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Old 8th January 2014, 04:32 PM   #17
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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Absolutely Ibrahiim, and one of the true conundrums of studying ethnographic arms is the confusion in terminology which constantly plague students using old resources and contemporary accounts. In many cases transliteration and regional semantics, particularly in India where so many languages and dialects are present, certain forms are called by varying terms.
Ariel, good note on Egerton, and actually his work was so well venerated as it was indeed a seminal work on ethnographic arms (it was 1880 while Burton came out in 1884). While other writers such as Walhouse and others had written articles slightly earlier, his work was far more comprehensive and overall actually reasonably accurate aside from these errors . I believe his book was a catalog but cannot recall the occasion, and the items were listed according to the donors or submissions.

It is interesting that early writers indeed relied on other works, and some errors in Burton (1884) are traced to Demmin (1877). I can recall an instance where an item was identified as Tibetan from the Oldman catalog (1909?) while the exact same sword was classified as from Benin in West Africa with an example collected by French donor to a museum in Belgium. Research revealed the item in Belgium was indeed African.
If I recall correctly Stone has a sword identified as Italian which is actually British cavalry 1780s.

I always maintain great respect for all authors of books and articles on the difficult topics of arms history and classifications, and I believe virtually all of the books carry certain disclaimers in the introductions, as well as sincere hopes for others to continue the research to resolve the inevitable errors.

I like to think that we are among those who sort of 'pick up the torch'
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