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Thread: identify the sword

  1. #1

    identify the sword

    What kind of sword is that this announcement and what time is it?

    http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/M...mina-45-cm-_JM

    The seller says it's Spanish Toledo. know the exact name or link Wikkipedia?

  2. #2
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    Its a wallhanger/decorative sword made in Toledo, Spain
    "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio."
    Elbert Hubbard

    Nakamura Ryu Batto Do, Order of Seven Hearts

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    It's a modern tourist piece with little value---note the bad arc weld on the guard! These are generally made from mild steel and as such are un-hardened and tempered
    Thomas Powers
    CoFounder of the Intergalactic Union of Bladesmiths
    "when you forge upon a star"---you better have your union card handy!

  4. #4
    This sword of Toledo is approximately what year?

    I really enjoyed looking swords and other thought I made ​​a horn that the seller claims to be from China or India, I would like to know the approximate age to see if it's worth buying. It is this:









    What age is this?

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    marcello;

    it's a black sea yataghan (bicagi), very similar to this one:


    black sea pirates in the trabzon area (turkey) were fond of them for some reason. think it's a fairly rare type. any writing on it? might mention a date in arabic...many are from the 19th century.
    Last edited by W. Kroncke; 12-13-2011 at 03:09 AM.
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  6. #6
    I'll get it then, then put the pictures for you.

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    I agree with Christopher and Thomas....I had one like that.
    Dan

  8. #8
    Nice Black Sea yataghan from northen Turkey. It could be approxiametly from 19th to early 20th centuries. Yataghan, one type or another, has always been the weapon of choice for Ottoman Turkish sailors( I guess because its shorter size makes it more useful than a kilij to fight on decks, just like boarding axes and cutlasses) this particular type is a late version unique to sailors of The Black Sea region of Turkey. Ears of hilt and double curvature of blade were exagerated marginally (according to some experts, intentionaly, to make it look almost like a swordfish or a garfish.)
    "The relationship between West(Occident) and East(Orient) is indeed an example of a relationship of power and domination. Orientalism is thus a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between the Orient and the Occident. It is a Western style of dominating, restructuring and building hegemony over the Orient.İt is an accepted grid for filtering through the Orient into Western consciousness, into the general culture."
    From "Orientalism" by Edward Said

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sancar Ozer View Post
    Nice Black Sea yataghan from northen Turkey. It could be approxiametly from 19th to early 20th centuries. Yataghan, one type or another, has always been the weapon of choice for Ottoman Turkish sailors( I guess because its shorter size makes it more useful than a kilij to fight on decks, just like boarding axes and cutlasses) this particular type is a late version unique to sailors of The Black Sea region of Turkey. Ears of hilt and double curvature of blade were exagerated marginally (according to some experts, intentionaly, to make it look almost like a swordfish or a garfish.)
    That's interesting that you say that, because most of the native swords captured and brought back to America by the naval officers from the wars with the Barbary pirates are kilich. Where does your information re: the sea-going yataghans come from?
    This Black Sea yataghan/Laz Bichaq is pretty much useless as a weapon, not just because of its blade, but also because of the bizarre hilt. I have one, and it's impossible to swing because of those horns.

  10. #10
    Well, yataghan was the prime blade of the Ottoman nval soldiers(levent), every miniature or western drawing from that era show levents with yataghans on their belts. Of course higher ranking naval officers carried kılıchs as a symbol of prestige, but I can only talk about Ottoman navy or privateers.

    Actually I find yataghan to be a very effective infantry weapon, at land or at sea. In Ottoman history infantry soldiers always prefered yataghan whether it be janissaries, levends, or later militia like bashibozuks, zeybeks.

    Yataghan have always been part of the local culture in seaside regions of Turkey and that is partially because levents were recruited from these regions. When traditional navy is abolished in 1772, levents brought back their uniforms and yataghans back to their villages and their uniform and accessories became part of the local folk fashion, and carrying a yataghan on belt was a huge part of it.You can see this effect on folklore of Aegean, Mediterraneaen and Black Sea regions of Turkey. In time sub-types like "zeybek yataghan", "black sea yataghan" emerged.

    Black sea yataghans are somewhat a late invention, 19th century where bladed weapons were carried as a part of local costume, not to be used as weapons, and therefore became more exagarated. But I wouldn't dismiss them as a practical weapon. It all depends on how they were used, and this is a piece of info we do not posses today. And when it all comes down to speculation, it really doesn't look that useless to me.

    "The relationship between West(Occident) and East(Orient) is indeed an example of a relationship of power and domination. Orientalism is thus a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between the Orient and the Occident. It is a Western style of dominating, restructuring and building hegemony over the Orient.İt is an accepted grid for filtering through the Orient into Western consciousness, into the general culture."
    From "Orientalism" by Edward Said

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by marcelomelloramos View Post
    This sword of Toledo is approximately what year?

