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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Irish sword Reply to topic
 
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Ronan O'Caoimh




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Location: Cork, Ireland
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Mon 02 Jan, 2012 4:47 am    Post subject: Irish sword         Reply with quote

Hi all, a mate of mine brought this sword into training last week for me to look at. He told me that his father pulled it out of the thatch of an old house back in the 1960's in Kildare. The sword has remained in his family since then. The tang has been repaired with another piece of tang and pommel forge welded on. There's a wide fuller extending to the tip, which is quite corroded. The pommel is rectangular with a hole through it.

Any ideas?

Ronan



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G K Vaughn




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Location: Australia
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Mon 02 Jan, 2012 5:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's so little to go on anything I say is going to be speculation, but it might be some variety of 19th century straight-bladed sabre. I can't think it'd date from much before that - the weathering puts me more in mind of a recent sword that's suffered a lot from the elements in a comparatively short amount of time than a very old sword that's aged gracefully over a longer period.
"The rifle is no more than the grip of the bayonet."

--Giuseppe Garibaldi
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Gene W




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Location: The South Of England
Posts: 116
PostPosted: Mon 02 Jan, 2012 5:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Ronan.

what you have there is the remains of an Omani longsword usually called a Kattara.
The tang hasn't been repaired, it has been lengthened.
The short tanged blade is of the type used in the famous Kaskara's of N.Africa/Sudan.
This type of blade was commonly either made in Africa or traded from Europe and the tradition is a long one, some are extremely old. Similar types of trade and native blades (broadsword style) are also seen on Manding swords and Takouba.

To illustrate I'll attach a couple of pictures of bare Kaskara blades.

Among examples of these blades, both multiple and single fullers are commonplace. Among the single wide fullered variety, both long and short.


The Pommel is however distinctive to the Omani Kattara (some call them Saif when straight, but I find this unnecessarily confusing). I attach pictures of complete Omani swords for reference.

Best
Gene



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Last edited by Gene W on Sun 08 Jan, 2012 4:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ronan O'Caoimh




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Location: Cork, Ireland
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2012 2:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, that's amazing! I never expected it to be from the middle east. There were loads of Irish serving in the british army in Aden so maybe it came back with one of them. If only that sword could talk!

Thanks Gene!
R

Jerusalem has fallen...... we leave at dawn!
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Gene W




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Location: The South Of England
Posts: 116
PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2012 4:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ronan O'Caoimh wrote:
Wow, that's amazing! I never expected it to be from the middle east. There were loads of Irish serving in the british army in Aden so maybe it came back with one of them. If only that sword could talk!

Thanks Gene!
R


Hi Ronan,

You're very welcome and thank you for taking the time to come back and respond, it's appreciated Happy
Despite the obvious condition issues, your sword is still an interesting item. The Kattara is an iconic weapon of the Oman and is becomming more 'well known' as interest in Omani weapons (beyond the Khanjar) increases.
In fact, the emblem of Oman has a Khanjar with two Kattara (Curved type) behind it.
These 'relics' are important in building a picture of an ethnographic type such as the Omani Katarra as they show variation in blade and construction technique.
As with any relic, conservation rather than restoration is the key here. Oil and a brass wire brush (be sure the brissles are brass and not brass coated steel) to remove any loose rust. Keep the blade oiled and brush occasionally until the patina is stable. Don't attempt to remove the dark colour and reveal bare steel.
Then just hang on the wall and enjoy. I agree with your thoughts about its possible route to Ireland. Possibly even earlier than British involvement in Aden. Remember those 'old kit bags' that were about 4ft long that soldiers sang about packing up their troubles in? I'm sure there was room for the occasional souvenir in them as well Wink
I'd bet that many of the varied items encountered by colectors came to our shores via a soldiers kit bag!

Congratualtions again on an interesting and unusual piece.

Best
Gene

Added pictures showing the curved and straight variations.



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Shahril Dzulkifli




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Location: Malaysia
Likes: 1 page
Posts: 718
PostPosted: Fri 03 Feb, 2012 4:22 am    Post subject: Irish sword         Reply with quote


Ronan,
I think this sword should be given to museum authorities rather than kept at home.
I wonder if there are museums in Kildare.

"The blood memories of this wretched creature have shown me that your treachery knows no bounds"
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