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Old 8th October 2019, 03:31 AM   #1
kahnjar1
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Default Tulwar for comment

Just picked this up. Nice clean example of an Indian Tulwar with Koftgari to the hilt, and complete with a scabbard in good order. The blade has a shallow yalman to 20cm from the tip and is marked both sides as shown.
Any comments welcome.
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Old 8th October 2019, 05:35 AM   #2
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Yep, honest Tulwar. Maybe 19c.

Blade needs some cleaning. I would also check it for wootz.
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Old 8th October 2019, 08:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Yep, honest Tulwar. Maybe 19c.

Blade needs some cleaning. I would also check it for wootz.



Marius, I hope that you polish your car and your house is tidy because you are obsessed with etching...
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Old 8th October 2019, 02:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Marius, I hope that you polish your car and your house is tidy because you are obsessed with etching...





Because I am a compulsive-obsessive etcher!
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Old 8th October 2019, 03:08 PM   #5
Jim McDougall
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Very nice and sound example Stu, and I would think it is certainly 19th c. of course. While I cannot say anything about wootz, I am more intrigued by the markings on the blade. The circle in the center of the grouping is hard to discern so am unclear on what it might represent, but the entirety of the marking group resembles European type configurations of much earlier, and the marks bracketing the orb look like the 'cogwheel' types (Wallace Coll., Mann,1962).
What is interesting is the style and placement which closely resembles those markings as if possibly Indian applied, in the manner we see the paired sickle marks in the same blade location.

It is pretty hard to tell if blade is European, but the yelman style suggests it is possible. Indian blade makers were pretty good, so hard to say. Obviously if wootz was present that would pretty well determine. Either way it would seem possible blade is earlier than hilt.

On the hilt, nice Rajasthan demeanor, and interesting arrangement of these striated discs that seem to occur in motif on hilts attributed to Hyderabad by Elgood in his Arabian arms book. The attached is one I have where these discs in more rudimentary fashion occur in the embossed silver of hilt.
The same devices appear on many Indian firearms, which seem mostly NW India.

Nice to see a solid scabbard with such an attractive tulwar.

The 'cogwheel' mark is seen in Mann, (op. cit. A768) and listed on a Swiss dagger, but this was widely used in Europe. It seems I have seen this entire mark group in one of the compendiums but cannot place yet, Im more inclined to think this blade European cavalry of possibly latter 18th. but more checking needed. Maybe European forum could help in this case?
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Last edited by Jim McDougall : 8th October 2019 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 8th October 2019, 08:36 PM   #6
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Thank you Gentlemen for your comments....and YES I will clean the blade but have not at this stage had the time.
The blade marks interest me and hopefully someone might be able to positively identify them.
Stu
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Old 9th October 2019, 02:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Thank you Gentlemen for your comments....and YES I will clean the blade but have not at this stage had the time.
The blade marks interest me and hopefully someone might be able to positively identify them.
Stu



The blade marks truly are intriguing Stu, and at this point I truly sense they might be indicators of a European manufacture of this blade. They seem pretty weak, whether from poor application or genuine wear is hard to say, but may I suggest/implore restrained cleaning so as not to lose more of their presence.
I checked Gyngell and Wallace Collection but still cant find the mark, though it seems familiar.

If I may suggest placing the markings on European forum (along with noting presence on Indian tulwar of course) as guys like Udo and Jasper have handled many European blades and may offer insight or identification.
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Old 9th October 2019, 03:09 PM   #8
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Here is The Wallace Collection of Indian Swords ...for interest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aNbkO7pNI0
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Old 9th October 2019, 09:39 PM   #9
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Thank for your the picture, but to me it is far too blured.
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Old 9th October 2019, 10:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Thank for your the picture, but to me it is far too blured.

Hi Jens,
Do you mean the pic of the blade mark??? It is how it is on the blade.
Stu
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Old 9th October 2019, 10:06 PM   #11
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I also thought of Europe, but here is a tulwar just sold on E-Bay
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Old 9th October 2019, 10:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
I also thought of Europe, but here is a tulwar just sold on E-Bay

....but the blade marks are quite different to mine.......
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Old 9th October 2019, 11:11 PM   #13
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Stu, for me the little star stamps are typicaly Indians.
But in the circle i can see an half moon face... normaly European,
But here i think it's an Indian copy.
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Old 10th October 2019, 03:12 AM   #14
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Kubur,
Do you have any examples of the “stars” mark on European or Indian blades?
This one looks like a 7-star ( Ursa Major?) triangle
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Old 10th October 2019, 04:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Stu, for me the little star stamps are typicaly Indians.
But in the circle i can see an half moon face... normaly European,
But here i think it's an Indian copy.

