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Old 14th July 2016, 07:22 PM   #1
Miguel
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Default Yet another Tulwar

Hello Everyone,
I would be grateful if anyone could tell me where this Tulwar originated. I have researched quite a lot of previous threads, the internet and reference books but have been unable, so far, to satisfy my curiosity. It is a very plain but I think a very elegant weapon made for combat. Its length and style lead me to think it must be for a cavalryman. The curved, single edged, blade looks European to me and has no ricasso, two broad fullers start at the hilt and run for approx. 18cm before the top fuller splits into two making two narrow fullers which run together with the broad fuller to a distance of approx. 18 cm from the point, there are no marks on the blade or hilt. The hilt is the commonly termed "Indo Muslim" type And seems to be silvered iron or steel. I have tried to find a similar one having the same langet design and also the same style and length of the stem above the disc pommel without success, hence my post.

Overall length is 109 cm, blade length is 93 cm x 4.5 cm wide at the hilt.
Hoping that you can come up with the answer and thanking you in anticipation.
Regards
Miguel
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Old 14th July 2016, 10:23 PM   #2
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Thats quite an attractive tulwar. I do believe that the blade is a clauberg or an immitation of one. Still a lovely example!
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Old 15th July 2016, 12:21 AM   #3
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Simple but very attractive.
I would try to etch the handle: when I enlarge the pic , there is a faint impression it might be wootz.
Crooked baluster on top of the pommel: where did I hear that it might be Deccan?
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Old 15th July 2016, 06:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.alnakkas
Thats quite an attractive tulwar. I do believe that the blade is a clauberg or an immitation of one. Still a lovely example!


Thank you for your comments. Your observation is interesting but I am unable to agree or disagree as I am not Knowledgeable enough except to say that I have not seen a sword with a Clauberg blade which looks as wide as this one although I can see that some their sabre blades are similarly curved and multi fullered. I am hoping that Jim might offer his thoughts on this sword
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Miguel
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Old 15th July 2016, 06:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Simple but very attractive.
I would try to etch the handle: when I enlarge the pic , there is a faint impression it might be wootz.
Crooked baluster on top of the pommel: where did I hear that it might be Deccan?


Thanks Ariel you may be right about the hilt, I thought it may be small dots of pitting. Thanks for the Deccan tip I will investigate.
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Miguel
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Old 18th July 2016, 06:33 PM   #6
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Since my last reply I have spent hours searching for a sword with the same hilt without success. Reading all the past threads has proved to be of no avail and I have assumed rightly or wrongly that the lack of response from the more knowledgeable members is that they have said it all on past threads. Following Ariels tip about the Deccan I do believe that this is the most likely place of origin although cannot prove it. Both the Rajputs and Marathas had swords with a bent stem coming out of the pommel disc similar to the one on my sword but not a perfect match. As the hilt is Indo Muslim I lean towards Rajput as I don't think that the Marathas would use this hilt being Hindu, just a feeling no proof. My task is obviously unachievable due to the lack of information available to identify Tulwar hilt designs and the fact that the Indo Muslim hilt form was spread over most of India. I will catalogue it as Indian, Cavalry, sword with Indo Muslim Tulwar hilt fitted with curved single edged blade of European manufacture possibly Clauberg or Indian copy My thanks again to Ariel and A.Anakkas for their replies.
Regards
Miguel
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Old 19th July 2016, 03:08 AM   #7
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Miguel,
I wanted to thank you for mentioning my name in your query, and my apologies for not responding sooner.
This is a very attractive hilt which in its subtle manner seems to be as noted that termed as Indo-Persian, but as well known, efforts to delineate these regionally are often arbitrarily applied and often speculative.

I think Ainakkas has well noted that this blade seems to be European, and most probably German. The Clauberg denominator is plausible but that was just one firm of many supplying various markets from Solingen. The extremely heavy and radiused hatchet type blade suggests the hussar sabres of early 19th c.
I would note here that there were German mercenaries in India, primarily in Deccan with the Nizam of Hyderabad in one case. Like a number of colonial cases these were often termed 'Alemani' swords.

