Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 9th February 2019, 11:23 AM   #1
carlos
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 707
Default Unknown sword. Cuban, philippines?

This is one of my last adquisition, 39 inc of total Length.
Im not sure about origin and I can,t identified the mark in the blade ( horse).
Seems filipino. Maybe cuban sword ...
Thanks in advance
Carlos
Attached Images
      
carlos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th February 2019, 12:01 PM   #2
ariel
Member
 
ariel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 5,153
Default

I think you might be correct: looks like one of the multitudinous forms of Spanish " colonial" swords. Spanish colonies were spread from Philippines to North Africa to the Americas, each acquiring its own general concepts and further mutating into a variety of patterns.
ariel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th February 2019, 01:40 PM   #3
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,383
Default

Hello Carlos,

I strongly doubt that it is Philippine. I would guess a South American origin.

Best regards,
Detlef
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2019, 01:10 AM   #4
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,561
Default

Spanish colonial anomalies!!
The infamous 'Berber' sabres, which have haunted these pages for nearly decades, presented a curious hilt variation back in 2007 which this hilt reminded me of (attach.)

While the blade on this 2007 example is one of the British 1796 cavalry blades and overall seems one of the familiar 'Berber' sabres but with a distinctly different hilt. It was suggested to me by an authority on Indonesian and Malaysian weapons this was likely from those regions. It seemed to recall the 'parang' in the gestalt of the hilt.


While outside the Philippines 'neighborhood' which would account for the interloping of one of these blades typically known on the Spanish colonial (Cuban. Central American) being present.....it does seem that blades from highly incongruent places ended up in these contexts. Attached are two parang hilted blades which are of kaskara form from Sudan.


This 'S' hilted example hanger seems to have a parang type hilt, but in overall character does seem from the 'Americas' . The stamped mark resembles the kinds of outfitter/importer types seen in the Caribbean regions.


I have often wondered just how much cross diffusion was brought FROM the Philippines and these areas back to Cuba and Central America. It was always curious to me that the machete type 'Berber' sabres often had their blade tips reprofiled to resemble those of the kampilan .


Influences travel more than one direction......and the Spanish Main was a heavily trafficked conduit.
Attached Images
   
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2019, 01:29 AM   #5
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,561
Default

With regard to the cross influence comments in my previous post......the so called Berber sabres, which we now know were from Cuban/Dominican contexts (later seen in Spanish Morocco 1920s).often had reprofiled cavalry blades with a tip that had a resemblance to those of the kampilan from Philippines and environs.
The Moro kampilan is shown to illustrate possible influence, though the Spanish version is of course less elaborate.
Attached Images
  
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2019, 03:22 AM   #6
David
Keris forum moderator
 
David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 6,362
Default

Maybe it's just me Jim, but i see no similarity whatsoever, either in the tip or over all blade profile, between this Berber saber and a kampilan. Am i missing something?
David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2019, 03:57 PM   #7
Ferguson
Member
 
Ferguson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kernersville, NC, USA
Posts: 789
Default

Did some googling and found that it is made by Fernando Esser Elberfeld. You can google that name and see the horse mark and other examples of swords and knives made by them. I THINK it was made in Germany. There was a Fernando Esser company in Germany, and an area of a city called Elberfeld. It was it's own city until 1929. There was also a Fernando Esser in Solingen.

Hope this helps.

Steve
Ferguson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2019, 04:52 PM   #8
carlos
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 707
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferguson
Did some googling and found that it is made by Fernando Esser Elberfeld. You can google that name and see the horse mark and other examples of swords and knives made by them. I THINK it was made in Germany. There was a Fernando Esser company in Germany, and an area of a city called Elberfeld. It was it's own city until 1929. There was also a Fernando Esser in Solingen.

Hope this helps.

Steve

Thank you very much!!!!
Your information is very good!!!!
Thanks
carlos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2019, 05:14 PM   #9
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,383
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferguson
Did some googling and found that it is made by Fernando Esser Elberfeld. You can google that name and see the horse mark and other examples of swords and knives made by them. I THINK it was made in Germany. There was a Fernando Esser company in Germany, and an area of a city called Elberfeld. It was it's own city until 1929. There was also a Fernando Esser in Solingen.
Elberfeld get suburbanized to Wuppertal in 1929. His name is Ferdinand, not Fernando. I've googeled as well and in short there is told on a german site that he started in the 1870s to make high quality machetes for the middle and South American market. Hope I don't need to translate the complete site! https://www.holzwerken.de/museum/hae...erdinand.phtml

BTW, great work Steve!

Regards,
Detlef
Attached Images
 
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2019, 06:00 PM   #10
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,561
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Maybe it's just me Jim, but i see no similarity whatsoever, either in the tip or over all blade profile, between this Berber saber and a kampilan. Am i missing something?


I am clearly uninitiated in the arms of Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia et al, so the comparison is admittedly free association and obviously somewhat tenuous. However, what I was noting primarily was the tip of the kampilan, and that the top of what would be the back of the blade (opposing the cutting edge) at the tip projects out in a curious extended point.


With the kampilan this point and the radius of the cutting edge below it is somewhat artistically enhanced. I know that this is not always the case on all kampilans, and that the representation is debated, I think Cato suggests something about a Hornbill bird (?).


What I was seeing in the 'Berber' sabres is that the blades (many, if not most I have seen) had cavalry blades from M1796 British sabres. What was puzzling is that these blades were much favored for their enlarged 'hatchet' tips in many ethnographic settings.

