachment hardware looks pretty old-school to me. I'd have put this as no later than early 20th century.
I'm not up on hallmarks, but it would appear to put the dagger in the approximate era of my guesstimate.

Nice dagger, BTW.
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Old 28th March 2024, 04:53 PM   #7
milandro
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if you follow the link I gave it says that the ram's head was introduced in 1925 and kept for the 20th century.

The French domination of Morocco started in 1912 and ended in 1956


it says /www.saxontheweb.net/threads/italian-sax-master-tenor.384819/


Tete de belier – poinçon MAROC
Poinçon de garantie du titre employé depuis le Dahir du 1er octobre 1925 dans les bureaux de contrôle du Maroc à la marque des ouvrages en argent d'un titre minimum de 800 millièmes. Les essais ont lieu au touchau.

Siécle de début: 20 – Siécle de fin: 20


Ram’s head – MOROCCO hallmark
Hallmark guaranteeing the title used since the Dahir of October 1, 1925 in the control offices of Morocco to mark silver works with a minimum title of 800 thousandths. The tests take place at the touchau.

Beginning century: 20 – Ending century: 20
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Old 29th March 2024, 12:03 AM   #8
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Eric Claude shows in his book "The Small Catalog of Moroccan and Algerian Weapons" several high quality koummyas in silver and gold from the second half of the 20th century. The piece in question is highly collectible regardless of it's age. But I've seen a koummya from the first half of the 20th century, also high quality, still in it's presentation box, completely unused.
By accident I recently also purchased a koummya complete in silver with gold accents. Sadly I can't find a hallmark.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 29th March 2024, 01:32 AM   #9
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Default Lugs Aren't Strong

Hi All,

Based on the nature of baldric rings and lugs, I would go with well post WWII for this piece. I have found that the older the piece, the larger and more sturdy the lugs and rings. The lugs on this piece look far too fragile to stand up to daily wear in 19th century Morocco. I have also never seen what I consider a 19th century koummya with the rings riveted to the lugs. I think this is a well made newer piece. The blade is well done.

Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 29th March 2024, 02:02 AM   #10
Sajen
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Really Rob? See the pics from two pieces shown in "the Small Catalog of Moroccan an Algerian Edged Weapons" and their dating from Eric.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 29th March 2024, 02:14 AM   #11
Sajen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobT View Post
Based on the nature of baldric rings and lugs, I would go with well post WWII for this piece. I have found that the older the piece, the larger and more sturdy the lugs and rings. The lugs on this piece look far too fragile to stand up to daily wear in 19th century Morocco. I have also never seen what I consider a 19th century koummya with the rings riveted to the lugs. I think this is a well made newer piece. The blade is well done.
Hello Rob,

I don't know which one you mean but other people have different opinions regarding the riveted baldric rings. See the previous post.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 30th March 2024, 12:29 AM   #12
RobT
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Default Eric Says 20th Century

Sajen,

I said that, “I have also never seen what I consider a 19th century koummya with the rings riveted to the lugs.” In the chapeau de gendarme text below the picture, Eric Claude dates his example to the early 20th century. His is a truly beautiful example with both a superb blade, hilt, and sheath. Frankly, I don’t own (nor have I ever seen) a koummya with riveted rings as old or as finely wrought as Eric Claude’s example so I can readily believe that it was made in the early 20th century when daily carry (necessitating heavy lugs) was going out of fashion in some areas but the wish for a quality side arm for social occasions remained.
As for the second example, whatever the stamp on the sheath may say, may not be true. Certainly, the blade and hilt aren’t as finely made as the first example and one would think that the blade from that time period would be more substantial. Anyone, for any reason may add a date. I have seen a number of Philippine style bowies that were dated 1945 but, considering the quality of workmanship, I have considered doubtful.

