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Old 1st September 2021, 12:05 AM   #1
kahnjar1
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Default UNUSUAL TULWAR for COMMENT

This Tulwar just finished at auction here and I am interested to see what Members think about the blade. It looks very much like a Takouba type blade but does not appear to be a "hybrid" creation.
Stu
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Old 1st September 2021, 03:17 PM   #2
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This is a very interesting and unusual talwar. If its length were more than 120 cm, then we could boldly call it as "dhōp".
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Old 2nd September 2021, 03:18 AM   #3
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Hi Stu,

This does look like a firangi (foreign) blade, but I would not exclude the possibility that it was a local copy. Most firangi I have seen were longer than the usual tulwar. Hard to judge age, but it does not look recent.

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Old 2nd September 2021, 05:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
This does look like a firangi (foreign) blade
Why?
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Old 2nd September 2021, 06:52 PM   #5
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Very interesting blade decoration; I have a khanjarli with the same type of decoration
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Old 2nd September 2021, 08:46 PM   #6
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I have Indian blades with the same fullers...
Yes, Indians imitated European blades, nothing new.
If Tuaregs can do it, of course, Indians can do it too!
I agree with Mercenary, Firangi means nothing, just foreigner and the Indian swords called firangi have a basket hilt...
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Old 2nd September 2021, 09:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur View Post
I have Indian blades with the same fullers...
Yes, Indians imitated European blades, nothing new.
If Tuaregs can do it, of course, Indians can do it too!
I agree with Mercenary, Firangi means nothing, just foreigner and the Indian swords called firangi have a basket hilt...
What hilts are your fullered blades on? Do you have any blades like this with TULWAR hilts. If so could you please post some pics.

I was hoping that this thread would comment on the particular blade/hilt combination as I have not been able to find any other pics or reference to Tulwars like this.
Stu
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Old 2nd September 2021, 11:13 PM   #8
Jim McDougall
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My initial thought in seeing this example, I thought perhaps this was a Sudanese kaskara blade mounted in a tulwar hilt. However, while the crudely drawn central triple fullers resemble those on the blades commonly seen on these, the blade fans out toward the hilt, while kaskara blades remain uniform.

A 'straight' blade 'tulwar' (Indo-Persian hilt) is known in Hindu as 'sukhela', and to the south in Deccan as 'dhup' (Marathi). ("The Indian Sword", P.Rawson, 1969, p.30,p.90).Trying to categorize these, just as with most ethnographic weapons, by term, is usually pure folly.

The straight blade on these swords seems to have been regarded in many cases as for representations of authority, court officials, and often soldiers or warriors of high esteem....apparently the variation had some significance.

It would seem this blade is a copied version of possibly the Sudanese kaskara blades, as far as fullering that is. Interestingly, I have seen Indian swords with 'kaskara or Sudanese' blades, or actually those of the form which were exported heavily into Sudan from Europe. In some cases these were with 'tulwar' hilts, some 'pata' etc.
That would suggest there was enough diffusion and interaction with trade between these spheres to bring about these kinds of circumstances.

Thus, a dhup/sukhela sword with probably Indian made approximation of either a Sudanese blade or its European counterpart. The 'firangi' term is used only collectively to describe any sword with a 'foreign' blade, regardless of overall sword form.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 01:21 AM   #9
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Hi Jim,
Thanks for your contribution. Much appreciated. Yes I would perhaps call this a Sukhela but any illustration I can find suggests that the Sukhela blade has paralel sides rather than tapered from the hilt as this blade is.
I am not (necessarily) trying to get a concise ID of this sword but simply to see if anyone else has (or has seen) this particular variant.
Stu
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Old 3rd September 2021, 03:55 AM   #10
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Hi Stu,
Understood, and the way I have understood, the terms 'sukhela' and 'dhup' are simply by language describing the same type sword, that is with basically straight blade rather than curved.
The 'variation' seems to be primarily blade oriented, and as blades came from so many sources, not to mention being remounted many times over working lives, it is hard to pinpoint.
Here are some of the examples of these found online, not much help, but illustrates the range of variant blades that were used.

