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Old 5th September 2021, 01:58 AM   #30
ariel's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 5,174
Default Two more firangis: Indian? European?

Here are two more with questionable datings and attributions.
The first pic shows them together: blade length of the long one is 38", definitely qualifying it as Asa Shamshir ( staff sword). The blade has 3 narrow fullers and we can see it on trade blade from Europe, North African and Indian, It is single -edged and has no Indian ricasso. There is a mark almost hidden under the langet: real European trade or local imitation? Pretty basic basket handle, no terminal of the baluster ( lost? never existed?) I suspect the entire sword is a local Indian production, likely Moghul, 18-19th century.

The short one is more interesting. blade length only 24". It is hexagonal that I cannot recall on genuine Indian blades. AFAIK, this pattern stems from the Spanish cavalry sword 1728 pattern, but please feel free to correct me. Three narrow central fullers, pretty crude carving technique, I would guess made locally. No Indian ricasso, double-edged. No marks. My guess those might have been lost when the blade was shortened: the original Spanish blade was 33" long and had small ricassos on both edges.
Typical Tulwar handle, but with an interesting feature: pretty long baluster that is bent down: usually thought to be a feature of the 17th century.
Two rivets with brass washers underneath: one at the grip, another at the quillon block. While some stress the presence of rivets (especially at the quillon block) as a distinctive Afghani feature, the original idea came from the South and just migrated North.
I would think about Deccan/ Maratha and place the whole thing around 17-18 century ( open for discussion). Highly likely, for both the blade and the handle it was not the first marriage:-)
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Last edited by ariel; 5th September 2021 at 10:27 PM.
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