I will place for possible ID on the European Forum and see what happens.
Stu
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Old 10th October 2019, 04:19 AM   #16
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The seven star assemblage resembles the usually 6 star with comet type markings used by the Schimmelbusch makers in Solingen mid to latter 19th c. This configuration is slightly different than the one shown in Bezdek, but it has been seen on other trade blades of these times.

The 'stars' are typically termed 'cogwheels' and are seen in Italian mark groupings including the sickle marks, and are seen on earlier Swiss attributed daggers. The sickle marks, as well known, are twin opposed arcs with 'dentation' or serrated looking edges, very much like seen around this circle which has the 'cogwheels' bracketing it. This again is very much in the Italian manner of mark groupings seen in Boccia & Coelho (1985).

While the dentated arcs (sickle marks) are known to be copied on Indian and Afghan blades, usually in this blade position, I cannot recall offhand any Indian blades copying these characteristically European markings.
The circle on Stu's blade may be what is left of a 'man in the moon' face (as suggested by Kubur) and as seen occasionally enclosed in circle on some Italian blades.

While still uncertain of whether the blade is European or impressive Indian copy, I just wanted to explain my views toward the plausibility for the European attribution.

I hope someone out there can show pics of other 'Indian' blades with these 'stars' (?) also known in European context as cogwheels.
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Old 10th October 2019, 06:34 AM   #17
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Hi Jim,
I have placed it on the European Forum so will see what turns up there.
Stu
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
The seven star assemblage resembles the usually 6 star with comet type markings used by the Schimmelbusch makers in Solingen mid to latter 19th c. This configuration is slightly different than the one shown in Bezdek, but it has been seen on other trade blades of these times.

The 'stars' are typically termed 'cogwheels' and are seen in Italian mark groupings including the sickle marks, and are seen on earlier Swiss attributed daggers. The sickle marks, as well known, are twin opposed arcs with 'dentation' or serrated looking edges, very much like seen around this circle which has the 'cogwheels' bracketing it. This again is very much in the Italian manner of mark groupings seen in Boccia & Coelho (1985).

While the dentated arcs (sickle marks) are known to be copied on Indian and Afghan blades, usually in this blade position, I cannot recall offhand any Indian blades copying these characteristically European markings.
The circle on Stu's blade may be what is left of a 'man in the moon' face (as suggested by Kubur) and as seen occasionally enclosed in circle on some Italian blades.

While still uncertain of whether the blade is European or impressive Indian copy, I just wanted to explain my views toward the plausibility for the European attribution.

I hope someone out there can show pics of other 'Indian' blades with these 'stars' (?) also known in European context as cogwheels.
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Old 10th October 2019, 09:02 AM   #18
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Hi Stu,
No I meant the picture from Wallace Collection - sorry, I should have been more precise.
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Old 10th October 2019, 12:44 PM   #19
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Are there traces of inlay in the marks, or is it a trick of the photography?
Regards
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Old 10th October 2019, 03:21 PM   #20
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I think you might be correct re. Inlay in some cogwheels.
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Old 10th October 2019, 03:58 PM   #21
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Oh yes, there are traces of inlay.
In the stars as well as in the round stamp.
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Old 10th October 2019, 06:49 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Oh yes, there are traces of inlay.
In the stars as well as in the round stamp.



Well there you have it!!! Thank you Jens, could not see that in original images.
This IS a European blade, not only were these type markings not copied (as far as I recall) by Indian armourers, I do not recall ever seeing latten (gold metal inlay) in such markings.
Obviously Mughal blades had such inlay in cartouches and inscriptions etc. but never used on these rather pedestrian markings.

That central circle has the dentations in surround much like the ones on the sickle marks, and the cogwheels are known in combination as bracketing the dentated arcs. This may be a variation of markings as so commonly seen on Italian blades .
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Old 10th October 2019, 08:02 PM   #23
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Thank you Jens for enhancing my original pic. It now shows the inlay quite clearly......and thank you Jim for identifying the marks as European. Now all we need is someone to identify who the marks belong to!
Stu
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Old 10th October 2019, 09:49 PM   #24
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Stu, there's the rub!
Markings are a pretty sticky wicket most of the time, especially these kinds of variant groupings which seem to have been used collectively on blades in certain sectors of production and in various times.

While there were certain cases of certain devices and symbolic images which can be attributed to certain makers, the spurious cross use of these and others which may have had other meanings have been used in a quality imbuement sense.

Personally I am inclined to place the markings on your blade in a German context, as the use of gold metal inlay was a very much German proclivity.
Naturally as with anything, there are no hard and fast rules, but it is just my own sense of the case of such use.

