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Old 8th January 2016, 10:29 PM   #1
francantolin
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Default Pulwar sword with engraved blade

Hello,
I post some pictures of my new pulwar sword,
I think it's an indian piece but I'm not really sure.
For the age, I have really no idea.
Anybody knows the origin of the three circles in the blade ?
The blade is interesting with engraved symbols and writings ( Coran ? )
It seems too fancy but the blade is really thick on one side and the other side is a sharp edge ( cf pictures).

What do you think ?
Thank You and Happy New Year !
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Old 9th January 2016, 02:08 AM   #2
ariel
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I have an uneasy feeling that the engraving is new. The thickness of the carved channels is very even and mechanical.
Just IMHO.
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Old 9th January 2016, 02:19 AM   #3
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what stands out to me is that shiny brass piece. Looks like a pin with nice washer (I thought most such blades were held in with resin). But even if it is only decoration. It looks really new compared to the rest of it.
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Old 9th January 2016, 07:59 AM   #4
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Hello Ariel, Hello Helleri,

Yes I saw and found strange that the engraved pictures were too regular and mecanical on a nice old blade ( I hope it's an old blade !!),
I wonder if they engraved it in India ,
Ariel, do you think it's a really recent work ? Can it be made in a factory ?

Thanks
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Old 9th January 2016, 09:51 AM   #5
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As a matter of fact, quite a few pulwar handles were "pinned" and brass washers were often used. Similar feature is seen ( albeit less frequently) on tulwars as well , perhaps also of Afghani origin. Without close inspection I would hesitate calling this washer "new", although who knows...
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Old 9th January 2016, 10:06 AM   #6
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Agree with Ariel, The brass pin and washer is a common feature but the engraving looks very new. Blade looks old and decent though!
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Old 9th January 2016, 10:09 AM   #7
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A good pulwar from Afghanistan. Brass part - normal. Just hilt cleaned. Therefore, the brass piece - glitters.
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Old 9th January 2016, 11:17 AM   #8
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Thanks to everybody,
My last post was not displayed on time ...

Franckie
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Old 9th January 2016, 12:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.alnakkas
Agree with Ariel, ....... the engraving looks very new. Blade looks old and decent though!



Thanks for agreeing with me.


There are quite a lot of recently-made Afghani daggers on the market with similar engraving technique.
Why would people take a decent sword and spoil it?
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Old 9th January 2016, 01:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francantolin
Anybody knows the origin of the three circles in the blade ?

When someone will be able to explain it he should get the Nobel prize in the field of the Historical Weaponology )))
Many people tried to find it out...

O... to my opinion it is not very old but nice item. Not new-made.
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Old 9th January 2016, 01:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
There are quite a lot of recently-made Afghani daggers on the market with similar engraving technique.


In the newly created Afghan blades other engraving technique.
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Old 9th January 2016, 02:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
When someone will be able to explain it he should get the Nobel prize in the field of the Historical Weaponology )))
Many people tried to find it out...

O... to my opinion it is not very old but nice item. Not new-made.


It is "Tamga Tamerlane". I am waiting for the Nobel Prize.
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Old 9th January 2016, 03:51 PM   #13
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Is not the blade in the opening post etched, rather than engraved?

The pin with the little brass flowers was used quite widely in Northern India as well as Afghanistan. It does little to hold the blade in place, (being just a thin pin) the hilt still being held with resin in the usual manner.

Richard.
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Old 9th January 2016, 04:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Thanks for agreeing with me.


There are quite a lot of recently-made Afghani daggers on the market with similar engraving technique.
Why would people take a decent sword and spoil it?


Availability. There is alot of old weapons coming out of Afghanistan. These items along with modern ones are plenty in Middle Eastern markets, especially Oman, KSA and UAE. Sometimes in Qatar too.
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Old 9th January 2016, 05:37 PM   #15
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Pukka Bundook:

I think it is a machine engraving, but you might be right. Etching would be cheaper and more suitable for mass production of " enhanced" stuff.

Pity we cannot examine it personally: the mystery might have been solved right away:-)
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Old 9th January 2016, 05:43 PM   #16
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Default 3 dots on a blade

Quote:
Originally Posted by francantolin
Hello,
I post some pictures of my new pulwar sword,
I think it's an indian piece but I'm not really sure.
For the age, I have really no idea.
Anybody knows the origin of the three circles in the blade ?
The blade is interesting with engraved symbols and writings
( Coran ? )
It seems too fancy but the blade is really thick on one side and the other side is a sharp edge ( cf pictures).

