Deccan firanghi
Overall length

117 cm

Blade length

99 cm

Blade thickness

Ahead of langets 6 mm

Middle 4.5 mm

Start backedge 3 mm

5 cm from tip 2 mm

Blade width

Ahead of langets 33 mm

Middle 29 mm

Start backedge 28 mm

5 cm from tip 21.5 mm

Weight

1031 grams

Point of balance

21.5 cm from guard

Materials

Iron, steel, silver

Origin

The Deccan, South India

Dating

17th-18th century

Provenance

European antique art market

Price on request

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Description

Firangi means "foreigner," and this was the name for Indian swords that use foreign blades or copies thereof. In this case the blade is that of a straight riding sword, and is probably of Indian manufacture but mimicking the European form. The long, single-edged, and double-fullered blade has a 27 cm long, sharp backedge. The blade is quite stiff but with a springy temper when bent.

Markings on firanghi bladeMarkings on firangi blade 2

Markings on blade.

Hilt

It has a Hindu basket hilt with guard and knuckle bow, a dished pommel with a spiked dome inside, and two large langets that hold the blade with three rivets. This riveted construction is typical for South Indian arms.

The hilt is lavishly decorated with floral designs in silver overlay on a blackened background. The langets and some other areas are entirely covered with silver and finely engraved with floral motifs.

Firangi hilt

 

Comparable examples

In the Furusiyya Art Foundation collection, there is a fine hilt modeled after that of an Arab saïf that carries nearly identical decoration. Its blade is a Persian shamshir with wootz blade. The flowers and floral arrangements are so similar that they are probably from the same production center, workshop, or even hand.1

Comparison

 

This piece is dated to the 17th century, and its decor is said to be Ottoman in nature. I personally don't see the Ottoman influence and believe the decor is very much Indian. I would also date them a little later; late 17th to 18th century.

Notes
The Arts of the Muslim Knight. Furusiyya Art Foundation. Skira Editore S.p.A. Milano. 2008. Page 96.

 

Scabbard

The piece comes with a later iron scabbard with wooden core, inspired by British military saber scabbards. It appears to be missing its upper half.

In scabbardScabbard

Scabbard

Scabbard mouth

 

Condition

Hilt in very good condition with most of the decoration still remaining. Blade with some patches of stabilized corrosion. Some very tine edge damage. Otherwise in good, healthy shape. Scabbard missing its upper half, its a later addition anyway. See photos to get a good idea of the condition of this piece.

Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt
Deccan firangi with fine silver overlaid hilt

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