Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 5th September 2021, 08:05 PM   #31
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,561
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel View Post
This is an unquestionably real Firangi from the South.
European double-edged blade wit a single wide fuller and a " Genoese"/"Styrian"/ make your guess. trade blade. Blade is marked , see last pic.
No Indian ricasso, blade length 34 "
Good and complete basket handle with intact baluster and leather-wrapped hilt, old, practically congealed leather, if not the original, then definitely from the working life of this Firangi.
The blade is probably Styrian, and the markings approximating the so called 'Genoan' sickle marks as commonly found on blades from these regions. I usually consider these double edged blades as intended for schiavona of 17th-18th c.
Likely entered the Mahratta trade sphere.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2021, 08:24 PM   #32
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,561
Default

On the top 'firangi' it seems odd that this is double edged, as I had thought the fuller grouping would be at center, rather than along one side as here.
Could this have been a wider blade?
The three dots seen of the marking at forte of course suggest the double arc 'sickles' which typically have three dots at terminus' of each side.
For some reason I had always thought of these khanda (firangi) as either Rajput or Mahratta, but as with most Indian arms, its anybodys guess most of the time.

The second one, as noted, my first inclinations would be North India, Afghan regions as these riveted features are indeed characteristic. The angled pommel stem (baluster) I had always thought Rajput, and the knuckleguard character with 'swans neck' turnback at pommel I have regarded as Northern as well.
The thing is that there were profound connections between Afghan regions and the Deccan, in fact the well known 'paluoar' sabers regarded as 'Afghan' are considered of Deccani influence.

The blade is indeed very much as the Spanish 1728 dragoon blades and as described by Ariel. These were often shortened in this manner for mounting on the espada ancha swords of Colonial Mexico. These most commonly carried the 'Spanish motto' and were hexagonal cross section. I had not considered that India would copy this type cross section, but these fullers are pretty crudely drawn.

On another thread we have been discussing blades from North Africa ending up in India (or on Indian hilts) and the Spanish motto blades are known to have been found in that African sphere, so again, anybodys guess.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2021, 09:23 PM   #33
ariel
Member
 
ariel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 5,153
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
The thing is that there were profound connections between Afghan regions and the Deccan, in fact the well known 'paluoar' sabers regarded as 'Afghan' are considered of Deccani influence.

.
Agree. Afghanis were kept in check by Babur in 1526 ( First Battle of Panipat), but were victorious in 1761 ( Third Battle of Panipat) against the Maratha Empire. Both battles occured north of Delhi, far, far away from Deccan. However, Afghani mercenaries joined Mughals in their invasions of Deccan in the 17th century. There was the source of the " cup" pommel of the pulwar and, perhaps of its downturned quillons, although Persian influence cannot be excluded. Since then Afghanis became an important force in Deccan, and occasionally even the rulers.
ariel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2021, 09:30 PM   #34
ariel
Member
 
ariel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 5,153
Default

Jim:
"On the top 'firangi' it seems odd that this is double edged, as I had thought the fuller grouping would be at center, rather than along one side as here."

Jim, I am blushing: it IS single edged, and I have no idea what possessed me to write such "double-edged" nonsence!
I have corrected the error.
ariel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2021, 11:47 PM   #35
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,561
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel View Post
Jim:
"On the top 'firangi' it seems odd that this is double edged, as I had thought the fuller grouping would be at center, rather than along one side as here."

Jim, I am blushing: it IS single edged, and I have no idea what possessed me to write such "double-edged" nonsence!
I have corrected the error.
Ariel! oops! I seem to be having more of those moments too....are we gettin' old? Great descriptions on these overall just the same.......and good detail on the Afghan-Deccani situations.
All the best'
Jim
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2021, 12:52 AM   #36
Nihl
Member
 
Nihl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 47
Default

Hi all! Just wanted to add a few thoughts here and clarify what I can.