Sincerely,
RobT

Last edited by RobT; 30th March 2024 at 12:40 AM. Reason: add'l info
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Old 30th March 2024, 11:57 AM   #13
Sajen
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Hello Rob,

Like I stated before, I am really not an expert when it comes to koummyas. I've handled some very nice and clearly very old/antique examples and all these examples had loops instead of rivets like the example in question or the one I posted, these loops were partly extremely worn, a few so much that it was worn through or the metal really thin already. Clearly from long time use and over a long time daily worn.
But I think that the riveted version never worked for daily use, I think that they like I stated before are pure presentation daggers, given as presents to visitors who rarely will wear such a dagger or in the case it was the dagger of a Moroccan, only by special events.
On the other hand, with such a koummya in hand, I can assure you that these riveted rings seem much stronger to my eyes than I thought!
And Eric stated the early 20th century, which is antique without doubt.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 30th March 2024, 03:09 PM   #14
Marc M.
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Greetings

One of my koummiya's, hanzer type. Silver, bone and a good blade, with 4 silver marks on the sheath and 2 on the handle. Once found on the forum: Marrakech 1300 (1882) fleur à 4 pétales.
I had no idea that the manner in which the rings are attached to the lugs was an indication of age.
Regards
Marc
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Old 30th March 2024, 04:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc M. View Post
I had no idea that the manner in which the rings are attached to the lugs was an indication of age.
I think it isn't an indication of age, see here also: http://www.vikingsword.com/ethsword/koummya/index.html
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Old 30th March 2024, 05:10 PM   #16
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Another very informative thread: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...hlight=koummya
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Old 1st April 2024, 03:59 AM   #17
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Default My Rationale

Mark M,
Using the nature of the koummya lugs and suspension rings is my personal working hypothesis that I use to assess the age of a koummya. It is by no means etched in stone. I have provided an explanation below as to why I think the idea is tenable. The important thing to keep in mind is that a good koummya is a good koummya regardless of whether it was made in the 19th or 20th century. I certainly never let my supposition that a koummya was made in the 20th century keep me from buying it.

Sajen,
Thanks for the links you have provided. Good reading. I agree with you that the riveted ring koummya were never meant for daily use and below is my rationale for believing that they are 20th century or at the very earliest the very final years of the 19th century. I have one riveted ring version. It has a maker’s mark stamped on the blade. I don’t consider it cheap of flimsy in any way and, if I found another like it, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it.

I don’t base my hypothesis on time per se but rather on when I believe koummya ceased to be a daily part of male attire. The French had been a major military and economic force in Morocco since the mid 19th century. The Spanish had been likewise involved. It isn’t unreasonable to believe that neither European power wanted an armed native population. The French restrictions on wearing of the flyssa by the Kabyle is well documented. (Heck, When the Bourbons became the Spanish ruling house, they even tried to stop the Spanish from carrying navajas [as witnessed by Goya’s Por Una Navaja] and the Spanish were fellow Roman Catholics living right next door. Imagine what they thought about African Moslems carrying weapons.) The restrictions were probably not enforced with equal rigor in all places, with the places of heaviest foreign presence being the most strict and the hinterlands being the least. But even in areas of most strict enforcement the Europeans probably allowed weapons carry for special occasions (eg the wedding flyssa). In 1912, the French and Spanish annexed their respective parts of Morocco outright and I would bet that daily weapons carry by the natives was totally banned. It was then that special occasion carry would have become the only permissible option and the riveted baldric rings became practical.
Consider this: I have a mokume silver and copper pendant that I never take off. I have had it since 1986 and, in that time, the original silver bail wore through as did its replacement. I am on the third bail and have worn through two silver snake chains. The pendant weighs far less than an ounce. Imagine the wear on the lugs and rings of a koummya weighing about a pound and swinging like a pendulum from a baldric. How long would a brass rivet, at best 1/16” in diameter last in daily use? It is this suitability for daily wear that I base my assessment as to 19th vs 20th century.

Sincerely,
RobT
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