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Old 24th March 2018, 10:08 AM   #31
fernando
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That is a settled matter Richard .
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Old 29th March 2018, 12:21 AM   #32
Michael Blalock
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Here is one I have.
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Old 29th March 2018, 03:07 PM   #33
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Excelent example, Mchael.
An European blade ? .
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Old 30th March 2018, 05:35 PM   #34
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I have been trying to figure out was is the purpose of that little ring near the top of the scabbard, which i later associate with that little strap in one of the examples in Hale's work. My first thought was that this must be some kind of decoration, seen in some Saif scabbard examples.
But then i saw a thread in that Jens shows how a loop was present in some Indian scabbards, alledgely for the purpose to loop over a handle quillon to prevent the sword from slipping out.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=23764.

This is a rather long shot, plus i notice that the (woven silver) strap in Hale's example seems a bit short for that but, could it either stretch by pulling it up, or by means of some material elasticity ?
Any better ideas, Gentlemen ?


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Old 1st April 2018, 06:56 PM   #35
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The more i think about these little appendixes being a 'lock' system, the more i am convinced. Look at these examples, how suggestive they are ... specially the one in the center.
(Courtesy Oriental Arms).

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Old 3rd April 2018, 11:43 AM   #36
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Hello Fernando,

Quote:
The more i think about these little appendixes being a 'lock' system, the more i am convinced.
Yes, I believe this is a suitable explanation for their function: The distance seems to be correct (also for the example in Bob's book) and the ring is consistently much weaker than those for the carrying loops!

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Kai
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Old 3rd April 2018, 12:25 PM   #37
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What about the little chains linking the quillon with the pommel? Is that merely for decoration? Surely their purpose is not to act as a knuckle guard as they are too flimsy for that.
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Old 3rd April 2018, 02:09 PM   #38
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Thank you for your favourable thoughts, Kai.

Victrix i take it that, the chain in place of the knuckle guard is a fashion practiced in diverse swords of diverse countries, and often discussed out there. I confess i ignore what is the consensual conclusion from such dicussions.
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Old 13th April 2019, 08:18 PM   #39
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Hi,

I have seen recently similar saif with loose blade in the hilt.

Can anyone help me to understand the construction of that hilt (under the repuded silver plate)?
I was able to find this general description in http://ageaeditora.com/nimcha-616/


"
The identifying characteristics of a nimcha are as follows:

Handle: can be made with various materials (ivory, tortoiseshell, wood, horn…). It´s shape can be curved or in lion´s head, with or without ears, as can be seen in the next picture.

Tang: goes through the hilt and is fixed to it by a button-shaped rivet, or is riveted to a metal sheet of a size similar to the base of the hilt.

Knuckle bow: starts from the cross-guard and its shape can be in right angle (original shape) or in “S” (later evolution).

Crossguard: can be forward-swept, as the secondary upper quillion, or keep just this one, forward-swept too, while the quillions are joined together by forming a ring which protects the hand.
"

Was it attached with cutler resin?
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Old 14th April 2019, 12:22 PM   #40
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This is a Nimcha~ The question is where is it from.. ? Firstly it is not a Maghreb style nor is it a Zanzibari . Buttin I believe places this in the correct category and I have seen variants similar from Yemen and Saudia...The design appears to be Hindi but that does not mean absolutely from Hyderabad but it could be because of the trade links and Yemeni Mercenaries working there. It could have been made by an Indian craftsman living in Yemen...But I doubt that as well and return to Hyderabad since it would have been full of such craftsmen thus Hyderabad gets my vote.

I think a look at the Buttin Chart plate XXX below will show just how close that author was in his deliberations on these weapons. Personally I have a great difficulty putting the whole story together on what went where ...and how if at all the Moroccan is related to the Arabian? . For certain there are a whole lot of variants and how much is influenced from India or Yemen or Saudia is the puzzle we are trying to solve.

For Zanzibar the question is ...were any swords made there for which I have my doubts?..and suggest that swords were all imported in and from the countries trading in the Hub. Buttin lived most of his life in Morocco and would certainly have noted any relationship with Zanzibari weapons but he never did... In fact the three plates are entirely separate. 1009 and those straight guards flanking it probably sets out the variant we are looking at.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ghlight=buttin shows other similar forms and below what looks more like a Yemeni style although very similar ..Thus I think it would be a spllt decision to exactly place the pin point origin.. Yemeni/Saudia ?