Studying the swords and weapons of India is both daunting and exciting with so many conundrums involved.
Nice and interesting example Stu, as always.

Jim
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Old 3rd September 2021, 03:58 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=corrado26;265793]Very interesting blade decoration; I have a khanjarli with the same type of decoration[/QUOTE


Interesting example Udo, and I see what you mean, those parallel fullers which are irregularly drawn (though four) suggest Indian workmanship on blade.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 07:08 AM   #12
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Once again thank you Jim. The pics you posted show several different types of blades (some look to be repurposed) so the subject blade which sold here could also be a repurposed blade, or made in India to resemble a Takouba blade.
I agree with your comments regarding Indian weapons....quite a mine field really as there are just so many of them.
Hope you are OK with the wild weather and the virus in the U.S.
Stu
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Old 3rd September 2021, 10:12 AM   #13
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Well, absolutely not made in India to resemble a Takouba blade.

Takouba blade or Indian blade to resemble to a European blade.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 10:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1 View Post
I was hoping that this thread would comment on the particular blade/hilt combination as I have not been able to find any other pics or reference to Tulwars like this.
Stu
To come back to your question Stu, the blade looks South Indian and the hilt North Indian.
Now is this combination done later in an "English lab" for sale?
an "Indian lab" for tourists with two old parts?
Or a geniune product from the 18th or 19th c.
Well I don't know...
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Old 3rd September 2021, 10:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur View Post
Well, absolutely not made in India to resemble a Takouba blade.

Takouba blade or Indian blade to resemble to a European blade.
Hi Kubur,

In your post above you say you have Indian blades with fullers. Can we please see some pics?
Stu
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Old 3rd September 2021, 02:24 PM   #16
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Sukhela - a kind of steel.

Dhoop - a representative sword that can be held like a staff (as Jim correctly wrote).

Indian talwar with a blade of Persian, European, African and so on production, made in accordance with Indian traditions in India - this is an Indian talwar. I saw in the thread no facts why this blade could not have been made in India.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 04:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary View Post
Sukhela - a kind of steel.

Dhoop - a representative sword that can be held like a staff (as Jim correctly wrote).

Indian talwar with a blade of Persian, European, African and so on production, made in accordance with Indian traditions in India - this is an Indian talwar. I saw in the thread no facts why this blade could not have been made in India.
Thank you Mercenary, actually what I suggested in post #8 (but did not make clear) was that this blade was likely made in India in imitation of either European or North African (probably Sudanese) blade.
As North Africa imitated European blades, it would be hard to determine which might be the case.

Thank you for the info on Sukhela being a type of steel, I had not realized that but indeed that may have lent to the term for the swords which had been produced using it. It seems that these kinds of instances would come up for example in Sirohi (Rajasthan) where the swords produced were called that, but whether place name or as you note, perhaps other, might be the case.
The name game gets pretty 'exciting' (?) and intriguing.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 04:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur View Post
Well, absolutely not made in India to resemble a Takouba blade.

Takouba blade or Indian blade to resemble to a European blade.

Hi Kubur,
Since North African blades often tried to imitate European, and Indian armorers did as well, it is hard to say, but this seems made in India.

In West Africa, many of the takouba types do have these wide forte and tapering blades, and with this kind of fullering, but it would be difficult to imagine why a native made Saharan blade would end up in Indo-Persian tulwar hilt..I have always sort of hidden my eyes from the notorious 'labs' (very well put) where collector guaged 'antiquities' are created by nefarious sellers, but they do exist.

As I had noted, I have seen numerous instances where Sudanese blades have ended up in Indian mounts, but have always taken it that these were simply blades diverted from the trade routes which carried these blades and somehow diffused into the India network.


Here is a pata of mine I've had for about 40 years. As can be seen this appears to be a Solingen blade, the cosmological motif can be faintly seen. This is of the type that went into Sudan c. 1880s. The erratic profile of the blade is common on older kaskara and Saharan blades which have had rugged sharpening by native warriors with stones. Clearly this blade at some time ended up in this pata hillt, and it was long ago as considerably before I acquired it. In various ceremonies with groups in regions in SW India pata are used processionally and in demonstrations so this might well have been a votive piece, not intended for combat.

