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Old 3rd July 2019, 06:01 AM   #1
bsingh2311
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Exclamation Indian Tegha Sword Stamp Inquiry

Greetings folks,

I appreciate your interest in my topic.

Iím wondering if anyone could shed some light onto the origin of the stamp on this sword. The sword is from the 19th Century India.

I look forward to the replies.

Thank you.
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Old 3rd July 2019, 08:39 PM   #2
Jens Nordlunde
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Welcom to the forum.
Please show the whole sword. Why do you think it is the kind of sword you write it is?
The mark can be seen on many Indian swords, sometimes only one mark, but mostly several marks of the same kind.
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Old 4th July 2019, 03:23 AM   #3
Jim McDougall
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I also welcome you here! and as Jens has noted, an image of the entire sword is helpful as the designation of 'tegha' is often misunderstood and even misapplied on many Indian swords. While we understand your key interest in the marking, it is sometimes the case that markings may be better explained if full context is known.

For example, this particular mark is a copy of what was a known stamp used in Northern Italy, and often accompanied the 'eyelash' or 'sickle' markings which were profoundly familiar and often used by other arms centers.
These sometimes occurred in pairings or groupings as well.
They are from late 16th century, but used in Germany and Styria well through the 17thc.

India is known to have copied the 'sickle' marks often, but at times used this marking (sometimes referred to as 'mill rind' or 'twig' in European parlance) and often placed these in the blade location you show. In this location (near the distinctive blunted edge known as the 'Indian ricasso' on Indian blades, it seems this was some sort of traditional place to place these marks. Others used were the 'man in the moon' (from German copies of Spanish marks in 17th c); as well as the 'cog wheel' another Italian, then German mark same period.

The use of these marks on Indian blades spuriously placed carried well into and through the 19th c. representing venerable quality of earlier European blades.

The two first photos are similarly marked Indian tulwars with these type blades and the next a 16th c. European sword with similar mark...note blade location.
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Old 4th July 2019, 08:26 PM   #4
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Thanks for the warm welcome. I was posting on my mobile device, which meant I was unable to resize the image as it was too large to upload to the forum. Alas, I've resized and uploaded an image of the full sword.

I may be wrong but after examining the thickness and curve of the blade, I recognize it as a tegha/tegh.. What are your opinions?

In regards to the stamp, I've seen many 'eyelash' stamps on various blades but haven't seen one like this ever. Are these stamps that've been put on the swords after battle? or simply a stamp of the manufacturer?

Thanks
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Old 6th July 2019, 05:28 AM   #5
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Thanks for the warm welcomes. I couldn't attach a full size image before as the images exceeded the max size for the forum. I've attached a full size pic now.

I look forward to your comments.
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Old 6th July 2019, 10:20 AM   #6
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You may call it tulwar on the basis of general construction and the general style of the handle, or you may call it tegha due to its wide and massive blade. That's the matter of personal preference and does not matter much : either name means a long-bladed weapon, a sword.
What is obvious, this is an Indian blade with a spurious European style mark.
19th century is most likely correct. Trying to pinpoint its origin by the style of the handle is an exercise in futility: handles were changed left and right and quite likely it was a second or third marriage for both of them.
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Old 6th July 2019, 12:21 PM   #7
Jens Nordlunde
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bsingh, your sword seems to be what we mostly call a tegha. You may not have seen this marking before, but as Jim writes, they were used together with many other markings, copying European markings to show the 'quality' of the blade.

Attached is one of my teghas.
Length 92 cm
Length of blade 80 cm with a 'T' section at the back. Width of blade 4.5 cm
Ricasso 7.5 cm
Hilt 19.5 cm
Disc diameter 7 cm
Width of quillons 10 cm
Langets 7.5 cm
On each side of the blade there is an inscription. On one side it says Tegha, and on the other side it says Shri Krishna Wodeyar III. Although I doubt that it is Deccan work, it must have been in the Hyderabad armoury in Deccan when Krishna III took over.
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Old 6th July 2019, 03:36 PM   #8
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Thank you for showing the entire sword, and very nice example. As Ariel has illustrated, the term chosen to describe the sword largely depends on who is describing it. These are terms which may be applied equally in most cases.

