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Old 24th October 2020, 04:43 PM   #1
RSWORD
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Default Unusual North African sword possible Takouba variant

This one is a bit of an oddball. The handle is a thick chunk of steel with a very Takouba like blade and the scabbard also looks like scabbards from this region. It is made from the same Materials (you can see the stacked cloth, leather) that I have seen from other North African swords. Havenít seen another example like it. Would love thoughts and opinions as to origin.
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Old 25th October 2020, 10:58 PM   #2
Jim McDougall
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Well Rick, I guess nobody is gonna take a shot at this, so I'll take a stab
It looks like the whole thing is made out of a single piece of stock, and the blade shape resembles those from the Dongola region on the Nile in Sudan.

With the curious 'anthromorphic shape' of the hilt, these artisans were pretty innovative so hard to say what the inspiration was. It would really be tenuous to compare this to the ancient Hallstadt and other European 'anthromorphic hilts', but thats what it reminds me of.

In some ways these recall the shapes of the Tuareg arm daggers but these are far less complex geometrically.

Clearly there is some symbolism involved but needs more research, I cannot say I have seen like this in African stuff, but hope somebody out there has better ideas.
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Old 26th October 2020, 02:05 PM   #3
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The piece could well have been made in the Dongola region as Jim suggests. That area has a tradition of iron working that goes back to the Meroitic period. The Nubians from there were a separate ethnicity with a Christian tradition until the 1500s that was at odds with the Mahdi and fought against them.

The piece appears to me to have been made in two parts. Maybe even at separate times. The grip is of unknown design, but it was forged and finished with a square profile without hammer marks as does the blade. The pictures suggests to me that the grip was flanged somewhat to accept the blade. But this could be just the way the photo appears.

The scabbard is old and weathered, but of a relatively 100 year old "modern" construction. It looks like a paper/cardboard base, then cloth wound and finally a leather cover.

Interesting and puzzling sword.

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Old 28th October 2020, 01:44 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback on the sword Jim and Ed. I love a good mystery!
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Old 28th October 2020, 02:50 AM   #5
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSWORD
Thanks for the feedback on the sword Jim and Ed. I love a good mystery!

Yes you do Rick!!! and you've brought up and solved a lot of em over all these years!
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Old 29th October 2020, 06:51 AM   #6
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Hey Rick,

From the photos it's hard for me to tell what the approximate dimensions are. Question: is the grip long enough to get a comfortable hold on, without the iron protrusions of the "pommel" area digging into the hand? Reason I ask is that I wonder if this hilt was designed for talismanic or symbolic purposes.

The blade seems beefy enough to do some damage, though. How long is it?

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