It was from Elgood that a Deccani tegha with similar hilt having the curved stem or spike from the pommel was seen, and the feature was I believe noted to derive from 17th century. Similar 'Indo Persian' type hilts are seen in Pant ("Indian Arms and Armour", 1980, p.108) as 'Dungarpuri' which is an area in Rajasthan and a 17th c affectation 'having a curved spike instead of a tang button'.
Pant notes as his reference, a Marathi source ,"Shree Pratap Shastragava", translated by V.C.Tavkar, Baroda, 1948 (p.98, illustr. 52).

While the curved spike is not perpendicular as this one, it is notably similar.

The term 'Deccani' is a broad one, and can be perceived from a geographic term, geo-political, ethnographic and historic as many important dynasties are regarded as Deccani.

Rajasthan is typically of course outside the Deccani designator in most cases, but through connections in other areas may be somewhat aligned.


The exact origins of the so called Indo-Persian hilt remain unclear, however the apparent development from early Indian hilts seen iconographically cannot be overlooked. The hybridization of khanda hilt features and those on tulwars is well established.

I would presume this to likely be a Rajput sword as you have already determined. The Indo-Persian hilt was used not only by Mughals, but Rajputs, Sikhs as for the broader classifications.
It seems to be a mid to latter 18th c hilt with blade of similar period, and possibly matched with this blade possibly early 19th.

I believe Robert Elgood will have his new book out by winter, which will be 2 volumes which I understand will include profound attention to tulwars and more on understanding the dilemmas of their classifications .

With best regards
Jim
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Old 19th July 2016, 04:09 AM   #8
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NOTE THE SPIKES CONTAINED IN THE WALLACE COLLECTION AT http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=WALLACE
Whilst not identical you can see the development...
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Old 19th July 2016, 06:36 PM   #9
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Thank you Ibrahiim, that link offers some impressive examples!

Regarding the 'spike' or 'stem' which is one of the predominant hilt elements here, it seems that while on the firangi, it is often noted that its purpose was to allow the swordsman to use this in a two handed blow.
Though these were typically substantial enough to plausibly render that intent , as usual with many of the characteristic features of certain Indian weapons the debates perpetually continue.

In this case, the perpendicular cant of this example suggests a more vestigial or symbolic purpose .

Miguel, thank you for showing the interior of the pommel disc, which reveals the distinctive surround that often carries subtle symbolic character, particularly in Rajput tulwar examples. These are often thought to potentially reflect connections to the various Rajput clan systems.
The interesting chevron style motif linear on the knucklebow also corresponds to certain features and styles to the north.
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Old 19th July 2016, 07:23 PM   #10
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Jim, thank you very much for your very informative reply which because of the clear way you put things has cleared a lot of the confusion I had in my mind from the hours spent trying to discover the identity of this sword, your knowledge never ceases to amaze me, brilliant. I look forward to the books you mention which, hopefully, will clarify more accurately the origins and design of these Tulwar hilt types as from reading the past threads it seemed to crop up fairly regularly, I also hope that they will be out for Christmas so that I can get a present I really want

Thanks, Ibrahiim for your pointer to the Wallace collection, I have seen it and can highly recommend it for both Indian and European weapons.
Regards
Miguel
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Old 20th July 2016, 12:53 AM   #11
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I am glad I could be of help Miguel. While I am by far no expert on these or any other weapon, I have learned a great deal on tulwars and Indian arms from Jens and others. My goal is always to share as much as I can and to keep learning.......together.
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Old 20th July 2016, 06:05 AM   #12
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Tulvar; Invariably Indian / Moghul paintings illustrate (even in their two dimensional form) someone famous wearing or swinging a Tulvar at someone else doing the same! It is therefor Iconic as a weapon and derivatives of the basic form are legion in Indian sword styles. The weapon appears to originate from Turko/ Mongol design and includes replaced blades verging on Mediaeval European and later European blades. Dozens of different hilts appear and some with long spikes in a variety of heavy and light sabre styles...and interestingly the rather cramped hand hold can be supplemented by looping the index finger around the guard...allowing more power and flexibility in the hold.
Note the knuckle guard form.
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Old 20th July 2016, 06:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
I am glad I could be of help Miguel. While I am by far no expert on these or any other weapon, I have learned a great deal on tulwars and Indian arms from Jens and others. My goal is always to share as much as I can and to keep learning.......together.