First of all, language and name game-wise, I feel like it would be helpful for a few people to elucidate how the term "dhop" is pronounced. In marathi the word is written as "धोप", which is spelled धो - dho, with the "o" being pronounced the same way as the o in "own", and प - p. To explain it a slightly different way, the sword "dhop" is pronounced the same way the english slang word "dope" is. Thus, alternative transliterations of "धोप" as either "dhup" or "dhoop" would be misleading, as the "official" word contains no vowel sounds that could be properly aligned with either u or oo-based sounds.

As to the veracity of this term as one used to describe a basket hilt with some form of vaguely european-in-style blade, we have to look no further than the "indian side" of youtube to find examples of natives using the term in the modern day. Here's one example of a clip from a tv special about Marathi weapons, where they pronounce the term at the 0:40 mark, and here's another example from a Sikh youtuber talking about the sword type, specifically saying the term at around 0:44.

In my opinion, while "firangi" is a legitimate term, it's a bit too vague to use these days when talking about indian swords. Sure, there are plenty of swords with "firangi blades" out there, but since we now know that copies of European blades were paired with hilts just as often as authentic ones, it makes no sense to rely on "firangi" as a sword type when the swords described, from a glance, have a 50/50 chance of actually being accurate to the term. Meanwhile, the term "dhop" makes no such distinction, and instead is defined (from what I can tell) as just a basket-hilted sword with some kind of long and often - but not always - fullered blade. The term "asa shamshir" indeed is more northern in origin, but I would say it's an accurate term to describe any straight-bladed, basket-hilted "firangi". In my mind, firangi is a good way of marking an indian sword as having a trade blade (i.e. saying "this is a firangi-bladed pata, tulwar, etc"), when used as a descriptor/shorthand that would indeed signify that that sword has a blade of european origin, but I think it is too vague of a term to use as a standalone type of sword. Also worth noting that, unfortunately, we don't really know what the more southern Tamil/Malayali/Kannadiga terms for these types of swords would be, despite the fact that we do know 100% that these types of swords were made & used in those areas (of course we do know the term for "sword" in each of these languages, but what I'm curious about is just *if* they used a different, distinct word).

In terms of what to call a "standard" tulwar-hilted sword with some kind of atypical fullered blade, which is what Stu actually started this thread on, I think it's important to remember that the blades used on indian swords were really quite unusually diverse, relative to the rest of the world. Indeed, compared to the more strict ways of mounting sword blades in say, europe, the only qualification a blade needed in india to be stuck on a hilt was that it's tang was the right size (insofar as it could fit inside the hilt)! After that (as we all know), the blades would just be glued in, with no fuss about handle scales, pommel caps, etc "fitting" on the sword. Of course, for hilts that required rivets (or were later modified with them), that's a whole nother issue involving messing with the blade itself. My point to all this is (and I thank those reading that have stuck up with my ramblings), that due to how incredibly diverse the blades on indian swords could be, owing further to how fundamentally non-preferential the hilts of most indian swords were (within reason), it is ultimately IMO rather silly to draw lines in what is really a spectrum or continuum of swords that can all have relatively quite different blade shapes and sizes from one another. In my opinion, it is better to arrange sword forms via the manner of use and hilt shape than strictly the blade shape. This given that, for example, we know via traditional indian swordsmanship that most straight-bladed tulwars weren't thrusted with, and thus their use was ultimately interchangeable with the more common saber-bladed tulwar form. Granted, truth be told most indian swords were used in the same manner (of chopping/slashing/cutting/etc), so I suppose my system isn't really 100% foolproof.

IMO though, Stu's tulwar is indeed a tulwar, just a tulwar with a straight blade. Or, if we really need to be pedantic/super descriptive, it's a straight-bladed tulwar with three fullers arranged in a manner suspiciously similar to that of a takouba .
Nihl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2021, 02:06 PM   #37
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,297
Thumbs up

Nihl,

Your "ramblings" are perhaps the most coherent description of these swords that I have read. Thank you for making sense of a subject that has bothered me for some time.

Ian
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, 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.