Thread: Unknown sabre
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Old 30th October 2020, 06:03 PM   #22
Jim McDougall
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Location: Route 66
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This has been a most interesting discussion, and though outside my usual fields,and I have been learning from the entries here.
While I cannot add anything substantial, I would just agree, the terms fantasy or tourist are often a bit overused and misapplied with many ethnographic weapons.

With this interesting, and in my opinion attractive sword, it seems better made and viable than commercial souvenir type items, and more like something that would be worn by either civil officials ceremonially or perhaps fraternal type organizations. However it would seem that some symbolic motif or initials would be present in those cases.

The reference to 'Japanese style' features I believe (as already suggested) apply to the habaki and mounts as seen in the image I found online.

The 'Shaver Cool' reference was to the Dutch sword with VOC applications that brought one of the longest running discussions here, a historic discourse that brought playful groans for years to follow.
The Dutch East India Company did produce swords etc. that became souvenirs as well as in use in varying degree ceremonially.

On this sword, it does seem that the blade has a resemblance to the Dutch 'klewang', which was a 'cutlass' used by the Netherlands 1905-41. The tip of the blade has a characteristic 'clipped point', a feature which would not seem to be used on a souvenir item, though of course could be if that much detail was desired.

The faces are similar to those on some pedang suduk (attached photos) from Java, and it is fascinating that these, the noted Burmese features and Japanese character are melded together in a sword with klewang type blade.

The Dutch klewang is a sword (cutlass) with intriguing history, written on by Carter Rila, "A Modern Mystery: Cutlass or Klewang? The Elusive U.S. Navy Cutlass Variant of WWII"
'Journal of the Company of Military Historians"
Vol.27, #4, Winter, 1975

Apparently these Dutch 'cutlasses' were copied by an Ohio company in WWII (1942) for the U.S. Navy.

It seems these kinds of influences not only affected the swords for the private uses suggested with this one, but for further military use as well.
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