Fine Indian tegha
Overall length

85.4 cm

Blade length

74 cm

(to center crossguard)

Blade thickness

Base 7 mm

Middle 5 mm

Near tip 2 mm

Blade width

Base 40.5 mm

Middle 41 mm

Widest at tip 47 mm

Weight

1145 grams

Point of balance

17 cm from crossguard

Origin

North India

Possibly Lahore

Materials

Steel, iron, gold

Dating

18th or 19th century

Sold

Interested?
Anything similar for sale?

Contact me

A fine north Indian teghá. These swords are made with a relatively thin but wide blade. From a functional perspective, it makes the edge thinner while putting as much, or more, weight behind the edge. These swords are ideal for heavy cuts into soft targets, like unarmored opponents.

This example

The wide, deeply curved blade is made of pattern-welded steel. It widens near the tip, where it forms a functional backedge. The blade has a dramatic heat treatment, similar to the hamon on Japanese swords that shows in some angles as a dark cloudish effect along most of the edge, and covering the entirety of the tip as to harden both the leading edge and the backedge. From this, we can see it wasn't just made to show off: everything about the blade is purely functional.

Blade

The blade is in excellent condition, with no nicks, pitting or signs of excessive sharpening. All contours remain intact, and the spine is straight. It is in high polish, and much more shiny metallic than it looks in the photos.

Golden damascened hilt

The large iron hilt is of a northern style, and possibly points towards Lahore. It has a large disc pommel with a dome on top. It has quillons that flare out, a somewhat more unusual feature. One of the quillons extends into a knuckle guard with a makara head on top.

"In every petty court in Rajputana men were ,and still are, found capable of damascening the weapons of the chief and his henchmen in the good old way. In the Punjab, where Runjit Singh for a time centred in his own person all the power of a large kingdom, it was natural that the great majority of the artists should live and work at his capital, hence we find that in Lahore and the neighborhood there were large colonies of men who devoted themselves to the manufacture and enrichment of arms of all kinds." 1

-Thomas Holbein Hendley, 1892

The most striking element is, of course, the lavish decoration of this hilt with fine overlay in gold over a blackened iron background. The decoration consists of fine vines and flowers, mixed with purely geometric designs. It is interesting to note that although both sides look superficially similar, the holt is decorated differently on either side.

Tegha hilt

Hilt seen from both sides. Notice the subtle differences in design.

Almost all the gold remains intact, and still very thickly applied. There are some minor touch-ups on the gold, see photos. The work is a lot finer and more creative than what is usually encountered on this type of hilt.

No scabbard.

Notes
2. Thomas Holbein Hendley; Damascening on Steel or Iron as Practised in India, W. Griggs & Son Ltd, Elm House, Hanover Street, London. 1892. Page 6.

Fine Indian tegha
Fine Indian tegha
Fine Indian tegha
Fine Indian tegha
Fine Indian tegha
Fine Indian tegha
Fine Indian tegha
Fine Indian tegha
Fine Indian tegha
Fine Indian tegha
Fine Indian tegha
Fine Indian tegha
Fine Indian tegha
Fine Indian tegha
Fine Indian tegha

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

With markings attributing it to Jalore.

€2000,-

An interesting South Indian style katar with an imported European blade.

€750,-

With a hidden compartment for a small utility knife.

€2500,-

A rare example with pattern welded blade, retaining its original scabbard.

€1500,-

The hilt inlaid with silver, once blued for added contrast.

€2600,-

Covered almost entirely in very fine "sadeli" marquetry that is associated primarily with Gujarat.

€475,-
ARTICLE
Measurements of a North Indian bow
For the bowyers and archery researchers, detailed measurements of a...
Read the article
ARTICLE
Measurements of a chahār-kham bow
For the bowyers and archery researchers, detailed measurements of a...
Read the article
ARTICLE
Chinese long sabers of the Qing dynasty
In the late Ming dynasty, Chinese coasts were raided by Japanese pi...
Read the article
ARTICLE
A typology of Chinese sabers
Introduction Historical references on Chinese saber types are scar...
Read the article