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Old 1st November 2019, 08:57 PM   #1
francantolin
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Default Pirate sword-cutlass

Hello gentlemen,

what do you think of this ''pirate'' sword-cutlass ?
sold as an asian or persian sword ,19th century...

a composite sword ?

The hilt is made of wood and seems quite old.

The blade...
I don't know, strange tip ? looks more a theater old sword,
but it's quite sharp and the basis of the blade is made like a real one, cf pictures.

A general question about pirates swords:

Were the blade cut on a long sword ?
Did they that for making boarding sabers ( I heard they were shortened for close body to body battles ) or did they use falchions-hunting swords ?...
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Old 1st November 2019, 09:04 PM   #2
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not easy to find real old pirate sword - scimitars with the usual movie shape !
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Old 1st November 2019, 09:07 PM   #3
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jsut one,

Ifound this one an old Sotheby's auction,

a moroccan maritime cutlass 17-18th century, ( silver, rhino hilt... )
just lovely !!
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Old 2nd November 2019, 05:18 PM   #4
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Looks a bit like this one.
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Old 2nd November 2019, 07:52 PM   #5
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Hi,
Another couple of images that could be relevant.
Regards,
Norman.

P.S. The black and white image is by Henri Bonnart and I believe is from the late 16thC although this could be an interpretation rather than an image from life experience.
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Old 2nd November 2019, 09:54 PM   #6
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Charming period illustrations of Ottoman Janissaries. Elements such as clothing, especially headgear, are pretty true-to-form but anyone who has examined surviving armament from the place and time can see that the depictions of weapons are close but no cigar.

In a pre-photographic age, artists based their depictions on various models. The few who traveled could have observed and drawn first-hand. Others had to rely on second-hand info, either graphic or verbal, from a variety of sources.

It is interesting to note that the scabbards of some of those Janissary sabers are similar in form to those drawn by other artists making pictures of, say palace guards in Peking or Rangoon of the 16th-18th centuries. An examination of complete swords from the cultures of the times indicates something totally different.

I'm sure you've all seen paintings from the Renaissance and thereafter showing Biblical scenes, but with characters dressed in the European mode of the current time, with Gothic and Baroque buildings in the background, and Roman soldiers carrying a variety of weapons not known to anyone serving in an imperial legion. These are understandable, considering that time travel is difficult at best even for us moderns, and archaeological museums as we know them today weren't around.

Caution should also be exercised when trying to use the gorgeous Orientalist paintings by 19th cent. European artists like Gérôme as ethnographic documentation. Though these were typically executed with near-photographic realism, many painters worked in studio, not on-site, and typically maintained accuracy as re dress, equipage, and armaments via artifacts brought back from abroad, and available to them. (actually, the approach was used earlier by painters such as Rembrandt as well). The problem arises when objects from disparate areas were inadvertently combined in a single composition when an artist made his selection of props. This aspersion does not necessarily apply to all works or to any particular painter, but it does serve as a caveat.

Collectors and students of today benefit from the development of field photography with cameras that literally went round the world. But here again, there is the need to discern if an image was "staged" or whether it was really "from life".
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Old 2nd November 2019, 10:02 PM   #7
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Well said Philip. Everything is said correctly.
By the way, these two images are clearly the same. Just a color image is drawn based on a black and white image:
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Old 2nd November 2019, 10:11 PM   #8
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By the way, if we look Codex Vindobonensis 8626 Bartolemeo von Pezzen, ambassador to Constantinople from 1586 to 1591, we will not be able to find a saber "katlas" at the Janissaries
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Old 2nd November 2019, 11:32 PM   #9
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The images of the janissaries are not the same.
One is a re-drawing of another ( this is like a newspaper back page “Find 10 differences”:-)))

Artists used older pictures time a time again, and the “ broken telephone” game eventually made the original and the n-th generation copy look like two independent ones.

All orientalists made quick drawings of the objects and painted their oils in the comfort of their studios, thousands miles away.

Both them and Old Masters had a stock of objects and used them as models for their oils.
My favorite one is Rembrandt’s “ Blinding of Samson”, where Philistines wear European armor and carry a Kris from Bali and a Pathistanaya from Ceylon ( both Dutch possessions at that time).

These old paintings may be extremely useful or awfully misleading, but we find the difference only with a hindsight.
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Old 3rd November 2019, 07:23 AM   #10
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Hello,

Thank you all for your precious comments and pictures !!

I found this picture of a janissary soldier going to the Preveza battle with a look-like sword.
The ottoman sea chief was Kheir-Eddine Barberousse,
here an old 19th orientalist drawing of him with the same sword shape
( dont' really look like Barberousse but that's the name of the old stamp )


Looking for old painting and engravings about janissaries,
I was surprised to see no more armed with yatagan swords,
( yatagans were present since the 16th century I read )

At the same time, it's so difficult / impossible to find old ottoman scimitar swords that are not kilij .

All lost-damaged ?
Or more an orientalist fantasy-representation of the 19th century painters as told before ?...

Kind regards
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Old 3rd November 2019, 09:46 AM   #11
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Sorry, my english is not too good !
I mean:
Why is it today so difficult to find old ottoman- oriental scimitar-cutlass as described on the pictures while we can find quite ''easily'' really old kilij or yatagans ?
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Old 3rd November 2019, 10:41 AM   #12
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Your first image is not “ yet another one”: it is a yet another re- drawing of one of the two images shown in the Post #7 . They are 3 variants of the same image, and which one was the original source is a mystery not worth solving.

The astonishing scarcity of physical representations of this pattern suggests IMHO that they did not exist in reality. Till now we see similar “ oriental scimitars” only in theatrical objects. I think the Sotheby’s one is from the same opera:-)

Orientalists did not just depict the Orient; they have created one for the multitudes of homebound Europeans. This was one of the very few correct observations of Edward Said.
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Old 3rd November 2019, 11:13 AM   #13
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Perhaps the roots of this tradition make sense to look for in the art of the Renaissance. Antonio del Pollaiuolo "The Battle of the Naked Men" (about 1465–1475)
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Old 4th November 2019, 10:52 AM   #14
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For more artwork and stimulating discussion please see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...49&page=1&pp=30
For example below ~
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Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 4th November 2019 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 4th November 2019, 11:14 AM   #15
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Ren Ren’s illustration may be quite revealing: European artists might have used their own falchions/stortas as a model for exotic Turkish swords.
Didn’t even have to spend money for a trip to Constantinople :-)
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