The gold metal fill in the marks were probably spuriously applied as interpretations of Italian markings seen and in the kind of astral grouping used often on European blades.

I wish there was a way to align particular blades to certain makers with European instances, but aside from the registered or documented ones, these kinds of generalized devices were usually used broadly by many providers.
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Old 10th October 2019, 10:48 PM   #25
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No one is seeing an half moon like me??
European half moon faces filled with cooper or brass?
Absolutely not convinced that it is European...
Please show me some similar blades from Europe...
Nice sword by the way
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Old 10th October 2019, 11:19 PM   #26
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ohhh what a surprise an Indian sword
with an Indian blade
with the same little stars...
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Old 11th October 2019, 12:34 AM   #27
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Kubur! You ARE good!!!!
Well done on showing this blade with 'Indian stars' (aka European cogwheels).

This blade has the distinct 'Indian ricasso', and as you point out these cogwheel marks configured in well known Italian arrangement.

Here is the deal. These 'cogwheels' are well known in Italian markings and often placed with other devices in motif on European blades. I am attaching (from Boccia & Coelho, 1975) some images of the typical conventions used in Italian markings end of 16th into early 17th c. They are North Italy of course.

Note the 'vesical piscus' ellipse in one grouping along with the cogwheels and the dentation on the ellipse. There is also an apparent affinity for images in roundels, such as the winged griffin as well as the winged lion of St. Marks.
While these images in roundel surround are shown, the cogwheels seem to be placed around or bracketing them.

The image of the man in the moon, which you have aptly emphasized, is seen in roundel (after the Italian fashion?) but on a German blade of c. 1630. This image is from the Wallace collection (Mann 1962).
Again, the inlay of gold metal in markings was a German favored affectation, but not saying not used in other exceptions, just in my opinion, not India.

In the case of this tulwar, could the marking arrangement have been copied in India....of course. But would the armorers gone to the added detail of 'latten' filled markings? It would be remarkably unusual.

In the case of the linear cogwheel marks shown in the tulwar, indeed I have seen these, but usually on khanda blades typically shown as 'firangi', that is with Italian (or other European) blade.
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Old 11th October 2019, 01:06 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
ohhh what a surprise an Indian sword
with an Indian blade
with the same little stars...

Hi Kubur,
No, the stars are different. Yours have 8 points and those on mine only 6. Not to say though that those on your sword are Indian copies.
Stu
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Old 11th October 2019, 02:23 AM   #29
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Ok, looked into Boccia & Coelho again ("Armi Bianchi Italiene"", 1975) which is of course on Italian edged weapons. These images are of short sabres known as storta, which are from early 17th c.
Please note the variant blade features, which include ricasso and choil at the blade forte.
Also in the one image, look at the plethora of 'Indian stars'!!!! (#6)

The use of forefinger over the forward quillon has been described in numbers of sources, often using the term 'Italian grip' if I recall correctly. There has been considerable debate over the suggestions that Indian swordsmen used this grip with extended forefinger over the quillon, but perhaps this may be the source for the feature which Indians added to their blades termed the 'Indian ricasso'.

Here we see, 'Italian' swords with these blade features, and of course the markings being discussed, known in Italy as 'cogwheels'. In European heraldry I believe they are called mullets. The number of radiating spikes do not seem significant.

In my view though, the blade posted by Kubur with these linear cogwheels is Italian, thus the sword is 'firangi'. Again, I have not seen these type marks duplicated by Indian blade makers, but the use of Italian blades appears to have a long tradition in India. These brought in by Portuguese certainly remained in circulation for some time, added to by the German blades so well favored and known, termed 'Alemani'.

Kubur, what in particular makes this blade (post 26) in this tulwar, 'Indian' in your view? As I mentioned, these type arrangements on straight SE blades in khanda seem invariably to be Italian, and seem to be from from perhaps schiavona of 18th c.

On the use of copper/brass filled markings, the running wolf and cross and orb are the most commonly seen examples and invariably on German blades it seems.
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Old 11th October 2019, 10:42 AM   #30
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Stu you are right the stars are abut different but enough similar to me.
Jim the sword that I posted is not mine but the whole blade is absolutely Indian (the cut, the ricasso, the yelman) and if you search a bit you will find hundred of them and dozen with the little stars.
Indians copied European blades.
The man in the moon on Stu's blade is very different from the European blades that I have with the same "moon face".
I will be very happy if Stu's sword has an European blade.
But please brings me evidences.
Now Jim look at the post of a guy called McDougall

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...lingen+ Blades

Post 28: this one seems to me a serious contender and then maybe a proof that your blade Stu is European... OR Caucasian!!! Caucasian sounds good to me...
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