Indian bodkin arrows
This item has been sold.
Length

Total 73.8 cm

Effective 70 cm

(Inside nock to base head)

Arrowheads

Length 34 mm

Width 8 - 8.5 mm

Weight

Average 22,75 grams

21 - 25 grams each

Origin

North India

Materials

Steel, brass, reed, lacquer, pigments, sinew, wood

Dating

18th - 19th century

Sold

Interested?
Anything similar for sale?

Contact me

Introduction

In collections of (Asian) arms and armor, arrows are often not very well represented or sometimes even completely absent. This while for most warriors, especially throughout Asia, the bow has long been a primary weapon and the sword often just a backup like the modern soldier would carry a bayonet.

Antique arrows, especially those of established states or empires, are often rather sophisticated in design and well finished. There was a lot of variation in head designs, all with their own specific purposes.

A group of arrows says more about the quality of arrow manufacture in a region than a single arrow can. The archer's maximum attainable level of accuracy is determined by how well the arrows are matched in terms of weight, shaft stiffness, etc. 

Collecting and studying them can be a joy.

 

Description

A nice set of Indian military arrows that are fitted with facetted points, known in the English language as bodkins. Such arrows were devised primarily to go through plate armor. This is not to say they made plate obsolete: A bodkin arrow needs to strike with a lot of force, and under just the right angle, in order to have any chance of doing damage through plate. Some thicker plate could never be penetrated well, but as a trade-off, it impeded the wearer's movement more.

Six of the arrows have identical heads that are pretty much of square crosssection at the thickest point. Two arrows have a slightly more flattened/widened profile depending on how you look at it.

The tanged heads are mounted on the shafts with a number of iron and brass washers between the shaft and the base of the head. 

The shafts are bamboo or reed, with tails painted a pale green and bulbous inserted nocks. There are remains of three fletchings on the shaft.

 

Dating/Attribution

These arrows are probably North Indian and made in the 18th or early 19th century. Compare the heads to an arrow fro the armory of the Maharajah of Alwar.1

 

Conclusion

A nice grouping of eight arrows that are of the same set, showing two slightly different varieties of Indian armor-piercing arrowheads. 

 

 

Notes
1. Roy Elvis; The Hindu Warrior. Self-published, 2020. Page 417.

 

 

 

Set of eight Indian armor piercing arrows
Set of eight Indian armor piercing arrows
Set of eight Indian armor piercing arrows
Set of eight Indian armor piercing arrows
Set of eight Indian armor piercing arrows
Set of eight Indian armor piercing arrows
Set of eight Indian armor piercing arrows

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me
Currently available:

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

€750,-

With a hidden compartment for a small utility knife.

€2500,-

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

€1700,-

In Punjabi style hilt, with elaborately chiseled blade.

€750,-

Of jambiya form, with pattern welded blade and fine silver scabbard mounts.

€3800,-

With bifurcated S-shaped blade in talwar hilt.

€2000,-