Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 25th October 2020, 09:27 AM   #1
francantolin
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 493
Default old blade on takouba ?

Hello everybody,

I saw all the recent interesting threads about takouba sword,
what do you think of this one ?

The scabbard is recent I think and maybe the hilt too ( silver ??)
the blade is interesting with the engravings but never saw a Passau Wolf like that.

A later add for make it antique ? ( idem the other engravings ?)
Just tourist stuff ?

Any comment is welcome

KInd regards
Attached Images
    
francantolin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th October 2020, 01:03 PM   #2
David R
Member
 
David R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 621
Default

I would ID it as a typical Kaskara rather than a Takouba, as for age..... They were still making them recently for their own market, carried at weddings by groom and male relatives. If a tourist wants one they will sell them one, but to the best of my knowledge they make no distinction between local and traveller purchasers they all get the same item. Metal fittings and blades can be any age, as with a lot of ethnic weapons good blades are not left to languish, and the same for anything else.

Lots of stuff on here about them. About the only thing I can add, is that reading a travellers tale from the 1970's they were still carried with serious intent. The late great original Richard Burton had stuff to say about their cutting power.
David R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th October 2020, 01:47 PM   #3
Edster
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 249
Default

As David said, it is a Kaskara. Passau could have been added. Can you get better pics of the engraving texts and the full length of the blade. Its hard to tell if the blade is locally made or an import. Blade could be of Mahdi Era or even before and then likely an import. Blade engravings and religious texts seem to have declined after the fall of the Mahdiya in 1898. Others can offer a better blade analysis.

The cross guard and silver grip are middling and likely of a later date. Does the CG look like it was forge welded from four pieces or just folded? The silver on the grip is a variation of the stars and comet design but w/o much detail.. See my essays on the EAA Geographic Index for more info on the Kaskara CG and Silver Dress.

Best,
Ed
Edster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th October 2020, 07:02 PM   #4
francantolin
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 493
Default

Thanks a lot David and Ed for your precious help,

For the moment I can just post these other three pictures of the blade and engravings of the kaskara

Rust seems really recent on the blade but maybe it was cleaned too strongly few time before and not oiled,
Maybe that's why the arabic engravings are not deeply engraved...

What about the blade ? pretty long, 39,5 inches,
nothing fantastic except the ( recents ??) markings.
Attached Images
   
francantolin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th October 2020, 07:12 PM   #5
francantolin
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 493
Default

Better ?
Attached Images
 
francantolin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th October 2020, 11:44 PM   #6
Philip
Member
 
Philip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 810
Default

The Arabic inscriptions look to be etched, the penmanship being far neater than what is usually encountered on these blades. There is considerable wear to the lettering, "Mohammed" is the only thing I can make out. The wolf is of course chiseled and appears deeper and crisper than the etching. Given the condition of the inscriptions, wouldn't you expect more wear to wolfie if this was indeed an early Passau (or Solingen) blade recycled for use in a kaskara?
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st October 2020, 12:21 AM   #7
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,927
Default

Indeed a kaskara of the Sudan, and it has always been interesting that these broadsword 'cousins' of North Africa have maintained their own autonomy in design while in many cases the smiths producing them, and often the blade sources were in degree shared in the intertribal connections and trade.

Many markings etc. are found on both takouba and kaskara in variation and degree, and genuine European blades seem to occur of course in both.

I would suggest that this blade was perhaps produced in either Khartoum or Omdurman around 1885, after the fall of Khartoum. Gordon had vast stores of machinery and metal in the workshops there for the infrastructure of railroads and river boats. This virtual scrap yard was supply for production of many necessities including blades.

The 'Passau wolf' seems of course a copy of the genuine ones seen on the blades coming into Sudan through Suakin and other ports. It's execution and placement seems contrary to what is normally the case with these.

The rust spotting in the blade seems more in line with 'industrial' metal if I am thinking correctly , reminding me of galvinized metal.....but I fear my inadequacy in metallurgy is showing. It just seems many of the knives and blades of Sudanese examples of this period into 20th c. have this kind of effect on the blades.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st October 2020, 07:08 AM   #8
Philip
Member
 
Philip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 810
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall

The 'Passau wolf' seems of course a copy of the genuine ones seen on the blades coming into Sudan through Suakin and other ports. It's execution and placement seems contrary to what is normally the case with these.

The rust spotting in the blade seems more in line with 'industrial' metal if I am thinking correctly , reminding me of galvinized metal.....but I fear my inadequacy in metallurgy is showing. It just seems many of the knives and blades of Sudanese examples of this period into 20th c. have this kind of effect on the blades.


Hi, Jim
I agree entirely with your comments on the wolf.

Poring over the images of the blade, it's hard to tell from the surface in its current state whether it is recycled Western industrial steel, or an imported old European pre-industrial blade, or something else. Absent the Arabic markings and the oddly-shaped and placed canine fellow, the format of this blade is quite close to that of the 16th cent. German bastard sword which I posted in a related recent thread that we are both participating in, African Takouba with early(?) European(?) blade, post #10. That particular German sword, in its largely untouched state, clearly shows longitudinal undulating striations consistent with blades of the period, typically forged of steel made from iron carburized by the cementation process and folded or laminated to produce something akin to what was later called "shear steel" in England. I have an image of the surface in its existing, unrestored state but need to shrink the pixel count in order to post it. (Alan Williams' book The Sword and the Crucible fig 12 p 59, shows an example of this steel in newly polished and etched state for a better idea of what it looks like)

Many pre-modern European blades, under close inspection in good light, exhibit signs of this sort of layering.

However we must be mindful of the fact that blades were produced in European and British factories in the 19th cent. for export all over the world, in various styles to cater to specific markets. Shear steel continued to be popular for blades, but had to compete with crucible steel (which the ironworks of Sheffield were famous for), and production of these varieties resulted in different metallurgical characteristics in the finished product.

Polishing and etching of the surface would give a good idea of how the blade was produced. Photomicrographs and chemical analysis are means of refining the investigation.

Last edited by Philip : 31st October 2020 at 07:15 AM. Reason: add cross reference
Philip 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

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 03:22 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
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.