As for the cut out Knock under the pommel my view has always been that this was the pivotal point with which the little finger was able to swivel and twist the hilt giving it a very flexible feel in combat mode..
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Old 14th April 2019, 05:33 PM   #41
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Beautiful sword!!!
I finally found pics of one of these sa'if I have had for many years. The hilt is of course more toward the 'karabela' style (often termed hawks head in some Arabian parlance) rather than this style which is known in same contexts.
According to what I recall from Lebedynsky these are of 18th c. but certainly would have been from later as well with traditions continuing.

Mine has a highly polished blade as well, which I always shuddered at the thought of it being chrome, but resolved as here that it was highly polished.
It has an inscription which I take to be commemorative as it reads"
"...the Islamic sword named after Muhammed al Hassan, the commander of all Faithful, the one who God choose victorious, was drawn in the year 1119H."

The year I believe is 1689, but I am uncertain how accurately I have relayed this or the inscription. However it does as noted seem commemorative.

The motif in the silver repousse does correspond with similar found in Hyderabad, and as has been noted, there was a long tradition of Yemeni (Hadhramaut) mercenary forces to Hyderabad and much of the mounting seems to have been made there.
The styling also includes very much Arabian character such as the 'aghrab' at scabbard throat mount.

The scabbard here is also of interest as it is with silver band wrap gadrooned over red velveteen, an affectation known well in Bukharen context. It seems discussions here some time back revealed strong ties between Bukhara and Yemen religiously and diplomatically. While this suggests a Yemeni production but could have of course been transmitted to Hyderabad and filtered into the making of mounts there.

I cannot see the curious mount above the baldric rings, but agree with Fernando, this is I believe to secure the sword in the scabbard. It seems I had read somewhere it was something like a 'safety' on a pistol, and indicator of peaceful contact despite a weapon being worn, where such was considered a threatening or disrespectful demeanor.
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Old 14th April 2019, 05:56 PM   #42
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Adding some pictures of the hilt without silver cover.
Looks like tang is going through the handle.
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Old 15th April 2019, 01:28 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... I cannot see the curious mount above the baldric rings, but agree with Fernando, this is I believe to secure the sword in the scabbard. It seems I had read somewhere it was something like a 'safety' on a pistol, and indicator of peaceful contact despite a weapon being worn, where such was considered a threatening or disrespectful demeanor.
Whether the 'safety' posture is not implausible, the fact is that blades often need to be secured inside their scabbards ... like in this Saif of mine.
It remains for me to figure out what kind of material/s was used for the securing cord; whether some stretching material or solid string, which tension applied when looping it around the quillon finial would suffice; reason why i haven't yet took the scabbard to the local silver smith to replicate the real thing and remedy with a arrangement made by myself, with some tense (leather?) cord, clipped with some silver wire bits.


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Old 15th April 2019, 04:51 PM   #44
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Thanks Fernando.
While the 'safety' bit is from some apocryphal note seen 'passim' in reading I cannot place some time ago, it does seem to have a degree of viability.
In another equally obscure recollection, it does seem that on some Islamic edged weapons there are strings of beads, in somewhat the manner of Catholic rosaries, but in this case having to do with the Family of the Prophet ...but I cannot speak further to this. Just another possibility.
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Old 15th April 2019, 07:04 PM   #45
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Arabs very often used high-mirror polish. I have a couple of those, with pretty worn handles, but with blades one could use as a shaving mirror.
Take it to a local jeweler with a good machine: they can detect chrome or nickel in 5 seconds flat.
If it is in the original Arab polish, I would try to preserve it as is: oil only.

Excellent find!!!
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Old 16th April 2019, 06:27 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
What about the little chains linking the quillon with the pommel? Is that merely for decoration? Surely their purpose is not to act as a knuckle guard as they are too flimsy for that.

Victrix, very pertinent question. These decorative chain guards are just that, and designed to enhance the embellishment of dress and court swords in many countries. Obviously there is no protective intent as the solid knuckle guard seen on many swords are theoretically for.
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Old 16th April 2019, 07:59 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Victrix, very pertinent question. These decorative chain guards are just that, and designed to enhance the embellishment of dress and court swords in many countries. Obviously there is no protective intent as the solid knuckle guard seen on many swords are theoretically for.
Dear Colleagues,
If i may, i think these chains are also functional.
What is the purpose of the knuckle guard?
Only to protect the hand?
I'm not sure about that...
Another function is to make sure that the hand is comfortably connected to the handle/grip... to hold firmly the sword...
but it's just mho

kubur
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Old 17th April 2019, 01:36 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Dear Colleagues,
If i may, i think these chains are also functional.
What is the purpose of the knuckle guard?
Only to protect the hand?
I'm not sure about that...
Another function is to make sure that the hand is comfortably connected to the handle/grip... to hold firmly the sword...
but it's just mho

kubur
Kubur, , as always, interesting perspective. I can only add what I have understood over the years asking these very questions myself. The adding of a knuckle guard was with the stirrup hilts swords which seems to have been widespread, has always been suggested to 'guard' the hand (knuckles).
Near the end of the 18th c. the cross bar off the knuckleguard was added for additional 'protection' …..added bars became the three bar style cavalry hilts.

