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Old 3rd September 2022, 11:42 PM   #1
Araña_del_Sol
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Default Ethiopian sword?

Hi all,

This sword (below) resembles Ethiopian gurade specimens that have been posted on this forum through the years yet has a number of differences that make me hesitate in identifying it. The blade has a prominent midrib on one side and a shallow fuller on the other, it also has 3 evenly spaced holes near its spine. The hilt is made of horn and resembles typical gurade hilts except for the rear/pommel end which gradually widens rather than having the more dramatic T-shaped projections often seen on gurades. I assume gurades were largely produced by the Amhara of the former Ethiopian empire, could this be a copy made by a neighboring ethnic group or does it fall within the range of gurade variants? Any insights are welcome

Ethiopian gurades for comparison:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ghlight=gurade
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ghlight=gurade
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ghlight=gurade
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ghlight=gurade

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Old 14th September 2022, 12:00 AM   #2
roanoa
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What you have is an Ethiopian GURADE (sabre). The holes are puzzling, but I have seen them before in blades from different countries because of the rather "stupid" idea of displaying them in halls by screwing them to the walls.....
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Old 14th September 2022, 01:06 AM   #3
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Default Aluminum?

Araña_del_Sol

The butt cap and the thin ring between the hilt and guard appear to be aluminum. If you can confirm this, it would give us a likely time frame to work with. Also, is it a blind or through tang?

Sincerely,
RobT

Last edited by RobT; 14th September 2022 at 01:08 AM. Reason: add'l question
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Old 14th September 2022, 04:22 AM   #4
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Here is an Ethiopian knife with similar hilt.
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Old 14th September 2022, 10:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roanoa View Post
... the rather "stupid" idea of displaying them in halls by screwing them to the walls.....

True. it's even more stupid to put the hole closer to the edge or spine, where it becomes a stress raiser and can result in catastrophic failure if it is ever actually used for anything. The compressive spine & tensile edge stress go to zero at approx. the centre of the blade. I'd fill the holes by peening in a brass slug & cutting it off flush, welding it would affect the heat treatment.
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Old 15th September 2022, 04:21 AM   #6
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roanoa, thanks for the information, shame about the holes if that is why they were put in.

kronckew, thanks for the suggestion it would look nice with a bit of brass filling in the holes.

RobT, the sword has a through tang, please see the picture below
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Old 18th September 2022, 10:41 PM   #7
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Default Steel & Aluminum

Araña_del_Sol,

Thanks for the butt cap picture. It looks like Ethiopia is likely. The domed portion of the butt cap is probably steel because aluminum would probably be too soft. The flat portion looks like aluminum to me which would indicate a 20th century date. The thing I find most interesting about the piece is the repoussé fuller. I don't have anything like it in my collection nor can I recall ever having seen anything like it.

Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 20th September 2022, 04:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobT View Post
Araña_del_Sol,

Thanks for the butt cap picture. It looks like Ethiopia is likely. The domed portion of the butt cap is probably steel because aluminum would probably be too soft. The flat portion looks like aluminum to me which would indicate a 20th century date. The thing I find most interesting about the piece is the repoussé fuller. I don't have anything like it in my collection nor can I recall ever having seen anything like it.

Sincerely,
RobT
Thanks for the information, its always good to get an idea of when a arm was made and it potentially being an oddball
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Old 24th September 2022, 09:47 AM   #9
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OK, a longshot here....
47 years ago as callow youth I worked alongside an ex serviceman, (Kings Shropshire Light Infantry) who had service during the 1968 Mauritian riots. He mentioned that the main weapon used were swords made out of flattened Bicycle wheel rims! Apparently they made a deadly weapon with a razor sharp edge..... Could this be one of them?
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Old 26th September 2022, 09:02 PM   #10
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Interesting suggestion. However, if this blade had been made from a bicycle rim, the holes (from the spokes) would be evenly spaced and there would be a fourth one close to the hilt. Also they would have been distorted by the hammering. These holes appear to have been drilled. Shape of the hilt, material used and general appearance say "Ethiopian". Cheers.
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