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Old 17th August 2022, 02:37 AM   #1
shayde78
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Default Chimera sword??

This thing intrigues me. The blade seems South Asian (khanda-like). The brass guard...I feel like I've seen something like it before, but I'm not sure where. North African context, maybe?
The blesbuck horn hilt could be Africa, but also used in India (Fakir's horns).
Only the most distal few inches are sharpened. The file work on the blade makes no sense, but might have some significance.
Overall, I'm stumped. It reminds me of some elements I've seen before, but nothing I can find to reference.

I'm sure someone here recognizes it (even if to inform me it is a fantasy ethnographic mash-up).

Thanks!
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Old 17th August 2022, 05:22 AM   #2
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Hello.

I think this is a chimera, most likely made in Europe for a European - "lover of the exotic".
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Old 18th August 2022, 05:03 PM   #3
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I agree with Mahratt; it's a fantasy sword.
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Old 19th August 2022, 11:45 PM   #4
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob A View Post
I agree with Mahratt; it's a fantasy sword.
I kinda like the 'chimera' term! Kinda rings right up there with SCIMITAR!
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Old 20th August 2022, 01:24 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone! Not surprising, but I was still intrigued enough to purchase it. Like I said, the guard seems like it is off something I just can't place. And the blade - absolutely no martial logic to its design, but it is amazingly well executed. Almost as if it were a sample blade to demonstrate different features that could be applied. I.e., here is some file work we could apply to your blade. Here are embellishment to the ricasso. Etc. The grinds are clean, the bevels even, the blade as a whole seems well forged. Maybe an apprentice's final exam

Anyway, thanks again! Always a pleasure
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Old 20th August 2022, 01:48 AM   #6
Jim McDougall
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In India, during the Raj, at durbars especially those of significant note, there were local armorers and artisans who created all manner of innovative weapons to showcase their skills or simply to offer unusual items. Many of the weapons are of course the traditional forms, but these kinds of items were unusual enough to attract attention.

It is hard to say how old this assembly is, but the use of a horn of the type seen on fakirs weapons, along with a blade which resembles the Indian blades somewhat of 'pattisa' form suggests something from India of course.
The brass guard and scribed quillon terminals adds European element.

Regardless of how modern, this seems an example of the tradition of edged weapon curiosa which prevailed through the Indian Raj in displays of the work of various makers.
Whether it is of that vintage and character is indeed a 'chimera', but intriguing just the same.
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Old 20th August 2022, 04:32 PM   #7
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The "armorer's sampler" concept as described above by Jim and shayde78 is intriguing, and would explain many of the features seen, though it does seem to be a melange of cross-cultural and cross-continental parts.

I do like the "chimera" label.

Does anyone have examples of this to display?
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Old 20th August 2022, 08:21 PM   #8
Jim McDougall
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Armorers examples are well known in Indonesia and Philippines it seems and there are entire displays of miniature weapons that are much sought after by collectors. Even in other cases there are many examples of miniatures of weapons made by producers that were used to promote their work.
While this is not really a miniature, it is of much smaller dimension to the larger 'pattisa' blades. Many of these types of items were made purely as novelties.
I agree, the chimera term is well applied.....in his venerable book on unusual firearms Winant used the term, "Firearms Curiosa", which said it all.
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Old 27th August 2022, 07:18 AM   #9
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it is from morocco..colonial period tourist item..
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Old 1st September 2022, 02:06 AM   #10
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Thanks so much to everyone for the comments and insights. I didn't think this piece would generate such discussion. Colonial Moroccan for tourists wanting an air of the exotic does make sense. Found in a shop in France in 20th century supports the Moroccan origin.
All the feedback is much appreciated!
-Rob
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