Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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kahnjar1 8th October 2019 03:31 AM

Tulwar for comment
 
6 Attachment(s)
Just picked this up. Nice clean example of an Indian Tulwar with Koftgari to the hilt, and complete with a scabbard in good order. The blade has a shallow yalman to 20cm from the tip and is marked both sides as shown.
Any comments welcome.

mariusgmioc 8th October 2019 05:35 AM

Yep, honest Tulwar. Maybe 19c.

Blade needs some cleaning. I would also check it for wootz.

Kubur 8th October 2019 08:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Yep, honest Tulwar. Maybe 19c.

Blade needs some cleaning. I would also check it for wootz.



Marius, I hope that you polish your car and your house is tidy because you are obsessed with etching...
:confused:

mariusgmioc 8th October 2019 02:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Marius, I hope that you polish your car and your house is tidy because you are obsessed with etching...
:confused:



:) :) :)

Because I am a compulsive-obsessive etcher! :p

Jim McDougall 8th October 2019 03:08 PM

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Very nice and sound example Stu, and I would think it is certainly 19th c. of course. While I cannot say anything about wootz, I am more intrigued by the markings on the blade. The circle in the center of the grouping is hard to discern so am unclear on what it might represent, but the entirety of the marking group resembles European type configurations of much earlier, and the marks bracketing the orb look like the 'cogwheel' types (Wallace Coll., Mann,1962).
What is interesting is the style and placement which closely resembles those markings as if possibly Indian applied, in the manner we see the paired sickle marks in the same blade location.

It is pretty hard to tell if blade is European, but the yelman style suggests it is possible. Indian blade makers were pretty good, so hard to say. Obviously if wootz was present that would pretty well determine. Either way it would seem possible blade is earlier than hilt.

On the hilt, nice Rajasthan demeanor, and interesting arrangement of these striated discs that seem to occur in motif on hilts attributed to Hyderabad by Elgood in his Arabian arms book. The attached is one I have where these discs in more rudimentary fashion occur in the embossed silver of hilt.
The same devices appear on many Indian firearms, which seem mostly NW India.

Nice to see a solid scabbard with such an attractive tulwar.

The 'cogwheel' mark is seen in Mann, (op. cit. A768) and listed on a Swiss dagger, but this was widely used in Europe. It seems I have seen this entire mark group in one of the compendiums but cannot place yet, Im more inclined to think this blade European cavalry of possibly latter 18th. but more checking needed. Maybe European forum could help in this case?

kahnjar1 8th October 2019 08:36 PM

Thank you Gentlemen for your comments....and YES I will clean the blade but have not at this stage had the time.
The blade marks interest me and hopefully someone might be able to positively identify them.
Stu

Jim McDougall 9th October 2019 02:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Thank you Gentlemen for your comments....and YES I will clean the blade but have not at this stage had the time.
The blade marks interest me and hopefully someone might be able to positively identify them.
Stu



The blade marks truly are intriguing Stu, and at this point I truly sense they might be indicators of a European manufacture of this blade. They seem pretty weak, whether from poor application or genuine wear is hard to say, but may I suggest/implore restrained cleaning so as not to lose more of their presence.
I checked Gyngell and Wallace Collection but still cant find the mark, though it seems familiar.

If I may suggest placing the markings on European forum (along with noting presence on Indian tulwar of course) as guys like Udo and Jasper have handled many European blades and may offer insight or identification.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 9th October 2019 03:09 PM

Here is The Wallace Collection of Indian Swords ...for interest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aNbkO7pNI0

Jens Nordlunde 9th October 2019 09:39 PM

Thank for your the picture, but to me it is far too blured.

kahnjar1 9th October 2019 10:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Thank for your the picture, but to me it is far too blured.

Hi Jens,
Do you mean the pic of the blade mark??? It is how it is on the blade.
Stu

ariel 9th October 2019 10:06 PM

4 Attachment(s)
I also thought of Europe, but here is a tulwar just sold on E-Bay

kahnjar1 9th October 2019 10:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
I also thought of Europe, but here is a tulwar just sold on E-Bay

....but the blade marks are quite different to mine.......

Kubur 9th October 2019 11:11 PM

Stu, for me the little star stamps are typicaly Indians.
But in the circle i can see an half moon face... normaly European,
But here i think it's an Indian copy.

ariel 10th October 2019 03:12 AM

Kubur,
Do you have any examples of the “stars” mark on European or Indian blades?
This one looks like a 7-star ( Ursa Major?) triangle

kahnjar1 10th October 2019 04:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Stu, for me the little star stamps are typicaly Indians.
But in the circle i can see an half moon face... normaly European,
But here i think it's an Indian copy.

