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Old 9th December 2013, 04:11 PM   #1
archer
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Default Tulwar lite

Hi, Does anyone recognize the Stamp on this blade? This Tulwar despite having a 29.5 blade length weighs in at 650 GM or just less than 1 ½ pounds the hilt style may be Dungarpuri, according to D.N.Pants illustration. The pommel is small 2- 1/8 inches in diameter and interferes less with changes in wrist movement angles. The blade edge and tip are razor thin would still cut. The comparable tulwar I in the photos weighs just about one kilo.

The E Bay seller’s photo with all the edges of darkened scotch tape had me thinking it could be a heavier fighting sword. It came in coated with sooty grease and blade tip damage from shipping the light weight and appearance had me thinking tourist trade and I would next find made in India stamped on the blade. It instead has Eye lash markings and a stamp that is new to me the bent tip returned to less than 90 degrees it was with a crease or two.

Tulwar Demonstrations on U Tube provided information that a feather light sword was preferred by the more skilled sword men. Also mentioned was that blade on blade contact is always avoided. There’s a slice laid back on its pommel that appears to have been made by another sword blade. So, is this an example of the feather weight blade mentioned or simply a lighter tulwar than my other example??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLTcVJGMBkQ
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Old 9th December 2013, 04:52 PM   #2
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I have a feeling that 1.4 - 1.8 pounds would be an average weight for swords of this type .
It looks like it picked up some ink from a publication of some sort; probably from storage wrapped in newspaper .
A shame about the point .
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Old 10th December 2013, 01:14 AM   #3
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I wouldn't call it featherweight. It's on the light side; I'd estimate about 800g to be average (to be more precise, the median weight to be about 800g), with plenty from 700-800g.

The lightest I've heard of is "just over a pound". I'd call that featherweight!
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Old 10th December 2013, 02:00 AM   #4
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I would too .
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Old 10th December 2013, 09:05 PM   #5
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Having just played with some lightweight tulwars, I'll change my previous answer. I'm willing to say this is "featherweight". IM(revised)O, a 640g tulwar is sufficiently light so as be qualitatively different, not just quantitatively.
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Old 10th December 2013, 10:21 PM   #6
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Default Comparisons

I now have four Tulwars not enough to really know enough about their normal weights turns out one is atypical wispy blade also about the same 1.5 pound weight. Seems having two at 640 gms is at least one too many to very rare. Maybe the plain iron disk pommel was a personal weigh balancing preference. I can see that more skilled swordsmen could accurately find soft targets on an armored foe.
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Last edited by archer : 10th December 2013 at 10:23 PM. Reason: spelliing
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Old 11th December 2013, 12:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer
I now have four Tulwars not enough to really know enough about their normal weights turns out one is atypical wispy blade also about the same 1.5 pound weight. Seems having two at 640 gms is at least one too many to very rare. Maybe the plain iron disk pommel was a personal weigh balancing preference. I can see that more skilled swordsmen could accurately find soft targets on an armored foe.


Three! The one in the OP (650g), mine, yours. My 2nd lightest is about 750g, with a heavy hilt; it would easily get below 700g.

As for armour, it isn't like the heavier tulwars will cut through metal armour like mail. Cutting through clothing, pushing through blocks, blocking blows more easily, better cutting with poor technique - all potential benefits of extra weight. Skill will work better.

Lightweight is good, as long as the weapon doesn't become too fragile. Light is fast, speed is life.
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Old 11th December 2013, 04:17 PM   #8
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Default East India Company Stamps

I accidentally found out some information on the stamps on the blade, as usual
the forum came through. Here's the link but the C or G issue isn't helped by this weak triple stamping. at best it sort of says not later than 1858.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=tulwar
photo from Puka Bundook.

Not knowing for sure but, assuming the second sword often carried would be for backup. it now seems likely the backup sword was for a different fighting style or circumstances.
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Old 11th December 2013, 04:59 PM   #9
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Archer, good work on locating that earlier thread and the comments by Richard (Pukka Bundook) who provided some great discussions on tulwars.
Actually it is regrettable that little work has ever been done to address the many markings and stamps found on Indian blades, though over the years Jens Nordlund (the 'go to guy' on tulwars ) has made numerous initiations on the topic.

As seen in the previous thread linked, these triangular stamps seem to have to do with issuance or inventory matters associated with post East India Co. British Raj. I believe many of these were probably associated with the paramilitary security and patrol forces often employed by large British commercial estates, firms and other such entities, as I mentioned with the railroad example in the thread.

It is interesting to examine the disparity in weights of blades on these as you have pointed out, and I wonder if perhaps the grade of steel being used on blades was not a factor. In the later years of the Raj, early part of the 20th century, a great deal of industrial grade steel, from railroads and other infrastructural activity was recycled for these purposes if I understand correctly . It seems to me that the volume of older arms that remained in circulation despite the clearing of arsenals etc. is far greater than most of us imagine, and remounting of unserviceable blades was quite regular activity particularly with these ersatz forces.
It seems quite possible that the hilt damage seen here was 'post-storage' as often these arms were stored literally in heaps.

