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Old 5th May 2018, 06:29 PM   #2
TVV
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bay Area
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The second, shorter sword is more interesting. Its scabbard has not been preserved as well, but it is much better made. The hilt is longer, but the blade is shorter: the entire sword outside of the scabbard measures 38 inches (96.5 cm), the blade is 32 inches (81.3 cm) and the sword weighs 1 lbs. 14 oz. (851 grams). It is a European made blade exported to Abyssinia, with the Abyssinian lion crest at the base of the blade on one side and a "knight" mounted figure with sword on the other. There is writing in block letters underneath, but it is hard to make out, I believe the one under the lion is "EMPTOIR EUROPE", and I have no idea for the writing under the knight. The blade has one fuller with the typical floral motives on blades intended for Abyssinia along with images of a native warrior with spear and shield and the knight figure again.

The blade looks like it was modified from its original shape - it kind of looks like a curved sabre blade may have been straightened and flattened. Could it be a Mahdist trophy from the battle of Gallabat? There must have been a good number of Abyssinian blades captured following the fortuitious Mahdist victory and subsequently re-mounted, but until this one I have not really seen that many examples. It is also interesting that this sword has the simple Sudan steel guard, whereas the one with the "Eritrean" blade has a bigger guard with flaring quillons, usually ascribed to Darfur.

Where do you think these swords and their blades are from?

Teodor
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