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Old 27th August 2016, 09:41 PM   #1
Marcus
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Default Nimcha: Please help with markings

I just received this Nimcha. There is one fish shaped stamp (a maker’s mark?) and also a couple lines of what might be text, but I can’t even make out what script it is supposed to be. It looks too orthogonal to be Arabic. Help would be greatly appreciated.

I also include a couple pictures comparing this sword to my “Zanzibar type” Saif.
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Old 28th August 2016, 01:51 AM   #2
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Comments on the age of this sword would also be appreciated.
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Old 28th August 2016, 06:53 PM   #3
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Default sketch of text

It is surprisingly hard to get much detail from the photos, so I made a sketch and digitally refined it. Also, I found a couple links to old Berber/Moroccan scripts but this does not seem like a good match to either,

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/tifinagh.htm

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/berber.htm
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Old 28th August 2016, 07:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus
It is surprisingly hard to get much detail from the photos, so I made a sketch and digitally refined it. Also, I found a couple links to old Berber/Moroccan scripts but this does not seem like a good match to either,

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/tifinagh.htm

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/berber.htm



I think I can see some similarities with the Berber script. Maybe is alocal variety of the Berber script. Most puzzling for sure!

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Old 28th August 2016, 07:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus
Comments on the age of this sword would also be appreciated.


Marcus, you are a lucky man, the rhino hilt is beautifull.
Look at this link and you will have your answer.
http://www.brownlee.com.au/Pages/An...ara_swords.html
and the link of our glorious pope
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ers+trade+marks
for Andrea Ferrara marks and the bee / fly stamp
Best,
Kubur
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Old 29th August 2016, 11:59 AM   #6
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Default Sorry I missed it

Kubur,
I'm unsure what I was supposed to find in those threads.
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Old 29th August 2016, 04:57 PM   #7
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The small mark is European, just like the overall gestalt of the blade: very accurate and precise.
The crude inscription IMHO is a latter add-on to simulate Latin alphabet. I looked at it from every possible angle and couldn't make heads or tails out of it. Most likely , in the immortal words of Mel Brooks, it is an " authentic frontier gibberish".
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Old 1st September 2016, 01:08 AM   #8
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THE TWO LINES OF SQUIGLE ARE THE SAME ...EXCEPT THAT THE SECOND OR LOWER LINE IS BADLY EXECUTED....
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Old 1st September 2016, 05:45 AM   #9
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It's Klingon!

PS: I think Ariel is right, unless it is a very little known local Berber script.

Very interesting how Europeans tried to imitate the Arabic script without having any knowledge of it, while at the same time other people tried to imitate Latin script.
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Old 2nd September 2016, 06:16 PM   #10
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Default Four times a charm

I agree that the two lines try to be the same. Incidentally, the same string of characters is repeated twice on the other side of the sword as well. If it is gibberish, it was interesting enough to repeat four times!
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Old 2nd September 2016, 09:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
It's Klingon!

PS: I think Ariel is right, unless it is a very little known local Berber script.

Very interesting how Europeans tried to imitate the Arabic script without having any knowledge of it, while at the same time other people tried to imitate Latin script.


Imitate, simulate Arabic, Latin or just mistakes... illiterate armourers were frequent, mistakes were common...no public schools as we have now... or no school at all for workers...even the talented ones...
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Old 2nd September 2016, 10:56 PM   #12
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Default speaking of gibberish

Kubur is right about that. Rare was the literate artisan during the period in question. Illiterate workmen copying from pattern-books or other objects can yield some interesting results. We see it in the scribbly Arabic on Ottoman blade inscriptions as late as the 19th cent. (yet on some Mughal court blades, the fine chiseled inscriptions on the spine are absolutely superb, whether it be from some degree of schooling, and/ or the fact that their manual skill enabled to copy calligraphic writing with extreme accuracy).

E. Astvatsaturyan in ORUZHIYE NARODOV KAVKAZA (Armament of the Caucasian Peoples) pp 56-7 reproduces the clumsy attempts of Caucasian cutlers to imitate the inscriptions on imported European blades, with all the reversed and transposed letters. Smiths in the West didn't do any better, judging from the butchered Latin seen on German and Dutch blades of the 17th and 18th cent. This, from a possibly Dutch saber blade, 17th cent., remounted as a katana in Japan, now in the National Museum, Copenhagen:

Inter Arm Silent Lege (correct: inter arma silent leges , "the law is silent
in wartime")
Inte Domine speraw on Connfunda naternumm (correct: in Te Domine
speravi non confundar in aeternum, "in Thee, O Lord
I have trusted [that] I not be led astray forever)
...cora...ava...is axn...antia (indecipherable)

There are many blades like this , I have a Polish example in my collection. To see this Nipponified Dutch sword, refer to "Et Euro-Japansk Sverd i Nationalmuseet i Kobehhavn" by P T Norheim, VAABEN HISTORISKE AARBOGER XVI, pp 163 173
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Old 29th May 2020, 07:21 PM   #13
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These are Latin letters, copied rather badly; I have a nimcha, probably with a European blade, which bears the same letters, as seen in the photos.
What these letters mean, I have no idea ...
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Old 30th May 2020, 08:40 AM   #14
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I have a very similar Nimcha.
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Old 31st May 2020, 06:05 PM   #15
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Sorry, I'm new to the forum and quite inexperienced ... I was unable to upload photos, in the previous post.
The letters seems, to me:
O N CI N CI NO
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Last edited by Duccio : 1st June 2020 at 10:43 AM.
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