It is important to note that little Indian swordsmanship involved any type of sword to sword combat (shields served for parrying) and as pointed out, lighter blades were certainly favored as 'faster' in controlled slashing cuts. Clearly sword blades were not intended to direct at any sort of armor but of course were indeed effective when armor components became compromised or off entirely.

The hilt form indeed is comparable to the typology which Pant worked to establish, but these rather arbitrarily classified examples remain essentially a benchmark to which further research has revealed certain fallibilities.
It does seem that the form of these hilts is typically associated with Rajasthan and regions extending into the Deccan and which became well known in the Northwest Frontier.
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Old 11th December 2013, 10:17 PM   #10
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Its clear those markings are not genuine east india company markings. Lets face it there sans serif.. The East India companys were not.

World wide arms & other major purveyors of fakes & replicas & restamped pieces have been active for many decades now. EIC used to be a popular stamp on their fakes .

Id suggest perusing the various 1970s adverts...

Failing that speak to a knowledgeable chap like David Harding.

Author about various arms & the history's of such of East India company.

{He contactable via the curator of the Gurkha museam Winchester. UK.}

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Old 12th December 2013, 04:11 AM   #11
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As very astutely noted, these stamps are most certainly not 'genuine' East India Company marks. The EIC ceased after the Indian Mutiny in 1857, and by this time the variations of EIC balemarks had long since gone out of use. The use of the EIC rampant lion had been in place since around 1808, and sword blades were never marked with any EIC markings, it appears focus was on guns (though I have seen bayonets so marked). It seems that sword blades, as far as I have known, never bore any type of EIC letters or bale mark.

By the 1860s the use of EIG (East India Government)stamps became regularly used, but it seems unclear again whether any such stamps occurred on blades. It does seem as usual that firearms were stamped and one example with the Royal crown and EIG I found in my notes (date 1867) . I believe the EIG designation ceased after WWI. Most arms sent to India through official shipments went through ISD (India Stores Dept), but many were apparently sent privately it seems, as there are many variations and absence of such stamps.

These triangles with the EI (G?) do seem curious as they are so poorly applied and seem more the work of indifferent workers in 'official' capacity rather than the work of industrious modern vendors. The initials within the triangles are interesting and wonder if they might be a clue to where these might have been issued.

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Old 23rd December 2013, 09:59 PM   #12
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Sorry Jim, lost this thread for a while...

To me the deduction that badly done stamping implies genuine, seems rather upside down, I agree on rare some fakes are carefully done & some genuine pieces are crudely marked, But far more often in my experience, crude badly stamped pieces are more predominantly the sign "quick cash pile them high, sell them cheap" importers... {Who of course do not always sell them cheap.]

To me it seems an oxymoron to assume that because a stamp is badly done implies more likelihood of originality or even" later armoury" work than if its well done.

At least Amongst the fake kukris, & supposedly Sheffield made, 19th century knives, daggers bowies, fake markings are often no match to the originals.

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Old 24th December 2013, 12:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiral
Sorry Jim, lost this thread for a while...

To me the deduction that badly done stamping implies genuine, seems rather upside down, I agree on rare some fakes are carefully done & some genuine pieces are crudely marked, But far more often in my experience, crude badly stamped pieces are more predominantly the sign "quick cash pile them high, sell them cheap" importers... {Who of course do not always sell them cheap.]

To me it seems an oxymoron to assume that because a stamp is badly done implies more likelihood of originality or even" later armoury" work than if its well done.

At least Amongst the fake kukris, & supposedly Sheffield made, 19th century knives, daggers bowies, fake markings are often no match to the originals.

spiral



No problem, and thank you so much for the response. Interesting perspective and points well taken. I think that my often admittedly optimistic thinking sometimes presents some readily disputable views, and quite honestly I had considered that the well established industry of 'antique' production had become more skilled. You guys out there are far more involved in such interaction as you are more exposed as you buy and sell, and as I do not collect personally I am not as aware of the character of the 'products' on the market.

It would seem to me though that my comment on poorly applied stamps or marks in a bureaucratic piece work context does make reasonable sense, particularly in India during the Raj. While there were certain protocols in place with the shipment of arms to India and being received into the arsenals for military and paramilitary units, there were so many instances of deviation, inconsistency in marks and acceptance stamps etc. I do understand what you mean on the rather oblique reasoning
Over time, heavy use of stamps which degenerated their image, and others lost or broken etc. and not replaced due to the usual red tape would lead to often erratic or absence of marks.

Obviously in such circumstances there must have been many exceptions and variations, so setting exacting guidelines for classification of these kinds of marks must be considered somewhat speculatively, but I think my suggestion is a viable perspective . Naturally the marks placed by high quality producers such as Sheffield and certain other well established British makers are not going to fall into the category of loosely controlled imports and subcontracted suppliers into India I had noted, and of course the 'fakes' are not going to compare to originals.

Spiral, thanks very much for your notes and while it seems we might have some polarity in our perspectives here I think we both have valid points.
As always, your observations reflect your well established experience and expertise in these arms.

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 24th December 2013, 11:00 AM   #14
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Salaams, Just an observation on sword imports to the souks around the Middle East... In terms of Tulvars...A lot are appearing in Mutrah. Sharjah Souk is awash with them.... scores if not hundreds piled high...Buyers beware.
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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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