    I really enjoyed looking swords and other thought I made ​​a horn that the seller claims to be from China or India, I would like to know the approximate age to see if it's worth buying. It is this:









    What age is this?
    Hi Marcello,
    These 'Black sea Yataghan' are quite desirable, so in answer to your question directly, if it is a reasonable price then I'd say go for it.

    -The Spanish 'Toledo' sword is not desirable. Don't buy that one.

    When you have the Yataghan then I'm sure we would all be interested to see better pictutres.

    Best
    Gene

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sancar Ozer View Post
    Well, yataghan was the prime blade of the Ottoman nval soldiers(levent), every miniature or western drawing from that era show levents with yataghans on their belts. Of course higher ranking naval officers carried kılıchs as a symbol of prestige, but I can only talk about Ottoman navy or privateers.

    Actually I find yataghan to be a very effective infantry weapon, at land or at sea. In Ottoman history infantry soldiers always prefered yataghan whether it be janissaries, levends, or later militia like bashibozuks, zeybeks.

    Yataghan have always been part of the local culture in seaside regions of Turkey and that is partially because levents were recruited from these regions. When traditional navy is abolished in 1772, levents brought back their uniforms and yataghans back to their villages and their uniform and accessories became part of the local folk fashion, and carrying a yataghan on belt was a huge part of it.You can see this effect on folklore of Aegean, Mediterraneaen and Black Sea regions of Turkey. In time sub-types like "zeybek yataghan", "black sea yataghan" emerged.
    Hello,
    This picture doesn't look very old. Is there any period artwork that depicts the Mediterranean or other neighboring Ottoman pirates with yatagans, or any documented museum pieces that can be attributed to the pirates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sancar Ozer View Post
    Black sea yataghans are somewhat a late invention, 19th century where bladed weapons were carried as a part of local costume, not to be used as weapons, and therefore became more exagarated. But I wouldn't dismiss them as a practical weapon. It all depends on how they were used, and this is a piece of info we do not posses today. And when it all comes down to speculation, it really doesn't look that useless to me.
    There is no speculation on my part, it's hanging on my wall. Imho the Black Sea yatagan is useless as a weapon. I'm not asking anyone to believe me just because I say so. Try for yourself. I'd be surprised if anyone is able to cut through an apple with it, without awkwardness.

  13. #13
    Dmitry, the illustration I posted shows different ranks and uniforms of ottoman Navy, it is based on several miniatures and western engravings, but if you doubt its genuinity, here 's some old engravings which I hope you'll find sufficient:

    A levent with yataghan


    Naval commanders


    There are many "pirate yataghan"s in The Naval Museum in Istanbul, some of them belonging to famous Turkish naval commanders and privateers like Turgut Reis.

    From The Naval Museum


    Turgut Reis


    A yataghan from The Naval Museum collection


    And, about black sea yataghans, I guess we agree to disagree
    "The relationship between West(Occident) and East(Orient) is indeed an example of a relationship of power and domination. Orientalism is thus a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between the Orient and the Occident. It is a Western style of dominating, restructuring and building hegemony over the Orient.İt is an accepted grid for filtering through the Orient into Western consciousness, into the general culture."
    From "Orientalism" by Edward Said

  14. #14
    My extensive research confirms Sancar's statements. Just as the short and handy cutlass and hanger were the preferred edged weapons of Northern European and American seamen, the yataghan was the weapon of choice of Turkish, Greek, and other Mediterranean seamen; and IN THE HAND OF ONE WHO KNEW HOW TO USE IT, it was just as deadly effective as the kris, the kukri, the charah/chhura, or any other well-wielded sword knife. Just because one person can't cut effectively with a yataghan, or thrust effectively with a scimitar, doesn't necessarily mean that another person can't, as all historical evidence proves; and the qilijes (or kilijes) confiscated by Americans were officers' swords. Burton, for one, noted re the yataghan that the "beautifully curved line of blade coincides accurately with the motion of the wrist in cutting".
    Last edited by L. Braden; 12-15-2011 at 10:43 AM.