I will place for possible ID on the European Forum and see what happens.
Stu

Jim McDougall 10th October 2019 04:19 AM

The seven star assemblage resembles the usually 6 star with comet type markings used by the Schimmelbusch makers in Solingen mid to latter 19th c. This configuration is slightly different than the one shown in Bezdek, but it has been seen on other trade blades of these times.

The 'stars' are typically termed 'cogwheels' and are seen in Italian mark groupings including the sickle marks, and are seen on earlier Swiss attributed daggers. The sickle marks, as well known, are twin opposed arcs with 'dentation' or serrated looking edges, very much like seen around this circle which has the 'cogwheels' bracketing it. This again is very much in the Italian manner of mark groupings seen in Boccia & Coelho (1985).

While the dentated arcs (sickle marks) are known to be copied on Indian and Afghan blades, usually in this blade position, I cannot recall offhand any Indian blades copying these characteristically European markings.
The circle on Stu's blade may be what is left of a 'man in the moon' face (as suggested by Kubur) and as seen occasionally enclosed in circle on some Italian blades.

While still uncertain of whether the blade is European or impressive Indian copy, I just wanted to explain my views toward the plausibility for the European attribution.

I hope someone out there can show pics of other 'Indian' blades with these 'stars' (?) also known in European context as cogwheels.

kahnjar1 10th October 2019 06:34 AM

Hi Jim,
I have placed it on the European Forum so will see what turns up there.
Stu
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
The seven star assemblage resembles the usually 6 star with comet type markings used by the Schimmelbusch makers in Solingen mid to latter 19th c. This configuration is slightly different than the one shown in Bezdek, but it has been seen on other trade blades of these times.

The 'stars' are typically termed 'cogwheels' and are seen in Italian mark groupings including the sickle marks, and are seen on earlier Swiss attributed daggers. The sickle marks, as well known, are twin opposed arcs with 'dentation' or serrated looking edges, very much like seen around this circle which has the 'cogwheels' bracketing it. This again is very much in the Italian manner of mark groupings seen in Boccia & Coelho (1985).

While the dentated arcs (sickle marks) are known to be copied on Indian and Afghan blades, usually in this blade position, I cannot recall offhand any Indian blades copying these characteristically European markings.
The circle on Stu's blade may be what is left of a 'man in the moon' face (as suggested by Kubur) and as seen occasionally enclosed in circle on some Italian blades.

While still uncertain of whether the blade is European or impressive Indian copy, I just wanted to explain my views toward the plausibility for the European attribution.

I hope someone out there can show pics of other 'Indian' blades with these 'stars' (?) also known in European context as cogwheels.

Jens Nordlunde 10th October 2019 09:02 AM

Hi Stu,
No I meant the picture from Wallace Collection - sorry, I should have been more precise.

Richard G 10th October 2019 12:44 PM

Are there traces of inlay in the marks, or is it a trick of the photography?
Regards
Richard

ariel 10th October 2019 03:21 PM

I think you might be correct re. Inlay in some cogwheels.

Jens Nordlunde 10th October 2019 03:58 PM

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Oh yes, there are traces of inlay.
In the stars as well as in the round stamp.

Jim McDougall 10th October 2019 06:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Oh yes, there are traces of inlay.
In the stars as well as in the round stamp.



Well there you have it!!! Thank you Jens, could not see that in original images.
This IS a European blade, not only were these type markings not copied (as far as I recall) by Indian armourers, I do not recall ever seeing latten (gold metal inlay) in such markings.
Obviously Mughal blades had such inlay in cartouches and inscriptions etc. but never used on these rather pedestrian markings.

That central circle has the dentations in surround much like the ones on the sickle marks, and the cogwheels are known in combination as bracketing the dentated arcs. This may be a variation of markings as so commonly seen on Italian blades .

kahnjar1 10th October 2019 08:02 PM

Thank you Jens for enhancing my original pic. It now shows the inlay quite clearly......and thank you Jim for identifying the marks as European. Now all we need is someone to identify who the marks belong to!
Stu

Jim McDougall 10th October 2019 09:49 PM

Stu, there's the rub!
Markings are a pretty sticky wicket most of the time, especially these kinds of variant groupings which seem to have been used collectively on blades in certain sectors of production and in various times.

While there were certain cases of certain devices and symbolic images which can be attributed to certain makers, the spurious cross use of these and others which may have had other meanings have been used in a quality imbuement sense.