What do you think ?
Thank You and Happy New Year !


Salaams francantolin, Occasionally there are a number of dots seen on blades. I have also seen one dot sometimes placed at the tip...and it is not unusual to find gold or brass filling the holes.
I understand that three dots is the construct which keeps away the devil or stops the devil climbing up the blade. Note that the hilt has a five dot geometrical thus giving protection to the hilt.(Hand of Fattima)..thus protecting the sword arm. In Islamic prayer beads there are three beads at the end of the string preventing, it is said, the devil climbing up. The dots are therefor Talismanic from the arabic taslamen (to make marks like a magician) and used as a protective charm against evil.

The Islamic script by definition is also a Talisman often applied to blades . The common one being Bismi'Allah however the entire arabic script has the charm effect attached or what is called the "baraka" effect...

Your blade exudes all of the above.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 9th January 2016 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 9th January 2016, 06:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
As a matter of fact, quite a few pulwar handles were "pinned" and brass washers were often used. Similar feature is seen ( albeit less frequently) on tulwars as well , perhaps also of Afghani origin. Without close inspection I would hesitate calling this washer "new", although who knows...

A brass element seems common enough. Some better images of the blade engraving/etching would be helpful.
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Old 9th January 2016, 08:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
When someone will be able to explain it he should get the Nobel prize in the field of the Historical Weaponology )))
Many people tried to find it out...

O... to my opinion it is not very old but nice item. Not new-made.


It is "Tamga Tamerlane". I am waiting for the Nobel Prize.
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Old 9th January 2016, 11:15 PM   #19
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Hello,

Here some pictures of the blade, maybe it was etched ,
but why damage such a nice old blade !

for the engravings/etchings, some parts are deeply carved, some other really less
the last pictures come from the left side of the sword were a lot of rust has been strongly removed ... the drawings are little blurring ...

Dear Ibrahiim al Balooshi, thanks al lot for the precious and interesting informations about the dots !!!
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Old 10th January 2016, 07:18 AM   #20
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I agree the blade is etched.
For comparison, here is another tulwar with chiseled script. The script is similar to "aṣḥab al kahf "(seven sleepers) inscription common on Islamic metalworks, such as Safavid bowl pictured below.
To note, the script was added later in life of this tulwar as evidenced by the "lashes" mark visible underneath it, but not recently.
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Old 10th January 2016, 01:52 PM   #21
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Yup, etched. Close-ups were useful. And I still think it was a recent job ( sorry Alex:-) : the decoration is crude, graceless and devoid of any compositional elegance characteristic of a job imbued with tradition and reverence, as seen on Alex's examples.
As to " why do it?", the answer is simple: decorated sword can be sold for more money.
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Old 10th January 2016, 02:02 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
And I still think it was a recent job...



Ariel, if you is not difficult, show please an example of the a similar a recent job on the blade.
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Old 10th January 2016, 02:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Yup, etched. Close-ups were useful. And I still think it was a recent job ( sorry Alex:-)...


Ariel, you're right. And I am sorry, I was referring to my tulwar with early chiseling, was not clear enough and appeared as I referred to the one with etched script. My tulwar has eyelashes mark cartouche, and the script is running over it, evidently added after the original mark. You're right it shows classical early flow and style that is missing in later attempts, especially late etchings. Although I saw one very late brass plate with superb miniature etching (will post later) so it is not uncommon.
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Old 10th January 2016, 03:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saracen
It is "Tamga Tamerlane". I am waiting for the Nobel Prize.

It is only a good version. One of them. But I'll get it to the Nobel Committee )))
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Old 10th January 2016, 05:32 PM   #25
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An interesting old blade, and I would agree with Ibrahiim in post #16, that these devotional panels in deep relief are probably motivated by some degree of talismanic potential, likely much in the same manner of the thuluth which was often used on Sudanese arms and with Mamluk origins.

In this case these panels resemble those seen on the Persian trade blades with the Assad Adullah cartouches of the 19th century. Considering the prevalent infuences and contact from Persia it seems quite in place here.

As Ariel has noted the brass or notably present disc in the center of the crossguard section of the hilt is consistently seen on paluoars and often tulwars associated with these northern regions. The profiling and down turned quillons with the stylized dragon are also constant features on these hilts.

