Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Two Shamshir / Killij / Scimitar for comment (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=26080)

Mel H 11th July 2020 04:26 PM

Two Shamshir / Killij / Scimitar for comment
 
2 Attachment(s)
One with horn grips and a reasonably heavily curved 78 cm un-fullered blade having a slightly broadened, double edged tip (27 cm).

The other, has Ivory grips and a very wide cross guard (18.5 cm) and a less curved, 84 cm pipe back blade,

Neither have any markings, stamps or engravings.
Knowing that some 19th C. European Officers favoured the Mameluke style, I did at one time wonder if the Horn one may be of European origin.

Any advice with regard to their origins ( and correct terminology) would be welcomed.

ariel 11th July 2020 06:12 PM

I think both of them are European.
As to terminology: both are “ Mameluke swords” for the Europeans, both are “kilij” for the Ottomans, both are “shamshirs” for the Persians or Indo-Persians.

Oliver Pinchot 12th July 2020 12:03 AM

The straighter of the two is Indian work, likely for a British or East India Company officer.

David R 12th July 2020 01:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
I think both of them are European.
As to terminology: both are “ Mameluke swords” for the Europeans, both are “kilij” for the Ottomans, both are “shamshirs” for the Persians or Indo-Persians.


I very much agree.

David R 12th July 2020 01:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Pinchot
The straighter of the two is Indian work, likely for a British or East India Company officer.


I can see why you think that, given the deep "Indian Ricasso", but the pipe back blade is very European. Eastern blades tend to have a T section rather than a keyhole section or ramrod back.

Mel H 12th July 2020 02:10 PM

Grateful for all of your thoughts, I've had them for quite a while and never quite made up my mind about either of them. I did wonder about the Pipe back but was always thrown by the construction of the grips which I thought was a feature more seen on Eastern hilts.
Thanks, Mel.

Oliver Pinchot 12th July 2020 02:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
I can see why you think that, given the deep "Indian Ricasso", but the pipe back blade is very European. Eastern blades tend to have a T section rather than a keyhole section or ramrod back.


I've seen many pipeback blades, but never one of this form. If you have, kindly post an image? I think, otherwise, that your observation is a syllogism.

Indian smiths were capable of creating blades based on a sketch or even a description, and regularly conflated European characteristics in their work, particularly for European patrons.

Cthulhu 2nd August 2020 08:03 PM

Mameluke-hilted swords were a bit of a fad in the early 1800s in Europe, possibly because of French campaigns in Egypt. ...and I probably shouldn't say fad, since there are western military units that to this day use that style as their dress sword. For instance look at photos of the US Marines officer's saber.

The guard on the more curved example looks western to me, though I can't put my finger on why.

Oliver, what makes you say the less curved one is Indian? The ricasso certainly points that way, is there anything else that makes the determination for you?

Bryce 2nd August 2020 08:52 PM

3 Attachment(s)
G'day Guys,
Here is a British pipe-back sword with a blade of similar construction. This one is maker marked to GS Reddell, also marked to the 7th Hussars and with the initials CJH for Charles John Hill who joined the 7th Hussars in 1816.

In this case though I think I agree with Oliver. Although the blade could be British made, I don't think this sword is British. The proportions of the hilt and grip construction don't look European to me. The second more curved mameluke could very well be British.

Cheers,
Bryce

mariusgmioc 5th August 2020 06:16 AM

Hello guys,

I am pretty sure the straighter one is of Indian origin, as it not only has the characteristic "indian ricasso" but also has the characteristic strong beveling of the cutting edge commonly seen on the Tulwars. Also the T-spine of the blade is very different from most European swords.


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