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Old 18th December 2020, 01:13 PM   #1
Will M
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Default Tulwar with Koftgari

Not the type of sword I collect but I liked it and the price was right.
Blade is 31 inches, thin and flexible, could it be a European blade? No markings anywhere. Very flexible and thin past the fullers. At the ricasso it is 7/16 inches thick and 1 1/2 inches wide.
Any info is appreciated.
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Last edited by Will M; 18th December 2020 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 18th December 2020, 05:05 PM   #2
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This is a classic firangi.
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Old 18th December 2020, 06:39 PM   #3
Jim McDougall
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Looks like pretty much the well known tulwar hilt form of Rajasthan from about mid 19th c. +, it seems well used by Rajputs and Sikhs. The 'stepped' ricasso' seems to be more an Indian favored feature and thought to be to accommodate the much debated finger around the quillon practice.
This was the reason this feature on blades was termed 'the Indian Ricasso'.

It has often been argued that the forefinger around the quillon outside the guard endangered it, however it has been generally noted that sword to sword combat in India was rare, and parrying was 'the work of the shield'.

The hilt looks like it has silver metal application which it may be what is known 'bidri' technique, silver over black .
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Old 18th December 2020, 07:48 PM   #4
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From the pictures, the blade appears to be European and the "Indian Ricasso" is the result of repeated sharpening & repairing of the edge. Moreover, the wear of the blade matches quite well the corrosion of the hilt, so my guess is they have been together some very long time (18th century?!). However, I might be wrong.

Anyhow, let us not fall into the trap of calling every single sword with an Indian, disc pommel, a "tulwar" because then we will end up with a lot of confusion.

Then we may very well call "tulwar" all the swords in the photos below, when in fact they are very different swords.

So, in naming a sword, I will give priority to the blade and call the swords below:

1. Tulwar
2. Shamshir
3. Tegha
4. Khanda
5. Sousun Pattah

But this may be only my narrow and stubborn point of view... yet, it is stubborn indeed!
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Last edited by mariusgmioc; 19th December 2020 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 19th December 2020, 03:33 AM   #5
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Elgood, in his Jodhpur 2-volume book, shows quite a bit of khandas and Khanda blade.
There are straight Khandas and curved Khandas, with and without edge-located strengthening plate, with and without widened tip.. In short, none of the classical uniformity of Stone’s book.
I was confused and wrote him an e-mail. His response was that the same swords carried different names in different parts of India and that different swords carried the same name.
If we accept that explanation ( presumably based on his historical evidence and old catalogues of weapons in multiple armouries) our simplified ( or over complex) classifications may be wrong.
Several days ago my daughter and myself went into Indian store to buy her beloved India-produced boxes of spiced sauces. There were literally dozens of varieties , each with its own name. All were identical color and taste wise: red and unspeakably hot. One could not detect whether his dish was chicken, shrimp, beans, lentils or potatoes: everything was pure pepper.

Colonel Flashman had the same impression of Kama Sutra: position 54 is the same as position 53, only with your pinkie curved.
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Old 19th December 2020, 08:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Elgood, in his Jodhpur 2-volume book, shows quite a bit of khandas and Khanda blade.
There are straight Khandas and curved Khandas, with and without edge-located strengthening plate, with and without widened tip.. In short, none of the classical uniformity of Stone’s book.
I was confused and wrote him an e-mail. His response was that the same swords carried different names in different parts of India and that different swords carried the same name.
If we accept that explanation ( presumably based on his historical evidence and old catalogues of weapons in multiple armouries) our simplified ( or over complex) classifications may be wrong.
Several days ago my daughter and myself went into Indian store to buy her beloved India-produced boxes of spiced sauces. There were literally dozens of varieties , each with its own name. All were identical color and taste wise: red and unspeakably hot. One could not detect whether his dish was chicken, shrimp, beans, lentils or potatoes: everything was pure pepper.

Colonel Flashman had the same impression of Kama Sutra: position 54 is the same as position 53, only with your pinkie curved.
Hola Ariel!

I am pretty sure Elgood was right... in some ways. However, he might have been wrong in others, depending on the criteria we consider. In any way I do not believe that we should dogmatically follow his writings, or Stones' as a matter of fact.

In Turkey all swords are "Kiliç" that would translate to kilij. But does this mean we have to call all Turkish swords "kilij?!"

Even the term "Tulwar" is used in some parts of India generically, for all types of Indian swords. Does this mean that we better call all Indian swords "tulwar?!"

So the question is: shall we use the ethnographic traditional denominations or shall we strive for clarity?!

I think that if we go for the the ethnographic traditional denominations, we may end up with a lot of confusion, without even being able to be ethnographically correct because very often:

1. we do not know exactly the ethnographically correct name;

2. the very same weapon would have different names in different geographical regions;

3. in many instances, very specific weapons only had a generic, umbrella name (like the generic kilij=sword in Turkey).

So, I believe we should strive for clarity and try to allocate specific names to specific weapons while trying to be only reasonably close to their ethnographic names.

Last edited by mariusgmioc; 19th December 2020 at 08:45 PM.
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