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    LB, i agree, just because it might not suit our western style grip and sabre cutting techniques doesn't mean another style might not be effective. i'm minded of certain SEA and Filipino styles where the blade may actually not cut on the initial forward movement, but on the return, 'draw', cut.

    i recall seeing a filipino master block a cut to his left side from a bolo by moving in, blocking the bolo with his left forearm against the opponents forearm while his bolo went under the opponents arm, and was then pulled upwards into the opposing armpit and withdrawn, theoretically cutting up and thru the armpit & joint, removing the arm (it was a drill, so he didn't actually cut, but he was inside the guy's response line and could have cut him just about anywhere). he would have done something different but equally bad for the opponent if the guy had been also armed with a weapon in his off hand. between the legs, cutting the rear ligaments behind the knee, the thigh (cut vena cava bleeds you out in a minute or so) or crotch (arghh!) as he withdrew his blade rather when advancing it was another favourite of his.

    not the video i was thinking of, but this younger barong user shows a number of unusual cuts - including the armpit & inside the leg ones one. i could envision these being effective with a yataghan, black sea or otherwise. especially in the close confines of a shipboard action.

    Last edited by W. Kroncke; 12-16-2011 at 01:08 AM.
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  16. #16
    Recurved blades (or whatever term you want to apply) are very effective, which is why they feature on so many familiar and iconic weapons right back to the earliest forms.
    In many 'cuts' the recurved blade will easily match or even outperform a straight or upward curving blade.

    As for the strange pommels on the black sea yataghan, it's easy to jump to hasty conclusions when familiarity with the application of technique is lacking, especially if assumptions based on familiar western traditions are applied.
    Indian Tulwar as opposed to European Sabre is the example that springs to my mind. Swinging some always seem to want to break my wrist.

  17. #17
    Thanks indeed, gentlemen, for your great input!
    May I respectfully suggest that those with antiquated preconceived notions about non-Western swords and swordsmanship refrain from arguing from a standpoint of ignorance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by L. Braden View Post
    Thanks indeed, gentlemen, for your great input!
    May I respectfully suggest that those with antiquated preconceived notions about non-Western swords and swordsmanship refrain from arguing from a standpoint of ignorance?
    I may be missing something but Dmitry's view of the Black Sea yataghan as being useless as a weapon kind of shows most other's taking his remark as regarding all yataghan (which he is not). Antiquated perceptions or not, the grips on the late to arrive Black Sea yataghan do not look very handy to me and believe me, I am well aware of how my own small ear yataghan would be a much more user friendly hilt (having handled, thrust and cut with it). I am not sure why others would then bring barong and other recurves into the discussion when Dmitry is clearly (to me) speaking specifically about the tined grip of the Black Sea subject.

    Admittedly by a previous poster, the form of the Black Sea hilts are late bloomers and I do not see that they were any advance on the form that then supplanted both small and large ear yataghan. None of the illustrations regard any but large and small traditional hilts (not the Black Sea variety).

    Seems like a lot of fuss about nothing in particular but others are welcome to be PO'd at me as well

    Cheers

    Hotspur; Dmitry is fairly familiar with more swords and weapons than some might give him credit for and indeed may have handled themselves

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    Thanks, Glen. It is obvious from my post above that I was not referring to all yatagans, just to the Black Sea yatagans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dmitry Z~G View Post
    Thanks, Glen. It is obvious from my post above that I was not referring to all yatagans, just to the Black Sea yatagans.
    i too was referring to the black sea flavour. i also have an indian tulwar that has a grip i can barely get my fingers in, and the pommel disk (which is larger than in most tulwars) keeps me from flexing my wrist as i'd been trained in my university days on the fencing team. it feels 'wrong' to me. that doesn't seem to bother the Sikh gatka practitioners any. i still can't figure out how they do it after watching the youtube gatka videos... and a sharp pointy short sword sized weapon with a curved edge like a barong, or a ginunting, or a garab can be used in basicly the same arnis moves. don't see why a BS yat might not work in similar circumstance with a bit of practice. wouldn't try it with one of my western sabres tho.

    my more normal small eared bulgarian yataghan however does feel 'right' to my western hand. the black sea one would likely also feel 'wrong' - but that's just me and my western programmed reflexes. i keep an open mind tho. we'd need to consult a real trabzonian pirate to be sure, and they seem to be thin on the ground here. i have seen some recent photos of trabzonian festivals where they dress up in traditional gear, including (black sea) yataghans. maybe one of them could stumble across this thread & offer an opinion. the odds are a bit slim tho.

    lots more info and photos, etc. on black sea yats is available at the 'ethnographic arms and armour forum' at vikingsword...
    Last edited by W. Kroncke; 12-16-2011 at 01:33 AM.
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    Are there similar pictures with masses wearing them? I would think that if they were popular they would be more evident, especially with the advances of photography as the 19th century plows on.The item could certainly be wielded in a good many ways but again it would be borne out in showing it being done. A reverse grip ice pick grip, for instance. Does anyone have such a picture of them being employed? They look fine for carving the holiday roast as well

    Thousands are dismayed with the mass of western pommels as well that can take out a wrist but we are not looking at viking swords with tea cozy pommels, nor tulwar or barong for that matter. Lots of folk have seen these examples, as noted but I don't see them pictured in use (vs yataghan at large as national arms for a great many for many centuries).

