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NIMCHA, Sword

18th / 19th centuries

Morocco

Steel, silver, giraffe’s hoof.

Total Length: 91.5 cm; Blade Length: 77 cm

Traditional Moroccan sword with substantial Portuguese influence. The blade is made in Europe for use in the Portuguese Empire.

The blade must be dated through the blade’s inscription to the reign of Queen Mary I, which lasted from 1777 until 1816. The very wide groove indicated the beginning of the 19th century. As this was a politically unstable time in Portugal and European manufacturers were confused about who exactly was reigning at the time, (Queen Mary, the Prince Regent, the French or British Invaders or King John VI), it was usual to simply engrave Viva Portugal (Long Live Portugal) without indicating the ruler, so that the blades would not be returned to the manufacturer.

The blades were usually imported from Passau, Suhl or Solingen and were mounted in Portugal in a setting according to the costumer’s taste. Seeing as they often had elements in silver, these were melted when the weapon was re-sold in order to keep valuable metal. The naked blades were then sold by themselves.

The Nimcha’s settings are clearly Moroccan from the late 19th century. The handle would be made from giraffe’s hoof.

Bilbiography: A Glossary of The Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armour In All Countries And All Times, GEORGE CAMERON STONE, ISBN 0-486-40726-8 (pbk), pag. 469, fig. 594 (1).

NIMCHA, Espada

Séc. XVIII/XIX

Marrocos

Aço, prata, casco de girafa.

Comp. total - 91,5 cm; Comp. lâmina - 77 cm.

Espada tradicional marroquina, com importante influência portuguesa.

A lâmina é de fabrico europeu para uso no Mundo Português.

Tem de ser datada pelos floreados na inscrição para o Reinado de Dona Maria I, no mais largo espaço de tempo, ou seja, desde 1777 até 1816. A goteira muito larga indica o início do século XIX. Visto no estrangeiro não terem compreendido bem a nossa ”confusão” acerca de quem é que reinava (Dona Maria 1ª; ou o Príncipe Regente; ou o Invasor Francês; ou o invasor britânico, ou D. João VI) era frequente usarem simplesmente o termo “ VIVA PORTUGAL” sem indicar quem fosse o Regente, para que a lamina não fosse devolvida ao fabricante.

Nós importávamos estas lâminas geralmente de Passau, Suhl ou Solingen e montávamos em Portugal, com guarnições ao gosto do cliente. Visto frequentemente receberem guarnições em prata derretiam a mesma numa mudança de posse para obterem o valor do metal nobre. As laminas soltas eram depois vendidas à parte.

As guarnições “NIMCHA” são nitidamente marroquinas do século XIX avançado, portanto muito provavelmente da segunda metade do século XIX. O punho será de casco de girafa.

Bibl. A Glossary of The Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armour In All Countries And All Times, GEORGE CAMERON STONE, ISBN 0-486-40726-8 (pbk), pag. 469, fig. 594 (1).

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