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Old 6th June 2021, 07:06 PM   #1
francantolin
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Default an Afghan pulwar sword -translation if possible...

Hello gentlemen,

I received this large pulwar sword,
I trade this sword with other stuff,
it wasn't inexpensive but I think it's a good piece.

The hilt is finely crafted and
the blade seems made of good quality
there is on one side an interesting
arabic script inlay ( gold )( maybe it's afghan not classical Arabic ).

sadly the wooden parts of the scabbard are worser than I thought,
the large tip mount is interesting too ( really rusty,
I clean it a little... )
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Old 6th June 2021, 07:19 PM   #2
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There are two eye lash marks
and on the other side an interesting stamp at the basis of the blade
( cf picture )

For me it's an indian blade with this mark
but for the seller it comes from Persia...

Does anybody know were this arsenal (?) ''stamps'' mark come from ?

Any Idea about age ??

Difficult to me to give a date, ( so maybe the translation will help )...
The blade seems ''recent'' because it's really in nice conditions

but the scabbard was on the opposite, poor conditions ( maybe just stored in a wet place for a long time...)
and the well crafted hilt seems older...

Maybe beginning of 20th century ?

What do you think ?
Kind regards
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Old 6th June 2021, 09:02 PM   #3
Jim McDougall
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Nicely crafted but quite modern version of the well known Afghan sword mostly of late 18th into 19th c. termed 'paluoar' a term which is indeed of Persian etymology.
The 'eyelash' or 'sickle' marks (twin dentated arcs) are a well known mark which apparently began centuries ago in North Italy (mostly Genoa) but were copied in Styria (Austria) and the Caucusus later.
They were regarded as 'quality' or 'magic' imbuements on trade blades used in many native contexts, but in these northern regions of India, it seems they were consistently used on these Afghan swords.

Actually these interpretations on this example are not near the original form typically seen, but are faithfully applied in this interpretation of the sword type.

The deeply stamped cartouche at the forte near the langet is placed also faithfully in the manner of many North Indian tulwar blades in which there are often inscriptions or symbols usually in Urdu, but as far as known, are not arsenal or makers marks.

I cannot help with the translation, but look forward to what it says.
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Old 11th June 2021, 06:16 PM   #4
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Hello,

Thank you Jim for the comments about pulwars swords,
so a modern blade for you ?

I waited before my reply but not a lot of success with the translation...

I'll try with a few more pics:
the engraving and rests of gold in the eyelash
and a gold or copper mark on the hilt ( under the rust )
( only one side...) : something like an X or a double greek epsilon in capital letters...
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Old 11th June 2021, 07:13 PM   #5
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Hi my friend

I disagree with Jim, this is not modern.
It is a very nice Afghan pulwar.
The blade is old and scabbard too (19th).
I have to admit that the hilt is a bit weird, maybe it is the reason why Jim wrote that.
I have a pulwar with the same kind of blade, but without the inscription... damnit!

One forum member is an expert and wrote a book about Afghan weapons, I have to find the book...

Kubur
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Old 11th June 2021, 08:48 PM   #6
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur View Post
Hi my friend

I disagree with Jim, this is not modern.
It is a very nice Afghan pulwar.
The blade is old and scabbard too (19th).
I have to admit that the hilt is a bit weird, maybe it is the reason why Jim wrote that.
I have a pulwar with the same kind of blade, but without the inscription... damnit!

One forum member is an expert and wrote a book about Afghan weapons, I have to find the book...

Kubur
I think I best qualify what I mean, 'modern' suggests perhaps end of 19th c.
The hilt is indeed unusual with the quillons being this close in, a characteristic which in many ways reminds me of Arab sabers with these narrow quillons.
The paluoar was used into the 19th century, residually, and they became less often present, so a later made version may well have been in this unusual character. The 'eyelash' marks are not as well executed as on earlier examples where they seem invariably present.


