Anyone know anything about the markings on this sword?

This is a set of photos from a student I work with. Her grandfather gave it to her and said that his grandfather gave it to him. Unfortunately grandfather is no longer with us so we can't ask him anything about it.

Sword full view

Sword holder

Sword Markings

Sword Leather

Sword Hilt

Sword Hilt

  • 2
    Do we perhaps at least know where these various grandfathers are from?
    – T.E.D.
    Mar 12, 2015 at 23:25
  • 1
    Wow, that's incredible. Looks 15th or 16th century South Russia to me, maybe even Ottoman or Caucasian, but that is just a sheer guess. Could be very valuable. Mar 12, 2015 at 23:28
  • If you could provide a closeup of the pommel that would be useful. Mar 12, 2015 at 23:37
  • I will guess 18th century Ottoman, but we really need an expert to figure it out for sure. If this guess is right, it might be worth $200 to $300. Mar 13, 2015 at 0:05
  • @TylerDurden - How do you figure? Everything I've been able to dig up about Ottoman swords shows them curved. Same for Russian swords after roughly the 14th century.
    – T.E.D.
    Mar 13, 2015 at 2:04

2 Answers 2


A tuareg takooba sword, maybe

Scabbard and half-moon markings on the blade are reasonably similar to a tuareg takooba sword shown on antiqueswordsonline. See images below: note that the half-moon markings appear at the same place as on the sword above, where the two outer fullers (grooves) end.

From a general description:

"The typical blade tapers, especially distally, to a rounded point. The edges may be irregular from repeated sharpening, especially toward the tip. The method of sharpening leaves a roughly striated appearance on the flats of the blades adjacent to the edges [...] the usual narrow central fullers (grooves) running parallel to the length of the blade from the hilt often appear to be ground, having striations, and sometimes do not show the degree of pitting and irregularities otherwise characterizing the rest of the surface. The typical blade will have three such fullers, the central being longer than those on either side." (Takouba ~ Swords of the Saharan Tuareg - This site also has more images and of various types of takoobas and further references)

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 5
    The first picture showing the same three blade lines and two squiggles in a semicircle looks pretty darn definitive to me.
    – T.E.D.
    Mar 13, 2015 at 17:37
  • 5
    From the link, apparently Tuareg warriors have an aversion to touching metal, which explains why not only the hilt but the guard as well appear to be wrapped in leather.
    – T.E.D.
    Mar 13, 2015 at 17:42

I submitted the photos to a dealer and he said the sword is, as Mario Elocio said, of North African make. He said it was made sometime between 1900-1950 and would be worth $100 to $200 on eBay.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.