Personally I am inclined to place the markings on your blade in a German context, as the use of gold metal inlay was a very much German proclivity.
Naturally as with anything, there are no hard and fast rules, but it is just my own sense of the case of such use.

The gold metal fill in the marks were probably spuriously applied as interpretations of Italian markings seen and in the kind of astral grouping used often on European blades.

I wish there was a way to align particular blades to certain makers with European instances, but aside from the registered or documented ones, these kinds of generalized devices were usually used broadly by many providers.

Kubur 10th October 2019 10:48 PM

No one is seeing an half moon like me??
European half moon faces filled with cooper or brass?
Absolutely not convinced that it is European...
Please show me some similar blades from Europe...
Nice sword by the way

Kubur 10th October 2019 11:19 PM

3 Attachment(s)
ohhh what a surprise an Indian sword
with an Indian blade
with the same little stars...
;)

Jim McDougall 11th October 2019 12:34 AM

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Kubur! You ARE good!!!!
Well done on showing this blade with 'Indian stars' (aka European cogwheels).

This blade has the distinct 'Indian ricasso', and as you point out these cogwheel marks configured in well known Italian arrangement.

Here is the deal. These 'cogwheels' are well known in Italian markings and often placed with other devices in motif on European blades. I am attaching (from Boccia & Coelho, 1975) some images of the typical conventions used in Italian markings end of 16th into early 17th c. They are North Italy of course.

Note the 'vesical piscus' ellipse in one grouping along with the cogwheels and the dentation on the ellipse. There is also an apparent affinity for images in roundels, such as the winged griffin as well as the winged lion of St. Marks.
While these images in roundel surround are shown, the cogwheels seem to be placed around or bracketing them.

The image of the man in the moon, which you have aptly emphasized, is seen in roundel (after the Italian fashion?) but on a German blade of c. 1630. This image is from the Wallace collection (Mann 1962).
Again, the inlay of gold metal in markings was a German favored affectation, but not saying not used in other exceptions, just in my opinion, not India.

In the case of this tulwar, could the marking arrangement have been copied in India....of course. But would the armorers gone to the added detail of 'latten' filled markings? It would be remarkably unusual.

In the case of the linear cogwheel marks shown in the tulwar, indeed I have seen these, but usually on khanda blades typically shown as 'firangi', that is with Italian (or other European) blade.

kahnjar1 11th October 2019 01:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
ohhh what a surprise an Indian sword
with an Indian blade
with the same little stars...
;)

Hi Kubur,
No, the stars are different. Yours have 8 points and those on mine only 6. Not to say though that those on your sword are Indian copies.
Stu

Jim McDougall 11th October 2019 02:23 AM

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Ok, looked into Boccia & Coelho again ("Armi Bianchi Italiene"", 1975) which is of course on Italian edged weapons. These images are of short sabres known as storta, which are from early 17th c.
Please note the variant blade features, which include ricasso and choil at the blade forte.
Also in the one image, look at the plethora of 'Indian stars'!!!! :) (#6)

The use of forefinger over the forward quillon has been described in numbers of sources, often using the term 'Italian grip' if I recall correctly. There has been considerable debate over the suggestions that Indian swordsmen used this grip with extended forefinger over the quillon, but perhaps this may be the source for the feature which Indians added to their blades termed the 'Indian ricasso'.

Here we see, 'Italian' swords with these blade features, and of course the markings being discussed, known in Italy as 'cogwheels'. In European heraldry I believe they are called mullets. The number of radiating spikes do not seem significant.

In my view though, the blade posted by Kubur with these linear cogwheels is Italian, thus the sword is 'firangi'. Again, I have not seen these type marks duplicated by Indian blade makers, but the use of Italian blades appears to have a long tradition in India. These brought in by Portuguese certainly remained in circulation for some time, added to by the German blades so well favored and known, termed 'Alemani'.

Kubur, what in particular makes this blade (post 26) in this tulwar, 'Indian' in your view? As I mentioned, these type arrangements on straight SE blades in khanda seem invariably to be Italian, and seem to be from from perhaps schiavona of 18th c.

On the use of copper/brass filled markings, the running wolf and cross and orb are the most commonly seen examples and invariably on German blades it seems.

Kubur 11th October 2019 10:42 AM

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Stu you are right the stars are abut different but enough similar to me.
Jim the sword that I posted is not mine but the whole blade is absolutely Indian (the cut, the ricasso, the yelman) and if you search a bit you will find hundred of them and dozen with the little stars.
Indians copied European blades.
The man in the moon on Stu's blade is very different from the European blades that I have with the same "moon face".
I will be very happy if Stu's sword has an European blade.
But please brings me evidences.
Now Jim look at the post of a guy called McDougall

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...lingen+ Blades

Post 28: this one seems to me a serious contender and then maybe a proof that your blade Stu is European... OR Caucasian!!! Caucasian sounds good to me...

