Ethnographic Arms & Armour

Ethnographic Arms & Armour (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/index.php)
-   Ethnographic Weapons (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=2)
-   -   Another translation request of a stamp on a pulwar blade (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=25989)

GePi 10th June 2020 10:40 AM

Another translation request of a stamp on a pulwar blade
 
3 Attachment(s)
Since I got such a quick and expert response on my last post here is another head scratcher.

It concerns a pulwar with a well made blade, which I believe was made in northern India. Besides some imitation european blade markings it also has a stamp at the forte, containing some writing in Arabic script which I cannot make out at all.
I have seen quite a few blades with these kinds of stamps, the most famous probably being the Sword of Dara Shikoh at the V&A. I do not think that I have seen two identical ones.

mariusgmioc 10th June 2020 11:42 AM

Wow, what a beauty!
And the blade is fantastic. It seems to have the characteristic "Indian ricasso." Pretty sure made in Northern India. :)

rickystl 10th June 2020 02:48 PM

WOW!!! is right. Beautiful blade and hilt.

kwiatek 11th June 2020 12:35 AM

Can you send a closer shot of the inscription?

GePi 11th June 2020 06:05 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Okay, with a whole lot of fiddling I think I managed to trick my cell phone camera into being a bit less crappy for a second, but I don't know if it is enough :shrug:

kwiatek 12th June 2020 02:00 AM

Don’t think it’s Arabic/Persian. Can’t help with Devanagari or any Indian alphabets I’m afraid

bhushan_lawate 12th June 2020 05:28 AM

Hi,

I don't see there is any Devanagari script in the stamps.


regards,
Bhushan

GePi 12th June 2020 07:37 AM

All right, thank you for giving it a shot though.

Jens Nordlunde 12th June 2020 04:21 PM

The stamp may not contain any letters, as it coulld be the sword smiths mark.
I have tulwars with round and square stamps, some of them are with names, but one of them looks more like two men fighting - so no name, but a sword smiths mark.

Kubur 12th June 2020 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
The stamp may not contain any letters, as it coulld be the sword smiths mark.
I have tulwars with round and square stamps, some of them are with names, but one of them looks more like two men fighting - so no name, but a sword smiths mark.

It's true for the stamp to the right (I have a similar stamp), but the stamp to the left has letters and even diacritic dots.

GePi 12th June 2020 06:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kubur
It's true for the stamp to the right (I have a similar stamp), but the stamp to the left has letters and even diacritic dots.

True, that's why I was sure it actually had some meaning. Perhaps it's just nonsensical, made by someone illiterate in the script. I'm pretty sure I have seen indian blades with meaningless inscriptions in latin or pseudo-latin script. Quite strange for a blade of this quality though...

kwiatek 12th June 2020 07:28 PM

I think they are made to look as though they are Arabic/Persian letters, reflecting the prestige associated with Persian swordsmiths, but in fact signify something else. I have seen similar designs, but cannot remember where. Would be interested to see other examples

GePi 12th June 2020 08:03 PM

9 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by kwiatek
I think they are made to look as though they are Arabic/Persian letters, reflecting the prestige associated with Persian swordsmiths, but in fact signify something else. I have seen similar designs, but cannot remember where. Would be interested to see other examples

I actually sifted through my refererence picture collection when I got the sword months ago to compare it to other examples.
I thought I could not get to these because I am away from my home computer right now, but I just remembered that I have all my pictures mirrored on a USB stick that I have with me. Silly me :)
None of these are in my collection of course, so the magnification is even worse. But you can see they are very diverse, quite a few pulwars among them and one of the rajput tulwars even has a trisula mark.

kwiatek 12th June 2020 08:28 PM

Thanks very much! Interesting mix of Persian and other things made to resemble Persian inscriptions. I recognise Dara Shikoh’s sword from the V&A in there

GePi 12th June 2020 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kwiatek
Thanks very much! Interesting mix of Persian and other things made to resemble Persian inscriptions. I recognise Dara Shikoh’s sword from the V&A in there

Yep, that picture is better than the one on their website. I think I photographed this one out of one of Robert Elgood's books.

Jim McDougall 19th June 2020 12:00 AM

As far as I have understood, these cartouches in that same exact location at that quadrant of the blade forte are typically on N.Indian (subsequently also Afghan in those times) swords, and the script is Urdu.
It is compelling to consider possibly an arsenal or makers mark, but I have never seen proof of either.

GePi 21st June 2020 08:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
As far as I have understood, these cartouches in that same exact location at that quadrant of the blade forte are typically on N.Indian (subsequently also Afghan in those times) swords, and the script is Urdu.
It is compelling to consider possibly an arsenal or makers mark, but I have never seen proof of either.

On that note, look what I just now found while semi-randomly browsing around on instagram.
I find this rather interesting, the only variation is with the characters in the upper right corner. Maybe it is some kind of 'serial number'?
And it is even the same pattern of hilt.

ariel 22nd June 2020 12:07 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I think that the interpretation by Kwiatek #12 might be correct: it was a prestige thing without any meaning.
This practice is still in use among the Chinese fakers: inscriptions on pseudo- European blades in randomly picked Latin letters. I have also seen a slew of “Russian” shashka-like objects with stamped or deep etched markings in Russian alphabet without any meaning or with gross spelling errors. Those are fakes.


But the blades shown here cannot be labeled as such by any means: they are excellent old fighting examples with small marketing “enhancements”. One step off the “Assadulla” blades clearly dated as 19th century or excellent rapiers marked with names of famous masters. After all, bladesmiths all over had families to feed :-) .That’s why we do not use the word “fake” for them: just mention that the inscription is a more highbrow “spurious”:-)
I would not hesitate for a moment paying good price for any of those.
As a matter of fact I did: a pulwar with a North Indian blade marked with a round " Persian" stamp at the ricasso and, for a good measure, with a "pseudo European" inscription on the blade itself.

Rick 22nd June 2020 05:15 PM

Anyone?
 
1 Attachment(s)
Sorry to be persistent; but every now and then after we have gotten some new members with language skills I haul this picture out.
Can any of you new guys read this inscription that is partially overlaid with an armory mark?

Oliver Pinchot 23rd June 2020 05:34 PM

Rick, I asked a colleague of mine to look at this for you.
It reads: 72 RASDUL. 72 relating to an armory or rack number, while Rasdul is a proper name, likely the owner's.

Norman McCormick 23rd June 2020 06:49 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Hi,
Here is one of mine, a Tulwar with possible Afghan connections, the pinned hilt. Again an inscription that has so far defied identification possibly because it may be just be nonsensical.
Regards,
Norman.

ariel 23rd June 2020 08:50 PM

Just a side comment: as per Elgood, pinned handles might have originated in S.India/Deccan, and NW India was chock full of them.

You are absolutely correct to be careful about the Afghani origin: pinned handle is perhaps the weakest attributative sign. IMHO, only the “pulwar” handle and the system of blade fullers can provide decent evidence.

Rick 23rd June 2020 09:30 PM

Thank you very much Oliver!

Norman McCormick 24th June 2020 01:33 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Hi,
The scabbard fittings might have a bearing on the origin?
Regards,
Norman.


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:07 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.