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Old 22nd November 2016, 05:27 PM   #22
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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Originally Posted by rand

You have a very nice sword that is also in great condition. Have you pondered removing the shellack from the ivory, it could make a very dramatic difference. Have had two pieces in the past that were covered with shellack, coincidently both were from india. And both looked much better after the shellack was taken off.

Also would like to comment on the scabbard. Would think the officer who commissioned this would have had a scabbard with a double hanger in the British 1822 style. Also believe judging from the quality of the sword its scabbard would have been of a higher dress quality equal to the sword.

Really like your sword, the well carved ivory handle along with nicely etched wootz blade topped off with the gold koftgari is a win, win,win.


I completely agree Rand, that in view of the military regulation features of the guard and langets, it would be presumed that the scabbard would be accordingly two carry ring in the style of British patterns of the time.

The brass mounts are also in accord with British officers sword scabbards of the time (early 19th), however, the langet receiver at the throat is very much aligned as well with swords produced in Hyderabad (many Arabian sa'if).

Post Seringapatam there was powerful celebratory and commemorative activity in many instances, with certain hybridization in weapons and military fashion notwithstanding. In the already considerable native forces in service of the EIC there were of course many native officers who very much aligned with British regulation arms fitted presumably with their own blades.

While by the same token British officers adopted native style fashions and weaponry, in the occupational circumstances of the times, there were certainly diplomatic instances as well. Weapons such as this seem likely to have been crafted for presentation to key figures whether administratively or within these ranks .

I have seen other examples of hilts (in brass) made with the tiger head (Tipu's leitmotif) fashioned in the M1796 British light cavalry pattern. Examples like these have been suggested to have been commemoratively produced recalling Tipu whether as victory remembrance or honorific for officers of his forces now in British service. Naturally these ideas are debatable.

I recall a case regarding the Napoleonic campaigns in Egypt where one M1803 British flank company officers sword I had was with the typical lion head, however instead of flowing mane, the backstrap included a distinctly sphinx styled headdress on the lions head.
This reflects the kind of commemorative styling sometimes incorporated into British military swords of first quarter 19th c.

If the blade on this sword is also considered, a good number of British military sabres of Napoleonic period had blades with the stepped back (yelman) at blade tip, recalling this established feature on many Indian blades.
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