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What is this sword and how can I refurbish it?

Hi, this sword has been in my family for years, my grandfather got it in Africa after it was used in a war there. I would like to know what it is called and how I can clean it up, re-wrap the handle? It is 39' long if that helps at all. And what is this gunk-like stuff that is around the blade where is enters the handle?
Not sure what category this goes in...

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iceng5 years ago
I don't recognize the Islamic mark on the blade.
If you believe the handle to be original, do NOT change it
or the collector value will suffer.

It looks too old and too long to be a gun mounted bayonet
owlart101 (author)  iceng5 years ago
Okay, any idea about the gunk on the bottom of the blade?
39" I mean, not 39 feet, haha
Don't do anything to the sword. Anything you try to do will destroy the value of it.

The so called gunk like stuff is probably pitch or some sort of sap used as a filler between the hilt and the blade.
If you want to help prevent any further damage to the blade then never touch it with your bare hands and keep the bladed coated with a thin coating of 10w40 motor oil. This will protect it from moisture and corrosion.

Please tell me you didn't stick that tip of the blade into that tree to stand it up for the picture. That is not good for the blade.
owlart101 (author)  mpilchfamily5 years ago
Ah, I see. Ok, I will try that.
Lord no! I wouldnt do that to the tree or the sword. I know enough about blades and metals not to do that. I actually know quite a bit about this stuff, but this sword just puzzled me, so, no I didn't stick it into the tree or the ground, just propped it up.
It may have considerable value in the collectors market, if you clean it up it wont be worth a plug nickle,see an expert before you go forward with cleaning.
owlart101 (author)  tragicallyhip5 years ago
Where do you think I can contact a professional in Virginia?
Head curator at a museum, perhaps a quick email to someone at the Smithsonian will shed some light.

good luck
Tragic
owlart101 (author)  tragicallyhip5 years ago
Thanks :) I will try that, actually I just found out that it is called a Kaskara and alot of the wrapped handles are bare in the middle. I was correct about it being from North Africa
I did some checking around on appraisal sites, your blade in it's current condition has an approx value of $100 to $125.

good luck

Tragic
owlart101 (author)  tragicallyhip5 years ago
Thanks