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Old 18th October 2011, 04:48 PM   #1
RonHen
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Default Tulwar Armory stamp?

First off, I would like to say what a great forum this is, I have learned so much going through the past threads. Hopefully, someone may be able to tell me if the mark on the forte shown in the picture is a armory mark or makers mark? It seems very deep, so It would lead me to believe that it was made at the time of manufacture. Is it Urdu by any chance? What is the translation? The eyelash markings appear to me to have two suns, possibly a Hindi solar deity sūrya reference. Thoughts?

Kind regards
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Old 18th October 2011, 08:10 PM   #2
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Welcome RonHen

Nice tulwar the eyelash stamps are quite common but the other stamp by the hilt could lend a clue? Jens is our Indian weapons expert maybe he can shed some light on it. BTW I think this came from Freebooters website I take it you are the new proud owner?
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Old 18th October 2011, 11:24 PM   #3
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It was purchased from Gavin at swords and antique weapons, great to deal with btw! Its my first sword, so of course I want to know all I can about it
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Old 19th October 2011, 04:26 AM   #4
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RonHen, welcome, thank you for the kind words about our forum, and most of all thank you for posting this fabulous tulwar!
Lew, how astutely observed! This tulwar was indeed sold from Gavs website. I am always amazed at the incredible items he seems to find, and this one was of course among them. Its great to have the opportunity to openly discuss it here now that the fortunate new owner has shared it with us.

The cartouche on the blade near the langet is similar to examples I have seen in the same location on a number of tulwar blades, most of which seem attributed to the 18th century. These blades were of the same heft and curvature (I am told heavier blades are earlier, often into 17th century) but this is the first I have ever seen with watered steel. I also had a 17th century tulwar blade with remarkably similar cartouche in the exact same blade location and was told it was in Urdu. This language was of course a lingua francia in the Northwest Frontier regions (in early times Afghanistan was ostensibly part of India).

It is notable as well that the blades of Afghan paluoars commonly carry these markings of the paired arcs with triple dots at each end. These are the well known 'sickle' marks which originated as guild marks in Northern Italy, becoming copied in Germany, Styria and later in the Caucusus (as the 'gurda' mark) as quality symbols. The 'sun' type marks as seen here appear to be copies of other similar European markings found often on trade blades.

Another key feature which suggests northwest India provenance is the hilt form, along with the distinct radiating striations on the pommel dish. These are known on examples of Afghan paluoars of 17th-18th c. (Pant CX) and the langet with triple dots seems to be in accord with these motifs as well.

While there are no set references which catalog or list the known markings of arsenals or armouries in India, I know we have discussed these many times over many years here. The research continues and I know that a number of times Jens has asked for members to share markings on thier examples to be discussed and hopefully discovering reliable consistancies, but as yet only a few are reliably noted.

I think this tulwar however is well classified as of Northern India regions and of the form representing 17th into 18th century styles. The cartouche is likely an acceptance or arsenal stamp, as yet not classified, but seems consistant with these periods and regions. The use of the apparantly native applied interpretation of the European quality marks is consistant with practice of makers in these regions as well, along with the hilt motif features.

Clearly this would seem to be most likely a Mughal weapon, particularly with the cartouche and watered steel blade. I think it is worthy of note that the sun symbolism was also extremely significant in Persia and with Mughals as well.

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 19th October 2011, 06:17 AM   #5
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Thank you Jim, hopefully one day I can contribute to this forum like you do! I will post more info when I figure out more about the cartouche. I would also like to re-etch one side of the blade. as it is very faint compared to the other. Any suggestions for acid and process?

Ron
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Old 19th October 2011, 01:55 PM   #6
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You're very welcome RonHen! Very much my pleasure, and as for contributing..you already have!! Giving us the opportunity to see this great example. I look forward to hearing more on the cartouche. As I have mentioned, information on most markings are found 'passim' in most of the literature on arms, but seldom addressed specifically. I know that over the years Jens has worked at categorizing some of the Indian markings, but it is very much work in progress that a number of us have hoped to bring closer to a tangible resource along with him. Perhaps your findings will bring us a notch closer on this one!!
Thank you for joining us, and on the etching question I think Gav will have good suggestions. Also it would be a great addition to Ibrahiim's restoration library thread seen here on this page as well. I think Alan Maisey has said it best, "..do as little possible, but as much as necessary".

All the very best,
Jim
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Old 19th October 2011, 03:28 PM   #7
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Salaams RonHen, Lovely wootz, great sword stamp, and nice blade marks hogs backs or Gurda.. Its all there and you may want to consider lightly oiling the blade or preservation wax rather than etching. Regards and welcome.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 19th October 2011, 05:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams RonHen, Lovely wootz, great sword stamp, and nice blade marks hogs backs or Gurda.. Its all there and you may want to consider lightly oiling the blade or preservation wax rather than etching. Regards and welcome.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.




Ibrahiim

I think the blade is pattern welded

Lew
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Old 20th October 2011, 04:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lew
Ibrahiim

I think the blade is pattern welded

Lew



Salaams Lew, Only today was I appraised of the differnce on this forum as ~

By Gt Obach ..
its actually simple...

1) Wootz damascus is a crucible steel... some ingredients are melted in a clay crucible till liquid then cooled slowly in the vessel. The goal is to produce a ultra high carbon, dendritic steel. The ingot is then forged out into a blade using a low forge temp inorder to grow the carbide pattern. The blade is then etched and you see the waterings

2) Forgewelded damascus- several pieces of bloom steel are stacked up in a billet... (resembling a sandwich) the billet is then fluxed and forgewelded together and drawn out .... cut... restacked and repeat
- pattern is then manipulated and designs are made
- eg...like those Viking sword with twistcore

Excellent ! Regards Ibrahiim
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Old 20th October 2011, 05:28 PM   #10
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Sorry - I wrote my answer here http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=14394
Please bear with an old man .
Jens
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Old 20th October 2011, 07:00 PM   #11
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Pattern welded on the left wootz on the right
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