The wide, tapered blade takouba from regions in Saharan regions such as Mali, to Cameroon seems to have been status oriented. While often the upper part is covered by a metal collar, often these are seen with the kind of fullers seen on Stu's example.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 05:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
Hi Kubur,
Since North African blades often tried to imitate European, and Indian armorers did as well, it is hard to say, but this seems made in India.
Hi Jim,

Agreed!
South Indian three fullers are larger and not completely parrallel (unlike the takouba's ones), wider at the ricasso.


Quote:
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As I had noted, I have seen numerous instances where Sudanese blades have ended up in Indian mounts
Mmmm I never ever saw that, like mercenary I would like to see evidences.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 07:26 PM   #20
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Hi,
This sword belongs to me and I am as sure as I can be that it is all original and not a composite. I termed this sword as Sukhela as the blade has the flexibility to conform to the type. The sword form appears to be named after this type of steel. This is a backsword and I would be interested if Stu could confirm if his is a backsword or broadsword.
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 07:29 PM   #21
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Hi,
This sword belongs to Rick and again as far as I can see it is also a backsword.
Rick questioned whether his example be termed a Dhup.
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 07:37 PM   #22
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Hi,
Some additional info.
http://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/weapons/inde...121/index.html

https://www.fordemilitaryantiques.co...rd-blade-types

https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archiv...&lot_uid=89306

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...+bladed+tulwar

Regards,
Norman.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 07:52 PM   #23
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Hi Norman,
I am inclined to believe that these 'dhup' are typically backswords (SE) as yours and Rick's, it seems other examples I have seen are single edged.

From the blade appearance of Stu's I am suspecting this is a double edged blade, note the fullers are centrally placed.
In backswords, the fullers are of course inclined toward the back of the blade with the blade resulting in more of a 'wedge' shape.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 07:58 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1 View Post
Once again thank you Jim. The pics you posted show several different types of blades (some look to be repurposed) so the subject blade which sold here could also be a repurposed blade, or made in India to resemble a Takouba blade.
I agree with your comments regarding Indian weapons....quite a mine field really as there are just so many of them.
Hope you are OK with the wild weather and the virus in the U.S.
Stu
Thank you Stu! All OK, wild weather is expected this time of year, but of course nobody gets used to it......resilient yes, complacent no. We are lucky in this part of Texas our area is not like the metropolitan cities where certain political mindsets run rampant and the population issues are a factor.
My daughter is a nurse and handles elderly patients etc. so she has had it rough, not because of hard work, but losing patients. She takes it hard.

Im really glad you posted this example, we need more Indian weapons as we always learn more each one we discuss.

All the best, you guys stay safe OK
Jim
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Old 3rd September 2021, 07:59 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
Hi Norman, From the blade appearance of Stu's I am suspecting this is a double edged blade, note the fullers are centrally placed.
Hi Jim,
I suspect you are absolutely correct, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 3rd September 2021, 09:45 PM   #26
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Hi Norm and Jim,
This sword was SOLD at auction here but is not owned by me. However the blade was described as double edged.
Stu
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Old 4th September 2021, 02:36 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick View Post
Hi,
This sword belongs to Rick and again as far as I can see it is also a backsword.
Rick questioned whether his example be termed a Dhup.
Regards,
Norman.
This sword came from Oriental Arms many years ago; Artzi described the steel as very fine grained, low contrast wootz.
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Old 5th September 2021, 01:11 AM   #28
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My understanding ( as per Elgood) that a Firangi ( European blade) migrated North and was called Dhup in the Deccan and Asa Shamshir in North India.
And yes, those were usually quite long, but, just like everything in India, they varied enormously.

Here I am showing my Firangis. It is quite dark outside, I had to turn off some lights in our pretty small " open" room to eliminate flashes on the blades and,- last but not least,- I am a crummy photographer!!!!!!
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Old 5th September 2021, 01:28 AM   #29
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Default Real firangi.

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.
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Old 5th September 2021, 01:58 AM   #30
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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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