    Festival dress and modern popularity of the obscure really doesn't speak much to the reality and context of their historical use.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; so, so many types of bladed weapons run past many eyes in a never ending deck of flash cards but recognizing their place in the deck shouldn't open a door for wishful thinking and speculation without a pretty good bucket of evidence

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    From ariel (who carries two such as an avatar over there) in 2005

    Well, it's nice to enjoy the status of the "authority in the field", even though my only contribution to it was a short visit to the Askeri Muze in Istanbul and posting here what the local people knew for a long, long time.....
    This is a strange weapon. It is so decorative that it is almost useless as a fighting implement. It reminds me of African swords: too artistic to be of real use. Not for nothing did Lazes use large kindjals as well.
    Lazes are descendants of the Byzanthinians who established the Trabzon Empire in 1241 under the leadership of the grandsons of Andronicus I and were (and still are!) called Romei. They were conquered by the Ottomans in 1461 and were converted to Islam (likely, voluntarily, since the Ottoman Turks were remarkably liberal about religious beliefs of their subjects). Nevertheless, Lazes did not enjoy great reputation.
    I'd like to cite some info from the book of G.E. Vvedensky "The Janissaries" (St. Petersburg, 2003). In it he cites a book "The history of the Janissaries corps" published in Moscow in 1987 (it was translated, but he never mentioned the original). To be fully politically correct, I would like to say that I do not want to insult anybody. Please, do not kill the messenger.

    " It was against the law to recruit Trabzonians into the Janissari units.This is why: not only the depravity of Trabzonians exceeds anything imaginable, not a single Zaim or Sipakhi among them ever exhibited any bravery or gallantry. They committed only deception and evil".
    Sultan Selim I ruled in Trabzon between 1512 to 1520 and, according to his own experience, ordered to recruit them into the Janissari units as informers to prevent rebellions.
    " The Trabzonians are evil people,deceivers by nature. As soon as one of them enters, it becomes impossible for 4-5 janissaries to get together. With time, their lying nature became obvious and well known and the very name Laz caused just laughter"
    As a matter of fact, people who could swindle the entire Ottoman Empire must have been a fine breed: kind of Good Soldier Svejk with luxurious moustaches and a fez. Next time I go to Turkey, I shall do my best to go to Trabzon and have a glass of Yeni Raki with a local smuggler!

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    ariel three years later in the same thread concluding with

    OK, guys, many thanks for the compliments, but they are misplaced.
    The Black Sea origin of the BSY was known to many ( Artzi, for sure!) well before my trip to Istanbul. The presence of similar specimens in the Askeri Muze was also mentioned by others.
    My only "contribution" was asking a young curator there the local name for it, and reporting here that it was Laz Bicagi. Beyond that, I added zilch to the issue.
    As to the term "yataghan", it also comes from the origin: "Black Sea Yataghan" is a literal translation of "Karadeniz Yataghan". Astvatsaturyan in her book "Turkish weapons" shows a gorgeous example with ivory handle ( BTW, more "ear-like" than the usual horns) from the collection of the State Historical Museum. The caption reads (in exact translation) " Yataghan of original form". I already had a short fistfight with a non-Russian enthusiast who wanted to announce an Earth-shattering theory that this type of sword was in fact an "Ur" yataghan, based on the literal translation of the word "original". In fact, Russians use the word "original'nyi" to indicate " unusual".
    As the mouse said after barking at the cat and frightening it into immediate retreat " It is nice to know foreign languages"
    An interesting thread with several pictures of the items being worn but the only ones as wielded being in the hands of a child's troupe also playing music ;)

    If there are other threads there, I'm sure the root issues would have been reconciled in one of the "classics"

    Jeff and others have posted the kids at play photo in various sizes for resolution.

    Cheers

    Hotspur; the late 19th century pictures of dress there are interesting

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    Thanks for finding those quotes, Glen. So I'm not alone in saying that as a weapon the BSY would be pretty much useless. Those horn-like protrusions, i.e. the pommel, make it absolutely unwieldy. As I said, don't take my word for it.. To those who think that I am wrong, you're welcome to get a hold of one, and decide for yourself.
    It's an expressive and beautiful 'weapon', though.

  25. #25
    Thanks, guys, and please forgive my devil's advocate approach!
    Regarding the restrictive hilts of certain yataghans and other "oriental" edged weapons: according to what I've read, in Kinsley's and other books, you hold them as you would the haft of a razor - not with the whole hand, but with thumb and fingers only - and if they are razor sharp, which they should be, they will "cut of themselves", with little or no effort on your part. I can't verify this, but historical sources vouch for it.
    Best Regards!

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