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Old 21st June 2020, 10:17 PM   #1
midelburgo
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Default Unidentified hanger. Dutch?

Hello.

Recently I got this piece I cannot identify with certainty.

My current hypothesis is that it could be naval Dutch, blade resembles some VOC XVIIIth century ones and it has something like 17... inscribed.

The symbology is a bit weird. A Lion putting down a flag and a stick with a Phrygian cap could be related to the end of the Batavia Republic and the start of the Dutch Monarchy in 1815. Quiver and bow seem generic.

Pommel and hilt still have about a 20% of fire gilt remains.

Maybe somebody has a better suggestion.
Thanks.
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Old 30th June 2020, 09:53 PM   #2
David R
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To me, it looks very like what are often called "Pillow Swords" which were a proto "smallsword". A light fast sword worn in the later 17th century.
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Old 1st July 2020, 01:44 PM   #3
Jim McDougall
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I think the context of the heraldic theme is likely, as suggested, Batavian, that is the components in the motif are consistent with the lion, phrygian cap and arrows seen in variations.

That it is naval is of course quite likely in the sense that the Dutch East India Company was primary to Dutch trade and the officers of the vessels that carried that trade wore many variations of currently popular sword forms of the times.

Aylward (1945, p. 57, "The Small Sword in England" well describes the Dutch favor of Chinese styling in swords, with the term 'chinoiserie describing mostly decorative motif (which often included Japanese 'shakudo' in the collective 'oriental' themes and metal work).
In the early 17th century, as Aylward describes, swords were made in the far east for the VOC (Dutch East India Co.) from c. 1710-50, and the term 'Tonquinese' used associating the Dutch factory in N. Vietnam.
This factory was however closed in 1707, so the presumption gave the term.

Aylward suggests that most 'Tonquinese' swords were probably produced in Peking, and afterwards "...the Company brought over some Chinese workmen to Europe, who produced in Amsterdam hilts of similar character which were fitted for blades made in Holland or Solingen".

As this hilt has a strong resemblance to those of Chinese 'jian' swords, I would suggest this is done in that manner, and as noted, probably in latter 18th century in accord with the heraldic theme in the guard,.

On a side note, on the term 'pillow sword', which is a well placed observation here on the form of this sword, I found an interesting entry in,
" Some Facts Concerning Sword Hilts at Hoorn Around the Year 1650"
1970, R.S.F. van der Sloot & J.B. Kist (p.13).
noting that the earliest specimens of these were c. 1616 and in a Swedish inventory of c. 1655, these swords were actually termed 'walking swords'.
Whether or not these were ever placed under a pillow is anybody's guess,but the idea was it was a defensive sword.....which indeed was important whether walking or sleeping
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Old 2nd July 2020, 10:03 PM   #4
midelburgo
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Thank you for the suggestions. I did not think of an oriental conection, but with navy and Dutch cannot be far.

The blade actually looks like a short version of British cavalry backswords for a century, and the faceted olive pommel also could fit.

The hilts and grips I have seen more similar, however, are from the French napoleonic navy dirks. But this thing is heavy and measures 81cm.

Although the way the hilt is constructed it is more similar to a kilij, but my pictures are bad at showing that.
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Last edited by midelburgo : 2nd July 2020 at 10:46 PM.
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