The three dots are indeed significant and interestingly have key talismanic symbolism as Ibrahiim has noted. His observations on the four circles added around the brass center dot are most compelling regarding the apotropaic for Fatima ('five in your eye') which protects against the evil eye.

Returning to the three dots, in Central Asian context, these occur consistently and are typically regarded as the 'cintamani' or the symbol used by Tamerlane, with varying descriptions of thief origins. While the term 'cintamani' is often characterized by an additional three wavy lines and supposed to represent the spots of the leopard and stripes of the tiger and used as motif on textiles of these regions..the cintamani term is widely use for this three dot motif.

I have seen these three dots notably on back straps of Central Asian shamshirs and other weapons of these regions and seem invariably to refer to Tamerlane and this particular heritage .
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Old 10th January 2016, 08:00 PM   #26
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Hello,
thank's everybody for all specific comments !

Ariel, if you have, willingly a picture of a recent work of this kind for compare.
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Old 11th January 2016, 04:06 AM   #27
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Post#9, the uppermost picture: is it my imagination, or did this blade have earlier markings?
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Old 11th January 2016, 09:21 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
An interesting old blade, and I would agree with Ibrahiim in post #16, that these devotional panels in deep relief are probably motivated by some degree of talismanic potential, likely much in the same manner of the thuluth which was often used on Sudanese arms and with Mamluk origins.

In this case these panels resemble those seen on the Persian trade blades with the Assad Adullah cartouches of the 19th century. Considering the prevalent infuences and contact from Persia it seems quite in place here.

As Ariel has noted the brass or notably present disc in the center of the crossguard section of the hilt is consistently seen on paluoars and often tulwars associated with these northern regions. The profiling and down turned quillons with the stylized dragon are also constant features on these hilts.

The three dots are indeed significant and interestingly have key talismanic symbolism as Ibrahiim has noted. His observations on the four circles added around the brass center dot are most compelling regarding the apotropaic for Fatima ('five in your eye') which protects against the evil eye.

Returning to the three dots, in Central Asian context, these occur consistently and are typically regarded as the 'cintamani' or the symbol used by Tamerlane, with varying descriptions of thief origins. While the term 'cintamani' is often characterized by an additional three wavy lines and supposed to represent the spots of the leopard and stripes of the tiger and used as motif on textiles of these regions..the cintamani term is widely use for this three dot motif.

I have seen these three dots notably on back straps of Central Asian shamshirs and other weapons of these regions and seem invariably to refer to Tamerlane and this particular heritage .



Salaams Jim, As ever perfectly noted and well researched...In Morocco I have discovered that the triangle is representative of the evil eye...and often occurs in Berber textile decoration etc. Commonly called el ain...The Eye . The inverted triangle represents the eyebrow... The saying for heres 5 in your eye is ...."khamsa fi ainek"...and beautifully illustrated in the book Arts and Crafts of Morocco by James F Jereb, Thames and Hudson.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 11th January 2016, 10:09 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
The three dots are indeed significant and interestingly have key talismanic symbolism as Ibrahiim has noted. His observations on the four circles added around the brass center dot are most compelling regarding the apotropaic for Fatima ('five in your eye') which protects against the evil eye.

Returning to the three dots, in Central Asian context, these occur consistently and are typically regarded as the 'cintamani' or the symbol used by Tamerlane, with varying descriptions of thief origins. While the term 'cintamani' is often characterized by an additional three wavy lines and supposed to represent the spots of the leopard and stripes of the tiger and used as motif on textiles of these regions..the cintamani term is widely use for this three dot motif.

I have seen these three dots notably on back straps of Central Asian shamshirs and other weapons of these regions and seem invariably to refer to Tamerlane and this particular heritage .


It is interesting just how far the 3 dots spread.

I have the 3 dot inlay at the base of a very fine Malay Bugis Chief Keris in my collection and on of those swords that I have sold they were seen on these Afghan sabres types, a Tulwar with a Persian blade, other Tulwar and also including early Syrian Shamshir.
Most recently sold, now with members here, a Moro Kampilan and an Achang/Yunnan Dah of very high quality....the motif has travelled far and wide....one thing in common with all of these regions is the Islamic faith.

Whilst Timur was influential and being well documented as having this arrangement as his banner, I think Ibrahiim is on the right path with what he notes above.

Gavin
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Old 11th January 2016, 01:06 PM   #30
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The Mughals may have brought the three dots to India, but they were already known there representing Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. These three Hindu gods could also be represented by the sign og OM.
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