Compare this example which I believe is possibly late 18th-early 19th c. and the differences, especially the 'sickle marks'.
These are more in line with the actual Genoan/Styrian types with the triple dots etc.
The hilt here seems notably different, but is smooth rather than the fluting and quadrangular design (which is indeed correct but absent on mine), the fluted scabbard (I do not have one) which is absolutely correct as well.

I think it is important to remember they were using these weapons in varying cases tribally into the third Afghan War (1919) and beyond. There were battles and warfare well into the 1930s. The blade on Francotolins is of the type made late 18th into 19th in Rajasthani regions and I have seen the cartouche (usually in Urdu) in that quadrant of the forte on tulwar blades.
It is the markings which seem 'modern' and the hilt seems made 'in the style of' in the manner of both tulwars and some paluoars of these northern regions. In my opinion it is an authentically made example but somewhat recomposed.
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Old 12th June 2021, 09:24 PM   #7
Jens Nordlunde
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Maybe this picture will help.
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Old 12th June 2021, 09:27 PM   #8
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The picture is very black - is it possible to make it lighter?
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Old 13th June 2021, 06:52 AM   #9
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?

Quite the contrary, it's a really light picture !
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Old 13th June 2021, 05:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde View Post
Maybe this picture will help.
Hi Jens,
Were you attaching a picture?
Any thoughts on this? I know you know tulwars better than anyone but thoughts on these sickle marks ? The ones on this example seem modern (20th c). while the blade seems 19th.
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Old 13th June 2021, 08:58 PM   #11
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Well guys
I friendly but strongly disagree with you.
Maybe the blade is older, but the hilt and the scabbard are late 19th c.
Please look at Mahrat's book, p. 152-167, the same hilts with same quillons.

For some readers, I'm aware that some forum members criticized the book of my Russian friend.
I know that some forum members will not consider what I write because they know better.
But some forum members are following my posts and I will write for them first.
Even if Mahrat’s book is not perfect, even if some of you spotted some mistakes.
First, nobody is perfect, and my respect will always go first to the people who do something, for example a book on Afghan weapons.
As far I know it is the only monograph on this topic, so even not perfect it is a reference, maybe not The reference but a reference, the only one devoted to this topic.
Like Kozo’s book on Balkans knives is not perfect (see my previous post), it is a reference for Balkan knives.
In short, honest and good researchers will mention Mahrat’s book, like Tirri’s or other book. It is maybe not what you like but the book is there.
If some of you think they can do better, please write a book, I’ll buy it.
��
Kubur

PS: My comments are not adressed to the previous posts/authors but connected to previous discussions and posts about the same topic.
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Old 13th June 2021, 10:28 PM   #12
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Kubur,
Thank you for the kind words, and well placed on the book by Dima, who is a very close friend of mine for years now, I am proud to say. I knew when he was writing the book, and had the opportunity to help with some of the material used. His book is EXCELLENT! and cannot be mentioned in the same context as Tirri's, which is a different story, a different kind of book.

Please understand, and I must reiterate, I do not doubt the scabbard is 19th c. nor the hilt, most likely the hilt is newer and is unusual in the type of piercings, the narrow set of the quillons, etc. The blade is certainly 19th c. as well and as noted probably Rajasthani...........the 'sickle' marks are of unusual nature and seem later, perhaps early 20th.
I will have to get my copy of the book, not at hand at the moment.

Please erase the word 'modern' from my comments as it is the source of too much consternation. The sword is late 19th into early 20th, with a older scabbard, and the blade N. Indian mid 19th.

These paluoars were no longer heavily used by the 1880s, except in remote tribal environs. The inscription on the blade suggests a genuinely tribal context, and may well have been a diplomatic presentation as often the case with traditional ethnic forms.

Regarding again the book, of course there will always be disagreements, it is inevitable, but as far as I'm concerned, I admire anyone having the courage to publish......there will always be critics. As I was once told by a well known author, "...just write Jim, tell the people what they need to know...and dont worry about the critics...most of them never lift a pencil.....just write!".
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Old 16th June 2021, 05:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
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The inscription on the blade suggests a genuinely tribal context, and may well have been a diplomatic presentation as often the case with traditional ethnic forms.
We need Kwiatek.
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