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Old 19th November 2017, 02:33 PM   #31
Jens Nordlunde
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I doubt that the hilt is a 'Tipu hilt', as I dont remember to have seen a horse head on any of the hilts attributed to Tipu.
The way the ears are turned points towards a Marwari breed.
A hilt attributed to South India, possible Maysore 18th century can be seen in 'A Passion for Indian Arms' pp. 266-268.
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Old 19th November 2017, 02:53 PM   #32
Ian
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The emblem characterizing Tipu Sultan was the tiger. He identified strongly with this symbol and was called the "Tiger of Mysore." There is a very famous item in the V&A Museum called Tipu's Tiger that is a mechanical musical device portraying a tiger eating a European.

As Jens states, I cannot recall any iconography associated with Tipu that featured a horse.

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Old 19th November 2017, 03:51 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
The emblem characterizing Tipu Sultan was the tiger. He identified strongly with this symbol and was called the "Tiger of Mysore." There is a very famous item in the V&A Museum called Tipu's Tiger that is a mechanical musical device portraying a tiger eating a European.

As Jens states, I cannot recall any iconography associated with Tipu that featured a horse.

Ian


If you look closely Ian and Jens you can see a tiger on the quillon and also on the chappe. Also you can see bubri stripes which were used by Tipu as a trademark on almost everything he owned. Here is another example:
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Old 19th November 2017, 04:28 PM   #34
Jens Nordlunde
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You are right, but the main thing is the top of the hilt - a horse head.
The hilt you now show is a different hilt as the one you showed earlier, and 'maybe' this could have some connection to Tipu - I dont really know, as I am not a specialist on Tipu.
Maybe the 'bubris's' are not that, maybe they are 'cintamani's'.
Attached the sword I referred to in my former mail.
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Old 19th November 2017, 09:26 PM   #35
Jim McDougall
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It is great to see this old thread revived! and to see the interest in Indian arms being brought forward as well, perfect timing in view of Robert Elgood's new 2 volume work now out on Jodhpur arms !!

I agree with Jens, I have never really seen any of the 'horse head' motif used on weapons attributed to Tipu, but the accompanying 'bubri' and tiger heads as well as the tiger head escutcheon often used on many of his swords is compelling.

The horse head pommel seems to have been a motif used on daggers mostly, but was on some sword hilts, and termed HAYAMUKHI (Pant, "Indian Arms & Armor", New Delhi, 1980, p.109). In this reference two daggers with this design are shown, (plate C, mid 17th c Mughal; plate CXLVII, Rajput c.1720).

Stephen Markel, in "Mughal Decorative Arts" (Marq, Vol. 50, #3, Mar. 1999) notes, "...horse and antelope headed dagger hilts made of nephrite jade were particular favorites of the Emperor ". (referring to Shah Jahan, c. 1650s).

While it seems implied that this 'horse head' motif is a favored Rajput style which gained favor in Mughal courts, it certainly must have carried into the Mughal regions beyond the northern regions.
It is notable that Mughals took great pride in their cavalry steeds, much as the Rajputs. They used Iraqi; Turki; Yabu; Tazi; Jangla and Majnas breeds, some locally bred and some of these brought in from Persia, Central Asia.
The officers (mansabdar) were charged with the selection and care of these mounts, which seemed to be comprised of variant groupings of these breeds.

It is tempting to consider that perhaps an officer among Tipu's ranks in this capacity might have been awarded a sword of this motif and distinction in his cavalry. Obviously we can only speculate, but the gold koftgari over dark background is in the 'bidri' style, a Karnataka region affectation which well diffused in Indian decorative style.

There were numerous variations in the uniforms, weaponry and application of Tipu Sultan's armies, and his obsession with fashion, innovation, tactics and regalia suggests such an anomaly may be possible.

It seems another of Tipu's swords is decorated in blued steel with gold calligraphy.

It is hard to say which swords were indisputably Tipu's as it appears there were numerous weapons in his palace at the time of his death ending the siege at Seringpatam, May 4,1799. As with most famous figures, there seem to inevitably be a parade of weaponry and artifacts attributed to them years beyond their death.

We know that Tipu was keen on designs and innovation, and several sword types or designs are attributed to him which were intended for officers in his service (Egerton 1884, p.123), but though these had bubris type inscriptions and gilt hilts, none are described as with horse head. With his hand in the creation of these types of swords for his forces, his attention to these sorts of details and the manufacturing facilities he had, it seems presumable this kind of design might have been possible.
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Old 19th November 2017, 09:45 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
The emblem characterizing Tipu Sultan was the tiger. He identified strongly with this symbol and was called the "Tiger of Mysore." There is a very famous item in the V&A Museum called Tipu's Tiger that is a mechanical musical device portraying a tiger eating a European.

As Jens states, I cannot recall any iconography associated with Tipu that featured a horse.

Ian


This interesting mechanical toy was indeed most symbolic to Tipu, who had gained a deep hatred for the British, and is keenly representing him(the tiger of Mysore) killing what is described as a 'European' but the allegory is clearly toward the British. It allegedly represents the death of the son of the British commander who was killed by a tiger Dec.22, 1792, but the larger meaning is clear.

Such totemic symbolism is seen in the Seringpatam medal issued by the British in 1808, with a British lion killing a tiger (Mysore).
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Old 20th November 2017, 03:14 AM   #37
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Thanks for the beautiful and detailed response Jim. You are a true scholar and a gentleman. Tipu Sultan was unique among Indian princes because he developed a design element around the tiger which makes objects associated with him so easily identifiable. Here is an example:
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Old 21st November 2017, 05:13 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Likhari
Thanks for the beautiful and detailed response Jim. You are a true scholar and a gentleman. Tipu Sultan was unique among Indian princes because he developed a design element around the tiger which makes objects associated with him so easily identifiable. Here is an example:



Thank you so much Likari for those very kind words. Tipu Sultan is a fascinating subject in the intriguing fields of study on India and its arms and armour, and it is great to have you posting these examples and bringing forward more discussion.
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