This is basically what drove the development of complex guard systems such as the rapier from simple cross guards.

As these guards, including knuckle guards, are not in contact with the hand, but in effect closed 'over' it, I cannot see how they would be intended to add to ones grip on the sword. With the intended purpose of hand protection, I cannot see either, how a simple, flimsy chain would effect any use for hand protection or even 'securing' ones hand on a hilt.

The sword I have has the chain guard, which has broken loose several times just in storing and moving it......let alone any sort of combat use. Aside from my 'battle' with a ceiling fan with a tulwar in an unfortunate moment, I am usually pretty careful with my swords....so the damage to the chain guard on my sa'if was surprising.

As always though, your approach to seeking answers on all accounts is great in analysis.

With regard to items as 'vestigial' as these chain 'guards' , also curious are the shoulder chains often worn by British military officers during the Raj, recalling the wearing of mail to protect from sword cuts. These would hardly have served their ostensible purpose, but colorfully added to the character of the uniform. The use of the curious crescent shaped 'gorget' recalling armor plate also worn in this manner hardly served a real purpose otherwise, and were symbols of merit or rank.
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Old 17th April 2019, 12:47 PM   #49
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Hi Jim

It was just a comment, actually i have no specific idea about this chain.
Maybe a fencing instructor would be able to say if the chain might have any use during a fight. What are the effect of the vibrations during an impact between two blades? The curved grip is designed for the little finger and very confortable when you hold the sword...

For your chain, I have to say that I'm also always surprised to see how fragile are these objects. I guess age doesnt help... like us...
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Old 17th April 2019, 02:24 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi Jim

It was just a comment, actually i have no specific idea about this chain.
Maybe a fencing instructor would be able to say if the chain might have any use during a fight. What are the effect of the vibrations during an impact between two blades? The curved grip is designed for the little finger and very confortable when you hold the sword...

For your chain, I have to say that I'm also always surprised to see how fragile are these objects. I guess age doesnt help... like us...

Your comments are always intriguing, and set my curiosity in motion. Actually I have wondered about these decorative chains in place of a viable solid guard years ago as well. I never found any insight regarding them, and it became more a search for how old the use of them was. The only cases I ever found with them on swords were court and smallswords, and various dress type swords.

With your mention of vibration, possibly the impact or shock action that would result from hitting the target would suggest such a chain acting as a kind of 'sword knot' like the straps on hilts preventing the loss of the sword from the hand. While not 'guarding' the hand from cuts, it may supposedly offer some use in keeping the hand situated on the grip...…..but even that idea is tenuous.

Very true Kubur, age is good for wine and good scotch, but not so much in
us old timers
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Old 17th April 2019, 03:18 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
... Maybe a fencing instructor would be able to say if the chain might have any use during a fight ...
Some fencer i heard saying that, the chain knuckle bow "was mainly an artistic interpretation of the more rigid knucklebow we are all familiar with" also says, in response to whether its purpose was to prevent the user from dropping the sword, as "highly unlikely as, anyone who has ever fenced with smallswords or sabers will note that the knucklebow has done very little to stop a disarm".
The solution to such problem was indeed the sword knot.
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Old 17th April 2019, 03:24 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Arabs very often used high-mirror polish. I have a couple of those, with pretty worn handles, but with blades one could use as a shaving mirror.
Take it to a local jeweler with a good machine: they can detect chrome or nickel in 5 seconds flat.
If it is in the original Arab polish, I would try to preserve it as is: oil only.

Excellent find!!!
Thank you Ariel,
We have ran this marathon in the first page of this thread but, thanks for reminding it. Also good to refresh my alzheimer in that i didn't yet wash and oil the blade of this one and that of my mameluke saber.
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Old 2nd March 2020, 09:35 PM   #53
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Irrelevant post.
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Old 2nd March 2020, 10:35 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
From the photo above it is also obvious that the Royal Armouries wisely chose to leave the high polish on their example alone.
"Unpolish" at one's peril. I would not touch it.
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