Jim, I am sure it is much appreciated by other members. I, for one, am certainly appreciative of you sharing your knowledge and for the time you devote to it. Many thanks.
Regards
Miguel
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Old 20th July 2016, 06:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Tulvar; Invariably Indian / Moghul paintings illustrate (even in their two dimensional form) someone famous wearing or swinging a Tulvar at someone else doing the same! It is therefor Iconic as a weapon and derivatives of the basic form are legion in Indian sword styles. The weapon appears to originate from Turko/ Mongol design and includes replaced blades verging on Mediaeval European and later European blades. Dozens of different hilts appear and some with long spikes in a variety of heavy and light sabre styles...and interestingly the rather cramped hand hold can be supplemented by looping the index finger around the guard...allowing more power and flexibility in the hold.
Note the knuckle guard form.


Many thanks Abrahiim, great pics, they really emphasize the diversity of the many hilt designs. Many thanks
Regards
Miguel
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Old 21st July 2016, 03:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel
Many thanks Abrahiim, great pics, they really emphasize the diversity of the many hilt designs. Many thanks
Regards
Miguel



I note that these swords were also made by English sword makers...

FOR INTEREST...SEE http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...WILKINSON+SWORD

Could the project sword at #1 be English?
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Old 22nd July 2016, 06:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
I note that these swords were also made by English sword makers...

FOR INTEREST...SEE http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...WILKINSON+SWORD

Could the project sword at #1 be English?


Hello Ibrahiim,
Interesting thought. I don't think the blade is English due to its design it looks more European to me. From the Wilkinson info the blades they supplied were also shorter than the one on my sword but I am not that knowledgeable. The English swords I have and the ones I have seen are of a different design actually in my opinion not as good.
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Miguel
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Old 22nd July 2016, 08:26 PM   #17
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Hi Miguel,
First of all, thank you for the kind words in your earlier post, I am most grateful.

To clarify, in the discussion linked, the Wilkinson Sword Co. among others were suppliers to the British colonies in India, most of the others were either subordinate to or contracted to Wilkinson.
The design of the tulwar (Indo-Persian) hilt was of course a development from iconographic Indian hilt forms actually from more ancient times, which evolved at a yet distinctly undetermined period. The progression was quite subtle, and reached its more familiar form probably around the 16th c.

In the British Raj, there were an ever increasing number of native units in the British army, and supplying them was a huge undertaking. By the second half of the 19th century, while variations of regulation British military patterns prevailed, many units were allowed to choose their own favored types. Naturally the 'tulwar' was highly selected.

Actually Wilkinson and the Mole company, a subcontractor, produced both British patterns as well as the Indian style tulwar hilts. I once had brass tulwar hilted examples marked MOLE.

With the military style sabres produced (known as the Paget style) these had blades in either 31" or 33" lengths. I cannot recall details but these were apportioned to different districts, Bengal and Madras. There were numbers of other variations in Wilkinson records.

Meanwhile, in earlier East India Company times (pre 1857), there are numbers of Indian hilted (both khanda and tulwar) swords mounted with British military blades. These are hybrids from either captured or discarded British swords and in some cases the whims of flamboyant British officers in some of these native units, with any number of probabilities.
These practices and situations prevailed throughout the Raj.

In most cases the British blades are marked, while various European imported blades may or may not be marked. Solingen in the later years of the century had numbers of producers who produced volumes of 'blanks' for export to various markets.
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Old 23rd July 2016, 12:50 PM   #18
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Please see charts...One is a Mantons whilst Wilkinsons is the other focusing on blades to Ethiopia...Please see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=20288;
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Old 23rd July 2016, 02:15 PM   #19
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If I may suggest a few other examples of Tulvar so as to expand the knowledge base on Library and to observe the variety of different designs including bling! court swords and those of the common soldier...Here goes...
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Old 23rd July 2016, 04:50 PM   #20
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There are pictures that are difficult to copy at http://indianfight.com/indian-technique-with-a-sword/ showing fighting form with Tulvars..Here is one...
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Old 23rd July 2016, 05:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel
Hello Everyone,
I would be grateful if anyone could tell me where this Tulwar originated. I have researched quite a lot of previous threads, the internet and reference books but have been unable, so far, to satisfy my curiosity. It is a very plain but I think a very elegant weapon made for combat. Its length and style lead me to think it must be for a cavalryman. The curved, single edged, blade looks European to me and has no ricasso, two broad fullers start at the hilt and run for approx. 18cm before the top fuller splits into two making two narrow fullers which run together with the broad fuller to a distance of approx. 18 cm from the point, there are no marks on the blade or hilt. The hilt is the commonly termed "Indo Muslim" type And seems to be silvered iron or steel. I have tried to find a similar one having the same langet design and also the same style and length of the stem above the disc pommel without success, hence my post.



