From the collection of: Jean-Paul Cazes

Attribution

Tuareg - 19th century overall - blade possibly 18th century

Comments

A very nice Tuareg takouba with a classic triple fullered trade blade and intriguing engraving.

The blade of this sword is almost certainly European in origin and the engraving is likely European as well. It depicts a scene of celestial symbols and the arm and sabre of a cavalryman. Lhote (Les Touaregs du Hoggar) notes the engraving and lists it as originating in Italy at the end of the 17th century. As these motifs appear on kaskara and takouba blades it is quite reasonable to assume the application of these marks was continuing throughout the 18th century. There is some debate if these engravings were applied locally, some probably were. However in this case the engraving is well executed, seems consistent with the wear and age of the blade and is quite likely original. The blade profile is long and slender as the result of decades upon decades of heavy sharpening. Leading to a very slim tip. The fullers are somewhat unusual in that normally only the central fuller extends past the midway point of the blade. On this example all three fullers are quite long. Almost the full length of the sword.

The pommel is typical of Tuareg swords and larger and more substantial than newer swords. The leatherwork has the usual motifs and patterns seen on many other Tuareg examples. The scabbard also is a good indicator of age, having the older style brass rings.

Overall a very good example of the sort of sword that was highly prized in the region due to the high quality trade blade.

Measurements

Total length : 96,8 cm
Blade : 82,5 cm x max. 4,4 cm x 0,36 cm
Weight (sword only) : 734 g.