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Old 30th March 2014, 02:40 PM   #1
dana_w
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Default Talwar blade decorated with animal battles

This talwar is part of a weapons collection that my sister and I inherited from our father a few years ago. Other than what I have read in this forum and on Wikipedia, I know next to nothing about this type of sword. It has a silver gilt pommel, grip, and guard, with gold accents. The blade is covered with decorations of hunting scenes and animal battles. I guess this talwar would qualify as a koftigari.

Would anyone care to hazard a guess on its age? Has anyone seen something similar, and if so where?

Thanks!

I'll post a few photos here, more images are available in this Google+ album
https://plus.google.com/photos/1139...946608538982497
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Old 30th March 2014, 03:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dana_w
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Would anyone care to hazard a guess on its age? Has anyone seen something similar, and if so where?


This is undoubtedly an Indian tulwar with hand chiseled blade. Sometimes it is called "hunting" because it shows hunting scenes. You're right, the hilt is decorated in coftgari. The similar sword you can see here:
Link to similar
I'd like to add that the quality of your sword is quite good, and it shows genuine signs of age. These swords were produced starting from 19th Century and I believe yours is a genuine 19th Century sword.
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Old 30th March 2014, 03:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX
This is undoubtedly an Indian tulwar with hand chiseled blade. Sometimes it is called "hunting" because it shows hunting scenes. You're right, the hilt is decorated in coftgari. The similar sword you can see here:
Link to similar
I'd like to add that the quality of your sword is quite good, and it shows genuine signs of age. These swords were produced starting from 19th Century and I believe yours is a genuine 19th Century sword.


Thanks so much Alex. I'm off to check out the link.
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Old 31st March 2014, 01:19 PM   #4
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Here is the Stone's page that describes Your shamshir ( there is also a black and white figure not too good ).
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Old 31st March 2014, 02:29 PM   #5
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Yes Alex is right they were made for the durbars in the 19th century.
The attached picture, which is not too good, is from the catalogue The Marlborough House, showing pictures of the presents prince Edward got when he wisited India in 1875. It is no 275.
Paolo, although I know that Stone used the term Shamshir blade in his description, I would be careful using the term. This is a chiselled tulwar blade. A shamshir blade is more curved
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Old 31st March 2014, 02:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
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Paolo, although I know that Stone used the term Shamshir blade in his description, I would be careful using the term. This is a chiselled tulwar blade. A shamshir blade is more curved
Jens


Good comments, Jens. Please allow me to come to Paolo's rescue, and also Stone's
There are known Persian (or Indo-Persian) chiseled shamshirs. One of them can be seen
Here
Although this blade is also Indian, the Persian shamshirs can be chiselled and quite non-curved. Better indication would be profile/overall form, presence of ricasso, etc. But again, these hunting blades are Indian, I was just being difficult
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Old 31st March 2014, 02:59 PM   #7
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Hi Alex,
You are right, but as this blade is Indian, and Persian I think it should be called a tulwar blade. The chiselled Persian blades I would call a slightly curved Persian blade. I think new collectors get confused otherwise.
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Old 31st March 2014, 03:07 PM   #8
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Dana's blade is undoubtedly tulwar. It has all tulwar features including a signature ricasso. The blades shown on Stone's and second on OA site - could be Indian shamshirs' if there are no ricassos, and OA's blade does not have one. Its profiles is also more shamshir-like. Would we call blade a tulwar just because it is chiselled?
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Old 31st March 2014, 07:52 PM   #9
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Thanks Alex, Jens, and Paolo!

To sum up, everyone seems to agree that it is a 19th century Indian tulwar (talwar) with hand chiseled blade decorated in coftgari (koftigari).

Is there anyway to narrow the age down to less than a century? Say, the first half, middle, or last half of the 19th century?

I've had a little trouble finding a definitive definition for the term "durbars". I am sure you don't mean a "formal meeting" Jens. Do you mean members of a royal court, or someone who demonstrated loyalty to royalty?
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Old 31st March 2014, 08:14 PM   #10
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Read about Durbar Here
In terms of dating, it is impossible to be sure without date inscription or maker/date mark. It is always an educated guess. Mine would be mid to late 19th)
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Old 31st March 2014, 08:39 PM   #11
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I will let you have the last word Alex.
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Old 31st March 2014, 09:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX
Read about Durbar Here
In terms of dating, it is impossible to be sure without date inscription or maker/date mark. It is always an educated guess. Mine would be mid to late 19th)


I had found the Wikipedia definition and a few others, but I still don't understand the use of "durbar" in this sentence:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Yes Alex is right they were made for the durbars in the 19th century.

Last edited by dana_w : 31st March 2014 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 31st March 2014, 09:37 PM   #13
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Made for use during the durbar, so intended for ceremony/parade/dress purposes, not necessarily for fighting.

Nice tulwar, much nicer quality chiseling than often seen.
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Old 31st March 2014, 09:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emanuel
Made for use during the durbar, so intended for ceremony/parade/dress purposes, not necessarily for fighting.

Nice tulwar, much nicer quality chiseling than often seen.


I think that I understand now. Thanks Emanuel.
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