It seems the 'tegha' term applies more toward a wider and thus heftier blade, and may refer to such with the 'Indo Persian' tulwar hilt, or perhaps in some cases to other hilt forms sometimes seen on such blades.

Some of these blades are not entirely wider and heavier but have a widened flare toward the distal point of the blade, thus heavier toward that point. The heavier blade itself augments the momentum in force of the cut, but these widened tip blades also perform that without the additional width in the rest of the blade.

This blade has the distinctly identifying feature of the 'Indian ricasso' with is the blunted, and blockish section near the hilt, and at the terminus of the blade edge there. The placement of these marks as noted were often situated in this location, and it would seem stamped in most cases. In this 'cogwheel' or 'solar' example, it looks as if it is stamped, and remarkably like the European versions of this long used mark.
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Old 6th July 2019, 08:23 PM   #9
Jens Nordlunde
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Be aware of, that deep stamps were made while the blade was still very hot, and not so deep stamps were made on a 'cold' blade.
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Old 6th July 2019, 08:41 PM   #10
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I appreciate all of your comments on the sword. I am yet to hold this sword in person as it's being shipped to me as we speak. I'm curious to evaluate the marriage of the hilt and blade/tang to see if the 'masala' or mixture that holds it in place has age to it or if it seems new.

I know a lot of people had gems and small diamonds/gold put in the masala or mixture that holds the marriage of the hilt & blade/tang but as mentioned above, it's a possibility that the hilts were removed and doing so the small gems/diamonds along with them.

I shall post more pictures of the sword such as the spine once I receive it (which I think will take some time). But, for now I'm quite pleased with the overall looks of the sword. From the image the sword looks light, the hilt of decent measurements, it has what looks like the original silver koftigari on it, although the end/tail of the knuckle guard seems to be damaged, it adds character to the hilt.

Moreover, what metal do you guys think the sword was forged from? It looks a lot like watered steel to me?

Lastly, the sword would need a thorough cleaning. What would you guys recommend as good materials/practices for cleaning or getting the blade's pattern to be more apparent?

As always, I appreciate your time and effort in replying to my thread.
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Old 7th July 2019, 03:30 PM   #11
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Looking forward to see some more pictures, but please remove some of the background, so we dont have to scroll to read your text.
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Old 9th July 2019, 11:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsingh2311
What metal do you guys think the sword was forged from? It looks a lot like watered steel to me?

Lastly, the sword would need a thorough cleaning. What would you guys recommend as good materials/practices for cleaning or getting the blade's pattern to be more apparent?

Hey there bsingh,

What makes you think it is watered steel? The pictures you provide don't show the blade in any great detail, and even with the large picture it is hard to see much detail in the blade (other than oxidation, of course). Does the seller you bought this from describe it as being watered? I wouldn't trust the seller, personally, if the watering isn't clearly visible. Though of course at the same time it could be that the pattern has been obscured by polishing, but this is true of any blade that hasn't been etched (any blade could, in theory, be watered if you don't know what it's made out of or haven't etched it).

More likely than not it's just plain steel, or if the blade was forged late enough it could be more modern pattern welded "damascus" steel.

Cleaning-wise, lots of people have different methods. Some people use really fine steel wool, or fine grades of sandpaper or other abrasives, while other people use chemicals or natural remedies. Personally, I've found that simple lemon juice is quite effective; just apply it to oxidized areas, wait an hour or two for it to dry, clean it off, and then polish the area once the oxidation is removed to the preferred degree. I have to ask another question though: what makes you think it needs a thorough cleaning? From the picture you've shown, the hilt is in a pretty solid condition, with only minimal losses to the koftgari, and the blade appears cleaned/polished enough as is. What little oxidation is still on the blade appears to be at a level that most museums would find acceptable (though to be fair that isn't saying much). At most the blade might need some polishing & sharpening (optional), while the koftgari on the hilt might need to be brightened up (polished) if it has at all gotten dull.