Overall length is 109 cm, blade length is 93 cm x 4.5 cm wide at the hilt.
Hoping that you can come up with the answer and thanking you in anticipation.
Regards
Miguel


I think the style of hilt is Dungarpuri as seen at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=17903 which is worth looking at.
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Old 23rd July 2016, 05:37 PM   #22
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It is not often that Chivalry is mentioned in terms of Indian sword however I note; For the Delhi Durbar of 1877 Maharaja Nihal Singh was granted an achievement western style:
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Old 24th July 2016, 06:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
I think the style of hilt is Dungarpuri as seen at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=17903 which is worth looking at.


Hello Ibrahiim,

Firstly I must thank you for the time you have spent researching this Tulwar hilt, it is amazing there are so many designs and variations, your input has been much appreciated not only by me I should not wonder. I think that you may have cracked it as the Dungarpuri hilt certainly looks to be the same design. My only reservation is the length and design of the stem emanating from the top of the disc and the flower pattern inside the disc, which I suppose, could vary with the various tribes Thank you again for your input.
Regards
Miguel
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Old 24th July 2016, 06:55 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Hi Miguel,
First of all, thank you for the kind words in your earlier post, I am most grateful.

To clarify, in the discussion linked, the Wilkinson Sword Co. among others were suppliers to the British colonies in India, most of the others were either subordinate to or contracted to Wilkinson.
The design of the tulwar (Indo-Persian) hilt was of course a development from iconographic Indian hilt forms actually from more ancient times, which evolved at a yet distinctly undetermined period. The progression was quite subtle, and reached its more familiar form probably around the 16th c.

In the British Raj, there were an ever increasing number of native units in the British army, and supplying them was a huge undertaking. By the second half of the 19th century, while variations of regulation British military patterns prevailed, many units were allowed to choose their own favored types. Naturally the 'tulwar' was highly selected.

Actually Wilkinson and the Mole company, a subcontractor, produced both British patterns as well as the Indian style tulwar hilts. I once had brass tulwar hilted examples marked MOLE.

With the military style sabres produced (known as the Paget style) these had blades in either 31" or 33" lengths. I cannot recall details but these were apportioned to different districts, Bengal and Madras. There were numbers of other variations in Wilkinson records.

Meanwhile, in earlier East India Company times (pre 1857), there are numbers of Indian hilted (both khanda and tulwar) swords mounted with British military blades. These are hybrids from either captured or discarded British swords and in some cases the whims of flamboyant British officers in some of these native units, with any number of probabilities.
These practices and situations prevailed throughout the Raj.

In most cases the British blades are marked, while various European imported blades may or may not be marked. Solingen in the later years of the century had numbers of producers who produced volumes of 'blanks' for export to various markets.


Hello Jim,

Thank you for the very interesting info on the Wilkinson Sword Co but I think your first reply had the answers. Ibrahim provide a link showing Dungapuri hilts which you had referred to and I have at last found a sword with a blade having the same shape and disposition of fullers as on the Tulwar
Unfortunately I do not have the dimensions of this sword which is a circa 1730 / 1740 Austrian sabre for Grenadiers of Cuirassier and Dragoon regiments This is not to far away from your thoughts about likening it to possibly an 18th century Hungarian Hussar`s sabre, both part of the Hapsburg empire and may well have been used by other countries within it. Having said that I am still unaware of the name of the Company, probably German, but not definite, who made them. In case you are interested the title of the book that I found this in is " The Encyclopedia of European Historical Weapons" by Dr Vladimir Dolinek and Dr Jan Durdik published in GB in 1993.
Thank you again for your input which is always much appreciated.
Regards
Miguel
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Old 24th July 2016, 08:07 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel
Hello Ibrahiim,

Firstly I must thank you for the time you have spent researching this Tulwar hilt, it is amazing there are so many designs and variations, your input has been much appreciated not only by me I should not wonder. I think that you may have cracked it as the Dungarpuri hilt certainly looks to be the same design. My only reservation is the length and design of the stem emanating from the top of the disc and the flower pattern inside the disc, which I suppose, could vary with the various tribes Thank you again for your input.
Regards
Miguel



