Introduction

Gujarat is a state on the western coast of India. It became a province or "subah" under the Mughal Empire after Akbar defeated the Gujarat Sultanate in 1573. It was later part of the Bombay Presidency, a British administrative division, from 1803 to 1936. Its largest district, to the northwest, is Kutch.

 

Production of arms & armor

 

Kutch
The district of Kutch is well-known for a specific style of repousse metalwork, usually involving scrolling leaves and flowers.

Kutch dagger

Mughal dagger with typical Kutch style scabbard mounts.
Metropolitan Museum accession number 36.25.652a, b.
Provenance: Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935.

 

Ahmedabad
The city of Ahmedabad seems to have had a lively shield-making center, situated at Dhalcar Street. Various shields have turned up with markings of shield makers from that place.

Dhal

Front and back of a shield from Ahmedabad. Sold here at Mandarin Mansion in 2017.

Signed:

"SHIELDMAKER BHAGVAN KHOOSAL

DHALCAR STREET AHMEDABAD BOMBHV PRESIDENCY INDIA"

 

Historical anecdotes

On Subah Gujarat:

Painters, seal-engravers and other handicraftsmen are countless. They inlay mother-o'-pearl with great skill and make beautiful boxes and inkstands. Stuffs worked with gold thread and of the kinds Ohírah, Fotah, Jámahwár, Khárá and velvets and brocades are here skilfully manufactured. Imitations of stuffs from Turkey, Europe, and Persia are also produced. They make likewise excellent swords and daggers of the kinds Jamdhar and Khapwah, and bows and arrows. There is a brisk trade in jewelry and silver is imported from Turkey and Irák.1

-Ain-I-Akbari, 1570

 

Notes
1. Colonel H.S. Jarrett; The Ain I Akbari by Abul Fazl Allámi, Translated from the original Persian. Vol. II. Asiatic Society of Bengal. Calcutta, 1891. Page 240.

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With gilt-copper hilt and scabbard done in beautiful Kutch style repousse work.

€2200,-

On a sturdy, user-grade blade with temper line.

€800,-

An almost textbook example of a silver-plated kalasan.

€575,-

With exceptionally wide blade, forged with a hardened leading edge.

€1300,-

In original condition and period finish. Some losses, no repairs.

€650,-

A classic example with an older blade and timaha wood scabbard.

€350,-