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Old 7th May 2021, 05:30 AM   #1
ihutch1
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Default Talwar with seperate, riveted tang

I recently bought a bundle of completely encrusted, munition quality talwars from India. I disassembled them for cleaning and inspection and found that one had a tang which is riveted to the blade. It is a piece of metal folded into a 'V' sandwiching the base of the blade, and riveted through. It is free to pivot to some degree in both directions.

Have you encountered anything like this before?

My first assumption was that it must be a repair (hard to say definitively) and certainly inferior to a monolithic tang but, probably only coincidentally, it proved to be the hardest blade to extract from the hilt.
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Old 7th May 2021, 03:25 PM   #2
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Could you please post pictures of this? It would make diagnosis and analysis of it much easier.
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Old 7th May 2021, 10:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nihl View Post
Could you please post pictures of this? It would make diagnosis and analysis of it much easier.
Thanks Nihl, here are some pictures:
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Last edited by Lee; 8th May 2021 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 8th May 2021, 03:12 PM   #4
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Oh! Hmm, that's quite interesting. I think very clearly this is just some kind of haphazard makeshift tang. To me the likely story here is that, at some point, the original tang on that blade broke off, and then perhaps many years later someone found the blade and gave it this improvised tang so they could attach it to a hilt and sell it! To me the whole assemblage looks quite modern, so I bet this was intended to be sold to tourists, just tourists that wouldn't disassemble the sword heh
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Old 10th May 2021, 06:45 PM   #5
Philip
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Default replaced tangs on Oriental swords

In my decades of experience polishing and restoring swords, I have encountered a good number of older Indian, Ottoman, and Persian saber blades with replaced tangs. Also a few Chinese examples The manner in which the two are fitted is the same as seen here -- the head of the tang is cleft and overlaps the remaining stub of the old tang. But on all these, the tang was securely forge welded. Maybe once or twice I saw a small rivet besides this, for added security, but not always. On shamshir or talwar blades so repaired, the "lips" of the split tang extend about 5-6 mm onto the forte of the blade and are generally quite neatly filed, to be inconspicuous under the langets of the crossguard. In the case of the Chinese ones, the lips are even with the front of the wood grip and butt against the rear of the disc guard.

In the case of the example posted here, it is obvious that riveting alone is not a secure method since there is already some wobble. OK for a wallhanger but not a combat weapon.

I think that the reason that I've seen a greater number of these replaced tangs on weapons from the Islamic culture-spheres is that blades were often traded and sold between countries, and hilt styles and hence their mounting methods differed. The relatively small "stick" tang that would fit a talwar hilt anchored by adhesive resin would not be appropriate to mounting to a Persian or Turkish hilt, which requires a flat tang anchored by brazing and/or at least two rivets to a shaped flat iron plate to which the gripscales and pommel are attached, with the tang-band soldered round the periphery to create a finished joint between the scales.
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Old 10th May 2021, 07:05 PM   #6
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I think Philip is right.
It is not a touristic sword, and a replaced tang is not a problem especially associated with a sandwich hilt or sandwich ricasso.
Look at mine with a very similar blade...
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Old 11th May 2021, 10:39 AM   #7
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Hi guys, sorry for the slow reply, I have a concurrent thread over at myarmoury from which I will share an update:

So, I asked the smith, he immediately told me it's a repair. The blade he thinks is late 19th century, the repair could have been done any time, but he hazards 20th century. He said it's not unusual to see either welded or riveted repairs based on the ability or resources of the person doing the repair. Attached is a photo of a similarly repaired blade in his inventory.
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