Thank you Miguel; Purely accidentally I stumbled on the hilt form Dungarpuri...
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 25th July 2016, 03:16 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel
Hello Jim,

Thank you for the very interesting info on the Wilkinson Sword Co but I think your first reply had the answers. Ibrahim provide a link showing Dungapuri hilts which you had referred to and I have at last found a sword with a blade having the same shape and disposition of fullers as on the Tulwar
Unfortunately I do not have the dimensions of this sword which is a circa 1730 / 1740 Austrian sabre for Grenadiers of Cuirassier and Dragoon regiments This is not to far away from your thoughts about likening it to possibly an 18th century Hungarian Hussar`s sabre, both part of the Hapsburg empire and may well have been used by other countries within it. Having said that I am still unaware of the name of the Company, probably German, but not definite, who made them. In case you are interested the title of the book that I found this in is " The Encyclopedia of European Historical Weapons" by Dr Vladimir Dolinek and Dr Jan Durdik published in GB in 1993.
Thank you again for your input which is always much appreciated.
Regards
Miguel
Miguel



Hi Miguel,
My entries on these interesting topics you are posting are entirely my pleasure and I appreciate the queries and opportunity to revisit notes and references to continue learning from them.

I agree the sheer heft of this blade well corresponds to the sabres of the Hapsburgs and Eastern Europe. These often heavily radiused chopping type blades dramatically influenced European cavalry forms from the second half of the 18th century along with their fashion and tactics in the 'hussar' type flair. That these type of sabre blades became enormously popular in India came through the British cavalry units there, in fact the M1796 light cavalry sabre which was fashioned after these Austrian and Hungarian style sabres remained in use through the 19th century in India.

If there are no markings on the blade, while it may be German made, many blades from Austria also came from locations in Styria. These however were usually marked.

I think the 'Dungarpuri' designator for this style of hilt probably came from G,N.Pant ("Indian Arms & Armour" 1980, Lahore), in which the author boldly but arbitrarily classified numbers of hilts on tulwars etc. While we may regard these as benchmarks drawn most likely from certain consistency or provenances (he was a museum official), it is most difficult to regionally assign classifications as most of these styles occurred outside any rigidly observed boundaries.
The primary region for the majority of hilt styles is the huge geographic area of Rajasthan, and most of the regional designators given are places found in Rajasthan, including Dungapur.

The 'stem' feature projecting from the pommel of the hilt feature of course is one which is most often associated with Rajputs, and the 'khanda' (or firangi). In most cases these are elongated, but this interesting much shorter and actually perpendicularly configured form would suggest more a vestigial presence than that of extension for hand grip feature of the khanda basket hilt forms.

I commend your notice of the varying designs found in the inner bowl of the pommel surround, which are often overlooked in photos and discussion of examples. This aspect of identifying features on tulwars was greatly emphasized by our own Jens Nordlund many years ago, and its importance much realized accordingly.

We are anxiously awaiting an important work on Indian weapons by Dr. Robert Elgood, which I understand will include a great deal of material on tulwars and classifications of them. While Dr.Pant's venerable work has been most useful all these years, we look forward to the new work in this book which will augment and advance our knowledge on these swords.

All best regards
Jim
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Old 25th July 2016, 09:45 PM   #27
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Sketches of Tulvar Hilts ...
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Old 26th July 2016, 06:35 PM   #28
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Sketches of Tulvar Hilts ...

Cheers Ibrahiim
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Old 26th July 2016, 07:00 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Please see charts...One is a Mantons whilst Wilkinsons is the other focusing on blades to Ethiopia...Please see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=20288;


Hi all,

Not specifically in relation to Tulwar, but reference the Manton catalogue entry 512A straight-bladed Scimitar, can anyone shed any light on the earliest date and origin of Indian pattern scabbards having three sling-rings on the scabbard, such as illustrated in the catalogue with this sword.

Gordon
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Old 26th July 2016, 08:42 PM   #30
Jens Nordlunde
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Sketches of Tulvar Hilts ...

No not really, it is sketches of different kinds of decoration. Decoration of the hilts was a highly skilled craft, and you could, from drawings choose the decoration you liked best.
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