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blue lander 22nd May 2014 09:41 PM

Tulwar with "dukari" mark
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This ended about a week ago on e-bay and unfortunately I didn't win it. I don't know the first thing about tulwars, but the shape of the blade on this one seems very atypical. Also of interest is that it appears to have the man in the moon stamp usually associated with North African blades. Any thoughts on where this blade might have originated?

spiral 22nd May 2014 10:21 PM

Be glad you didn't win it! ;)

Sadley some poor soul did..... :(


Battara 22nd May 2014 11:15 PM

What an odd piece! One of the gods pictured looks like Durga (the other I have never seen before).

Yet the moon on the blade is European in origin, which is not unusual in that European blades were seen as exotic by the Indians at the time.

A modified European blade no doubt, but is this whole thing original as a whole? - I'll let others answer that.

Jim McDougall 23rd May 2014 12:47 AM

I'm not inclined to think of this blade as European, though it does seem to recall certain features of some of them in profile, in particular the somewhat hook like 'clipped tip', a feature seen on many German military blades mid to end of the 18th century.
The one thing that might suggest being other than Indian produced would be the dramatic incurve of the blade at the root, suggesting the blade was reprofiled to fit this hilt.

Obviously the relief iconography would not have been fabricated into a blade in Europe, and these markings, though interpretations of European 18th century astral configurations used on blades in stylized motif , are clearly not European.
The man in the moon figure was typically used in talismanically oriented astral markings on blades in Europe, typically German through the 18th century. The face in the crescent moon is believed to have originated with makers marks in Spain hundreds of years before.

The 'dukari' term is from Saharan regions in North Africa and typically refers to the paired examples of these crescent moons with faces found on takouba blades, though many occur on kaskara blades in the same configuration and location.

This sword is definitely intriguing and it is tempting to consider it may be a votive piece used ceremonially in traditional events, though there are various items using these kinds of motif intended as souvenier items for British forces in India. In my view however , if that were the case this much attention would not have been given to blade profile and motif, and more traditional Indian blade would be expected.

Congoblades 23rd May 2014 07:31 AM

Some history ... :)

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 23rd May 2014 01:15 PM

Originally Posted by Congoblades

Salaams Congoblades~ I wondered when this one would surface..I looked closely at the moon stamps on N African blades and brushed against this reference some time ago... Is it related to the single or double Dukari stamps ? (The funny faced moons). Moons are traceable to Juan Martin, Toledo and later to Peter Munich of Solingen.

The sword, though possibly not a genuine article, appears to have Tulvar hilt...and a concocted blade which I cannot be sure is either of the Storta type or the Persian Quddera with peculiar Indian marks in the incised portraits.. which seem to be Indian deities...Whilst it could be some sort of religious item it equally could be a tourist home on the stage rather than in a serious collection perhaps.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

blue lander 23rd May 2014 03:04 PM

I know the man in the moon faces originated in Europe, but the ones I've seen on European blades seem to usually be larger and very ornate. I thought these smaller simpler ones were usually locally applied imitations?

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 23rd May 2014 03:20 PM

Originally Posted by blue lander
I know the man in the moon faces originated in Europe, but the ones I've seen on European blades seem to usually be larger and very ornate. I thought these smaller simpler ones were usually locally applied imitations?

I tend to agree that of the European marks commonly copied they include single or double Moons either funny face or blank moons in the new moon phase, stars, crosses,...and Passau wolf marks. On the red sea blades there are often Peter Munich copies of his famous Bishop ...with the moon plus various other squigles in the likeness of Munichs ornate blades...It is generally accepted that Peter Munich placed these marks as talismen rather than blade marks per se....and I think the talismanic effect is the major reason for the other decorations being copied ...

For Peter Munich (Solingen) See #225 at

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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