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The VOC And Their Blades

As most sword collectors know the East India Company was one of the largest European influences in the east both socially and militarily but in popular media for the most part the fact that almost every seafaring nation had a variation on the Eastern trading companies is usually forgotten.

The EIC had one major competitor and that is the VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie), known as the Dutch East India Company and it is considered one of the worlds first global corporations. Its marines and ships were one of the most formidable forces in the East for many years, the most interesting conflicts in my opinion being the ones fought over nutmeg.

The weapons of the VOC are rare and interesting, almost all stamped and dated 17th and 18th century examples. Adapted both for the European wars that engulfed the continent as well as for naval combat and for use against the indigenous people of the colonies. One of the things that fascinates me is the co-opting of Dutch parts for use in native weapons, usually this will be locks from firearms or good quality blades that when sold or discarded they would be turned into native parangs, klewangs or goloks such as the one in the photos here.


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