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Michael Wiethop




Location: St. Louis
Joined: 27 May 2012

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Tue 26 May, 2015 10:04 am    Post subject: Parisian sewer sword         Reply with quote

While touring the sewer museum in Paris, I noticed this odd weapon. It was in a glass case showing various things found during construction work there. It was displayed next to some swords that looked like 19th century European weapons.

The only pictures of it I could find on the Internet:





The grip is wooden, and the scabbard seems like it too. If I had to guess, I'd say somebody brought it home from some colony in the 19th century and then lost it or threw it away, as it doesn't look too European, but I don't really know anything about swords.

We seem to have a lot of threads like this--perhaps we should have a single "What is this weapon?" thread?

Thanks for any help identifying this piece!
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 26 May, 2015 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks a lot like an Ethiopian shotel or gurade, but I would defer to people with more knowledge on African swords.
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M. Livermore





Joined: 20 Aug 2008

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Tue 26 May, 2015 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My guess is that it has Moroccan origins. The grip shape suggests it is African, but the use of rivets (screws?) for attachment would be unusual for Ethiopia, Sudan, or similar. The rivets combined with the general blade shape make me think Morocco. I could be far off target. I look forward to reading further comments.
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Tue 26 May, 2015 1:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wait... sewer?! What's going on in Paris? Some kind of real life Ninja Turtles???
Historical fencing on Florida's Treasure Coast!
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue 26 May, 2015 1:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike Ruhala wrote:
Wait... sewer?! What's going on in Paris? Some kind of real life Ninja Turtles???


The Paris sewer system is legendarily massive. We are talking almost a full-on secondary city underneath the city itself. As you can imagine, a lot of stuff from the streets and elsewhere ends up going down the tubes. Would not be terribly surprised if they found an entire suit of armour down there at some point.

The sword is definitely African, possibly with some European or Euro-style embellishments; beyond that, it's difficult to tell.
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 26 May, 2015 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Livermore wrote:
My guess is that it has Moroccan origins. The grip shape suggests it is African, but the use of rivets (screws?) for attachment would be unusual for Ethiopia, Sudan, or similar. The rivets combined with the general blade shape make me think Morocco. I could be far off target. I look forward to reading further comments.


I think you are right. Morocco makes more sense, too, because of France's history with Morocco.
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Michael Wiethop




Location: St. Louis
Joined: 27 May 2012

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Thu 28 May, 2015 3:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The grip and slight curvature do kinda resemble a gurade, at least the ones on a cursory image search, but none of them have rivets. I can't find any pictures of Moroccan swords that resemble it at all, but then I don't exactly know what to look for.
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 1,265

PostPosted: Wed 29 Jul, 2015 9:15 pm    Post subject: Parisian sewer sword         Reply with quote


I believe the sword at the bottom is indeed an Ethiopian gurade, not a Moroccan one.

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

- Marcus Aurelius
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M. Livermore





Joined: 20 Aug 2008

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Sat 08 Aug, 2015 3:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This one has been nagging in the back of my mind for a while. I indulged the research urge, and I am inclined to think this is a Moroccan s'boula or jiboula.
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