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Old 26th May 2019, 03:17 PM   #3
Jim McDougall
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Originally Posted by ariel
I think it was Elgood who casually mentioned that crooked spike of Tulwar handles was fashionable around 17th century.

Elgood (2004, p.123) does refer to the influence of imported Deccani designs in early 17th c. so as the khanda was essentially Deccani (Maratha) possibly the spike may have in some degree inspired these on talwar hilts.

Elgood also notes (p.90) that the talwar 'disc pommel' appears first seen in records in the A'in-i-Akbari (completed 1589) but in earlier references of 16th c. ( Nujum ul Alam; Hamzanama, both 1560s+) the talwar pommels are globular or small cup shaped.

Since the 'Hindu basket hilt' seems to have become popular in the early 17th c. as well, the spike seems to have possibly come along with that development, at least in accord with examples I have seen. The earlier khanda seems loosely of similar design, but with cup shaped pommels and a full guard plate under quillons of a kind.
It was mostly the addition of the knuckleguard plate in a kind of extension of the guard plate that gave the hilt the 'basket' appellation.

Perhaps the 'spike' on these khanda is simply presumed a feature for second hand grip, but in actuality is a symbolic element representing a bud.

In "Arts of the Muslim Knight" (2008, p.102, #66) a khanda (basket hilt) is shown and the 'spike' described as "..a long and slightly tilted 'bud' arising from an inverted dome set into the pommel bowl".
None of the khandas with spike from pommel elsewhere have this or any other notation toward them in this reference, nor is any mention of the feature intended for use as a secondary hand grip.

Is it possible that this seemingly consistent feature on these 'basket hilt' khandas was a symbolic element representing a 'bud' perhaps lotus? as emanating from a cup in a floral type theme?
On the Dungarpuri type talwar hilt (Pant.op. cit. p.108) the smaller stem seems more like a bud.
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