Jens Nordlunde 11th October 2019 03:42 PM

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Kubur's blade should be turned like this.


Khanjar1, to make it easier please show the round mark turning the right way.
Hold the sword with the blade pointing up in the air, and take a picture of the mark. Thank you.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 11th October 2019 05:44 PM

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Reference;
A. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seal_of_Solomon
B. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexagram


The thread is most interesting since it illustrates the latten inlay on six pointed stars most accurately and draws in another style of star with eight points. Of the eight pointer I have absolutely no idea except that there is no distinction between a five and a six pointer thus perhaps they mean the same... but with eight?

On the Six Pointer; There are two main separate meanings ...One in Indian religious form and the other European sense. The one we all know about is The Seal of Solomon but this is misleading since it was used for centuries in Christian form before it was adopted into Jewish . It would seem to support the view that latten inlay being used first in European swords from an ancient European seal of Solomon / star of David design points to the subject blade being European not middle eastern. Note however that ancient Damascus blades had the star form on the blade..confusingly appearing on British military blades even today as a mark of quality or in memory of high quality blades with that insignia. Wilkinson Swords all have that same star on the blade at the throat.

From Reference B Quote"It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that for a long time both the five-pointed and the six-pointed stars were called by one name, the "Seal of Solomon," and that no distinction was made between them. This name is obviously related to the Jewish legend of Solomon's dominion over the spirits, and of his ring with the Ineffable Name engraved on it. These legends expanded and proliferated in a marked fashion during the Middle Ages, among Jews and Arabs alike, but the name, "Seal of Solomon," apparently originated with the Arabs."Unquote.

Please see wikepedia at Reference B on the subject of this sign and the amazing array of different meanings attached in particular the Indian form of the star which is entirely different to the European reason...but may well be why it may have appeared on Indian weapons?

Below an actual ring; .. The Seal of Solomon.

Jim McDougall 11th October 2019 05:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Stu you are right the stars are abut different but enough similar to me.
Jim the sword that I posted is not mine but the whole blade is absolutely Indian (the cut, the ricasso, the yelman) and if you search a bit you will find hundred of them and dozen with the little stars.
Indians copied European blades.
The man in the moon on Stu's blade is very different from the European blades that I have with the same "moon face".
I will be very happy if Stu's sword has an European blade.
But please brings me evidences.
Now Jim look at the post of a guy called McDougall

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...lingen+ Blades

Post 28: this one seems to me a serious contender and then maybe a proof that your blade Stu is European... OR Caucasian!!! Caucasian sounds good to me...



Who is this guy called McDougall!!???? :)
Kubur, seriously, thank you for linking that most interesting discussion, which really did cover a lot on the wide diffusion and copying of the crescent 'man in the moon' figure . There is no doubt this was widely copied, not just obviously Solingen, but in numbers of native shops in various cultures.
The crescent moon seems to have had a sort of universal application which worked nicely into the symbolisms of various religious, talismanic and occult followings.

What I have been referring to primarily the 'stars', again termed the 'cogwheel' colloquially in European parlance, and there again in European heraldry as the 'mullet' (fr. mollette) which loosely represents a spur.

I really do appreciate everyone's patience in discussing this dilemma in trying to determine which blades (with Stu's example) are indeed European as opposed to Indian made copies. There is no denying that Indian artisans were remarkably skilled, but we are looking at what symbols, designs or conventions were adopted by them in producing their own versions of blades.

I think the example Jens shows is interesting, and is of course more in regard to the proper position in viewing the blade markings, with point held upward.
It is obviously not meant in comparison to Kuburs blade (on a tulwar) wih lines of 'stars'.

As I had noted, these 'stars' (cogwheel, mullet) were not a feature I have seen on Indian made mark groupings. Again, as well pointed out and confirmed by Jens, the use of gold metal inlay (in these type marks) was not done by Indian makers. It was very much a European affectation, used mostly on the cross and orb or Passau wolf, but in this case obviously used more liberally in cosmological designs.

The blade fullering, linear mullets/cogwheels on Kubur's example (post #26) simply ring Italian, and my post illustrating 'storta' swords from Boccia & Coelho (1975) show these swords with similar blade features....as well as the profuse use of the 'stars'.