So why in the world were these blade tips reprofiled into this deliberate shape with the point at the top (back of blade) extended in degree resmembling the prow of a boat? and the blade below radiused in the same manner as the kampilan in effect.
It has been suggested that the perpendicular extension (handle) on the scabbard was to grasp while withdrawing the sword from the leather scabbard in humid and damp conditions in S. America and Caribbean.


* here I would note that obviously not ALL the so called Berber sabres had this notable effect on the blade tip. It was the notable number of them with it that I refer to.


It is clearly a matter of perception that I noticed years ago, and have never found a good reason for these distortions of these 'Berber' blades (actually Cuban in many cases). While these have been considered to have been used in tropical climes as machetes, I could not fathom a reason for this curious design pragmatically......and resigned to thinking of an aesthetic one perhaps recalling these kampilan.


I hope this explanation brings some clarity to my observation, and I was hoping that those well versed in these weapons might offer thoughts toward my idea.

Last edited by Jim McDougall; 10th February 2019 at 06:13 PM.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2019, 06:05 PM   #11
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,561
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferguson
Did some googling and found that it is made by Fernando Esser Elberfeld. You can google that name and see the horse mark and other examples of swords and knives made by them. I THINK it was made in Germany. There was a Fernando Esser company in Germany, and an area of a city called Elberfeld. It was it's own city until 1929. There was also a Fernando Esser in Solingen.

Hope this helps.

Steve


In accord with Detlef and Carlos.............excellent research Steve!!! Thank you!

This well supports the idea of the Cuban/South American possibility for this weapon. In references describing swords and weapons of these regions, the presence of Solingen products prevailed well through latter 19th into 20th c.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2019, 08:20 PM   #12
ariel
Member
 
ariel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 5,153
Default

As to the re-profiling European blades in Morocco since 1920:
Years ago I visited Versailles, and saw a big oil picture of a battle between the French and the Berbers. One Berber warrior ( AFAIR, semirecunbent, right lower corner) was holding a sword that was exactly like the infamous " Berber" one , even with a "reverse" point.
I did not make a picture of it or the artist's name/ date. Stupid of me.....

Perhaps, one of the Forumites plans to go to France or one of the native French Forumites happens to visit Versaiiles. Please look for that big oil and get the info. Would be very helpful and will answer a lot of questions.

Last edited by ariel; 10th February 2019 at 08:32 PM.
ariel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2019, 10:06 PM   #13
midelburgo
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 139
Default

The opening sword remembers me of the Spanish anti-rioting blunt sword. Possibly was some kind of common influence.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf MACHETE Fuerzas de Seguridad.pdf (394.0 KB, 237 views)

Last edited by midelburgo; 10th February 2019 at 10:24 PM.
midelburgo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2019, 11:29 PM   #14
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,561
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
As to the re-profiling European blades in Morocco since 1920:
Years ago I visited Versailles, and saw a big oil picture of a battle between the French and the Berbers. One Berber warrior ( AFAIR, semirecunbent, right lower corner) was holding a sword that was exactly like the infamous " Berber" one , even with a "reverse" point.
I did not make a picture of it or the artist's name/ date. Stupid of me.....

Perhaps, one of the Forumites plans to go to France or one of the native French Forumites happens to visit Versaiiles. Please look for that big oil and get the info. Would be very helpful and will answer a lot of questions.


I would have loved to see this painting......it is always great to have some illustration of the swords we study in context of their use.


These swords (so called 'Berber') were not reprofiled in Morocco, they were brought there by conscripts and forces from Caribbean regions to handle insurgences in the Spanish colonies there. It has always been interesting to see the 'vintage' British blades which ended up in these Central and South American contexts from mid to latter 19th c.
As previously noted, the 'Spanish Main' was quite the conduit for the diffusion of these elements and influences in these times.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2019, 07:59 AM   #15
Ferguson
Member
 
Ferguson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kernersville, NC, USA
Posts: 789
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Elberfeld get suburbanized to Wuppertal in 1929. His name is Ferdinand, not Fernando. I've googeled as well and in short there is told on a german site that he started in the 1870s to make high quality machetes for the middle and South American market. Hope I don't need to translate the complete site! https://www.holzwerken.de/museum/hae...erdinand.phtml

BTW, great work Steve!

Regards,
Detlef
Good work Detlef! Yes, the original company seems Ferdinand Esser, but sometime in the late 1800's swords and machetes showed up marked Fernando Esser. There are a lot of swords out there with the mark "Fernando Esser Elberfeld", above "Acero Fundido" (cast steel?) over "Garantizado".

From the webpage that you cited:

"In 1889 a branch was founded in Hamburg, which had emerged from the company Wm. Ahrens & Co., 1890 a branch in Paris. In 1894 Ferdinand Esser died.
The company belongs today under the name "Fernando Esser & Cia. GmbH" to the brothers Mannesmann AG in Remscheid. 4) "

Steve
Ferguson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2019, 06:08 PM   #16
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,383
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferguson
Good work Detlef! Yes, the original company seems Ferdinand Esser, but sometime in the late 1800's swords and machetes showed up marked Fernando Esser. There are a lot of swords out there with the mark "Fernando Esser Elberfeld", above "Acero Fundido" (cast steel?) over "Garantizado".

From the webpage that you cited:

"In 1889 a branch was founded in Hamburg, which had emerged from the company Wm. Ahrens & Co., 1890 a branch in Paris. In 1894 Ferdinand Esser died.
The company belongs today under the name "Fernando Esser & Cia. GmbH" to the brothers Mannesmann AG in Remscheid. 4) "

Steve
Thank you Steve,
But the main work was done by you! And a very good translation indeed, wow!

Best regards,
Detlef
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.