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Dan Dickinson
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Sep, 2009 5:17 pm    Post subject: Straight-bladed Islamic Swords         Reply with quote

It is common perception that Islamic swords were curved. However, as many have pointed out, most islamic swords up until the introduction of the steppe saber were straight. Most examples of straight islamic swords I have seen have canted tangs for a saber-like grip.
However, I had seen a drawing of a cruciform type hilt in David Nicolle's books that was recovered from a shipwreck and that i found quite attractive. i was unsure however, what type of blade it would have gone with.

Then in the book Crusades illustrated by igor Dzys, I saw what appeared to be a recreation of that hilt married to a european-style double edged blade with central fuller. Since I hadn't really seen anything similar, I suspected that it might not be an accurate reconstruction (based on the fact that there are several blatant inaccuracies in that work).

However, today I was flipping through Ewart Oakeshott's A Knight in Battle and saw that he had drawn an extremly similar sword, but instead of just the shipwreck find hilt, it was a drawing of a complete sword from the collection of Prof. Storm Rice.
Tha blade appears to be most like a type XIII.

Does anyone have any more information on that particular (or similar) weapon(s)?
The islamic swords from the arn films had very similar blades, but with canted hilts.

Maybe Peter has some information that would be pertinent. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Dan
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Adam Rose





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PostPosted: Tue 08 Sep, 2009 6:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While there are definitely some examples of straight bladed swords with canted hilts (e.g some Sassanid cavalry swords), those examples from the film you posted look like they are based on some of the straight swords attributed to early Muslim figures in the Topkapi, and my understanding is that those are probably old blades that were re-mounted in "modern" fashion during the 16th century.

I've attached another example, but it's missing the (organic?) grip and maybe a pommel cap.



 Attachment: 41.96 KB
Image may be reproduced provided source "Turkish Military Museum Collections" is quoted. [ Download ]
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Dan Dickinson
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Location: Michigan
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Sep, 2009 8:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Adam, I think I had seen that one before (or at least one very similar) but had forgotten about it. I am particularly interested in specimens with a central fuller. That's interesting about the rehilting...I had wondered if that might be the case. However, aren't there examples of straight bladed weapons with canted tangs (palashes though single edged come to mind ). Might some have been made that way originally for a similar purpose?
Thanks,
Dan
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Adam Rose





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PostPosted: Tue 08 Sep, 2009 8:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, the earlier (pre-Islamic) Sassanid swords are double edged, but not fullered as far as I know. I found a good example of the overall shape, but you can't see the blade (rusted in, I think): http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highligh...sword.aspx

Last edited by Adam Rose on Wed 09 Sep, 2009 9:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Lukasz Papaj




Location: Malbork, Poland
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Sep, 2009 1:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How about swords from Granada Sultanate like one owned by Abu 'abd-Allah Muhammad XII (more commonly known as Boabdil) Straight blades with quite unique hilts, end of XV c. (pre fall of Granada)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Boabdilsword.JPG
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Kjell Magnusson




Location: Sweden
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Sep, 2009 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hermann Historica had a sword for sale a while ago which may be of interest here.

http://www.hermann-historica.de/auktion/hhm56...at56_p.txt

Quote:
Lot Nr.406

A Mameluke sword

Egypt or Syria, 14th century
Strong double-edged blade with a shallow fuller on both sides and at the base of the blade three copper-inlaid dots, the fuller on one side shows remnants of a rubbed engraving. Iron quillons, the ends each pierced with two holes. Leather-covered grip with long, iron grip sleeves, under the pommel an eyelet with appended, ten-sided ring. Iron pommel. Length 93 cm.
Cf. also two similar examples in the collection of the Furusiyya Art Foundation, exhibition catalogue Paris 2007, no. 11 and 12.



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Dan Dickinson
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Sep, 2009 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kjell Magnusson wrote:
Hermann Historica had a sword for sale a while ago which may be of interest here.

http://www.hermann-historica.de/auktion/hhm56...at56_p.txt



Thanks, that one is very interesting,
Dan
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Sep, 2009 4:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan,
I know that this will probably not be of much help but I thought I would chime in anyway. I remember reading or hearing somewhere that in the 9th and 10th centuries, and possibly earlier and/or later, Islamic warriors prized blades of "Frankish" make that they then hilted to their tastes. This is a possible explanation for this.

Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Or are the voices in my head really getting that loud? Wink

Scott

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Sep, 2009 11:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting topic and nice pictures are being shown here. I, too, had the apparently wrong idea that the straight swords as found in the Topkapi museum were what Arabic swords looked like in the middle ages.

What I find interesting though, is how much these swords look like Hunnish swords of the 4th-5th century. Possibly because they both have Sassanid influences?
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Danny Grigg





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PostPosted: Sat 12 Sep, 2009 9:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are 2 more swords:

http://www.sothebys.com/app/live/lot/LotDetai...=159270811
http://www.sothebys.com/app/live/lot/LotDetai...=159516681

Hisham Gaballa has posted some Mamluk / Islamic / Arabic straight swords in the past.
Check out the post below:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=

Danny
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Dan Dickinson
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PostPosted: Sat 12 Sep, 2009 9:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Danny, that second one you posted is remarkably similar in pommel shape and general hilt form to the one from HH.
Keep them coming guys!
Thanks,
Dan
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Michael Harley




Location: Melbourne, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Sep, 2009 5:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another Hermann-Historica offering, ca.13th.-14th.C. Mameluk 955mm is all the information I have on it.
Cheers.



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Sword ca.13th.-14th.C. Mameluk 955mm .jpg


 Attachment: 76.62 KB
Sword ca.13th.-14th.C. Mameluk 955mm 3 .jpg

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Danny Grigg





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PostPosted: Sun 13 Sep, 2009 6:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael, here's a link to the sword you posted with information:

http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/1299245

Danny
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Dan Dickinson
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Location: Michigan
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Sep, 2009 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure that's the same one as the first Sotheby's offering, but with the plexiglass grip removed.
Thanks for the better photos,
Dan
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Dan Dickinson
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PostPosted: Wed 16 Sep, 2009 10:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm hoping that a few more pairs of eyes can help me out. What do you guys see for the blade section of the tip on the first HH example? Does it have a fuler that runs until about 1" before the tip, or does the fuller end about 6" from the tip and transition into hexagonal section?
I've look at it many times, but can't quite seem to reach a difinitive conclusion.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Dan
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Wed 16 Sep, 2009 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the fuller ends about 6" before the tip and than transitions to hexagonal. I'm quite sure actually.
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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Fri 28 May, 2010 5:32 pm    Post subject: Straight-bladed Islamic Swords         Reply with quote


These type of swords are shown in this illustration of 2 Mamluk soldiers during the Battle of Marj al-Saffar by the late Angus McBride.

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Danny Grigg





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PostPosted: Mon 31 May, 2010 9:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

See attached, from the book "Al-Andalus The Art of Islamic Spain" published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Danny



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