In regards to etching the blade, there are plenty of threads on here that discuss the proper methods/materials that should be used to get any possible pattern in the steel more visible. Using the search feature is recommended .
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Old 14th July 2019, 07:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nihl
Hey there bsingh,

What makes you think it is watered steel? The pictures you provide don't show the blade in any great detail, and even with the large picture it is hard to see much detail in the blade (other than oxidation, of course). Does the seller you bought this from describe it as being watered? I wouldn't trust the seller, personally, if the watering isn't clearly visible. Though of course at the same time it could be that the pattern has been obscured by polishing, but this is true of any blade that hasn't been etched (any blade could, in theory, be watered if you don't know what it's made out of or haven't etched it).

More likely than not it's just plain steel, or if the blade was forged late enough it could be more modern pattern welded "damascus" steel.

Cleaning-wise, lots of people have different methods. Some people use really fine steel wool, or fine grades of sandpaper or other abrasives, while other people use chemicals or natural remedies. Personally, I've found that simple lemon juice is quite effective; just apply it to oxidized areas, wait an hour or two for it to dry, clean it off, and then polish the area once the oxidation is removed to the preferred degree. I have to ask another question though: what makes you think it needs a thorough cleaning? From the picture you've shown, the hilt is in a pretty solid condition, with only minimal losses to the koftgari, and the blade appears cleaned/polished enough as is. What little oxidation is still on the blade appears to be at a level that most museums would find acceptable (though to be fair that isn't saying much). At most the blade might need some polishing & sharpening (optional), while the koftgari on the hilt might need to be brightened up (polished) if it has at all gotten dull.

In regards to etching the blade, there are plenty of threads on here that discuss the proper methods/materials that should be used to get any possible pattern in the steel more visible. Using the search feature is recommended .


The seller didn't mention the metal, I assumed it from zooming into the images and seeing a light pattern which you highlighted would need etching for the pattern to become more apparent. I appreciate your reply, I'll be trying the lemon method to try and remove the pitting on the blade.
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Old 26th July 2019, 03:11 PM   #14
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Cobra Hilt Tegha.
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Old 26th July 2019, 03:37 PM   #15
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In-person analysis of Tegha sword:

Hilt:

Silver Inlay/Koftigari:
85-90% of the original silver inlay (Koftigari) is still intact on the hilt. You can tell the koftigari was applied in very generously, the pattern is very thick and shows the royalty and power of the original owner of the sword.

In addition, you can tell the koftigari took a long time as it covers the entirety of the hilt.

Hilt Design:
The bottom disk of the hilt is manufactured to have a slight upwards position which would delegate how the swords would have been used. I also noticed a very rare cobra on the end of the knuckle guard - this must've been the first Indian sword hilt I've ever seen with such a hilt.

Hilt marriage with sword:
Upon inspection I'm pretty confident that the marriage between the sword and hilt were never "broken" as the "glue" or masala looks to be made from the same ingredients they were made back in the 19th Century. Plus, the blade is precisely in the centre of the hilt.

Sword:
The sword has the typical Indian Ricasso which actually helps with wielding the sword as it's not uncommon for the index finger to be rested on the bottom area of the ricasso.

The blade shows very little pitting. I can't put my finger on the material as of yet as I will be conducting a small restoration project in which one of the items on the list will be to etch the blade to see if there may be a pattern hiding under the polish.

Furthermore, the blade has a beautiful polished shine to it and is lightweight!

Stamp:
As other members of this forum have highlighted, the "Quality Stamp" on the blade located at the end of the ricasso is deeply inlaid. This would fortify the argument that the stamp was indeed put on the blade when it was still very hot.
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