The roundel, as Kubur as pointed out several times (in Stu's example OP) seems possibly to have what remains of a crescent moon as also repeatedly mentioned as a possible enclosure in it. Again, it seems well established that the moon itself was widely copied in astral themes, but with the cogwheels, it seems to point to European application.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 11th October 2019 06:20 PM

NOTE IT IS AN Indian FORM Please see wikepedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexagram on the subject of this sign and the amazing array of different meanings attached in particular the Indian form of the star which is entirely different to the European reason...but may well be why it may have appeared on Indian weapons? :shrug:

Jim McDougall 11th October 2019 07:06 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Ibrahiim we crossed posts, and thank you so much for the interesting detail and insights into these 'stars' etc.
The point I have been making is that these 'cogwheels' (aka mullets) seen consistently in many European marking groups, while often appearing to represent stars, are actually more aligned with mill components (hence cogwheel) as used in blade making. The same representation is present in the familiar use of the 'mill rind' (aka twig) marking which has become at times entwined with the 'marca mosca' or fly marking. These are all basically Italian marks which have diffused into other European repertoire.

In the thread linked by Kubur, there is considerable discussion on the use of the crescent man in the moon, as well as notes toward the 'Star of Solomon' or six point star. Here is where we digress.
The number of points on the star are in my opinion, moot, as far as the use of these mullets, or cogwheels in various blade marking configurations.

The 'mill' theme seems to have been notably present in Italian marking systems as pointed out with mill rinds (twigs) and cogwheels , but in other European parlance may well have been seen resembling the 'mullet' in their heraldry.
The mullet represents a chivalry spur, and the number of rowels varied. Some may be seen as forms of stars, i.e. six point; five point (pentagram) or eight point.
Here I would note that the six point star, or Star of Solomon, is actually two transposed triangles, not a star with six points. The six point star much later became the Mogan David used in the Jewish Faith.

Here we see the widely disparate perceptions of certain symbols, which is well known with European symbols being copied in native contexts as they received trade blades imported from European sources.

The crescent moon easily melded into various cultures with the prevalence of lunar phases and observances keyed into their beliefs.

The cogwheel or mullet, as far as I can determine, even though perhaps seen as a star via the astral prism, did not have the same importance as the crescent in native interpretation.

In European (particularly Italian) parlance, the cogwheel just as the mill rind would have been cognate with the elements of the work of blade making, as might well have been recognized by guilds and marks used by makers in accord with record keeping.

To return to the discussion on Stu's tulwar, I personally feel that the blade is European, probably German (the latten inlay) and likely a cavalry blade of 18th c.
While Kubur posted a tulwar with a most impressive blade with linear use of the cogwheels (post #26) suggesting the blade is Indian using 'stars', it is my impression this is an Italian blade resembling those of storta swords.
The markings are configured in the same Italian convention I have seen on numerous sword blades of Italian origin (typically schiavona type) found in khanda (thus termed 'firangi').

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 11th October 2019 08:30 PM

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Yes fascinating inroads indeed... In fact I just read that the Moon and Star typically Othmanli decoration/insignis was not originally Muslim but in fact owes its origins further East in Hindu roots going much further back with the moon at the bottom of the diagram …

Here is a further link to Indian Crescent moon structures at http://www.sikhmuseum.com/nishan/mistaken/crescent.html

My other point here was to look at the hilt which also tends to illustrate cogs...but I needed other examples of this decoration...and perhaps this is only artistic impressions of geometric floral style. See Below.

kahnjar1 11th October 2019 08:40 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Kubur's blade should be turned like this.


Khanjar1, to make it easier please show the round mark turning the right way.
Hold the sword with the blade pointing up in the air, and take a picture of the mark. Thank you.

Hi Jens,
Here are the pics rotated. Yes I see it now...."man in the moon" mark.
Stu

Jens Nordlunde 12th October 2019 03:26 PM

Hi Stu - glad it worked:-).

ariel 12th October 2019 05:33 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I am adding oil to the fire. Two pics with markings from both sides of the blade.

I am purposefully not showing the entire sword to have an opinion unbiased by any extraneous factors. .
When we reach a consensus on those markings I shall do it.

Kubur 12th October 2019 07:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
I am adding oil to the fire. Two pics with markings from both sides of the blade.

I am purposefully not showing the entire sword to have an opinion unbiased by any extraneous factors. .
When we reach a consensus on those markings I shall do it.


Looks like markings on Yemeni sword...
Of course doesn't mean that the blade is Yemeni...
But deep crude engravings or stampings don't look European to me...


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