Malabar coast Moplah sword
This item has been sold.
Overall length

52 cm

Blade length

32.5 cm

Blade thickness

Ahead of langets 2 mm

At tip 1.5 mm

Blade width

Base 49 mm

Widest 76.5 mm

Weight

693 grams

Point of balance

5.5 cm from base of blade

14.3 cm from hilt

Materials

Steel, brass, hardwood

Origin

Moplah people, Malabar Coast

South India

Dating

19th century

Provenance

European antique art market

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Introduction

The Moplah sword originates from the Malabar Coast in South India. It was named after the Muslim communities of the same name, also known as the Moors of Malabar, today more commonly described as Mappila. They are thought to have descended from Arab spice traders that settled in the area as early as the 7th century A.D.
Moplah swords are characterized by having wide, forward curving blades with a concave edge. Some of them are double-edged. Their decoration is typically a blend of Islamic and local South Indian motifs.
 

This Moplah sword

A nice and unusual example of a rather rare type of sword. It has a rather wide, single edge blade with a concave edge. The blade is held between thick plates of brass on a triangular, square cross-section base. Four plates covering the base are held together by two washers, a third one is missing.

Hilt

 

The reddish hardwood grip is adorned with brass sheets and brass inlays of stars and crescent moons.
All the brass plates are finely engraved with meandering, stylized floral motifs.


 

Malabar coast Moplah sword
Malabar coast Moplah sword
Malabar coast Moplah sword
Malabar coast Moplah sword
Malabar coast Moplah sword
Malabar coast Moplah sword
Malabar coast Moplah sword
Malabar coast Moplah sword
Malabar coast Moplah sword
Malabar coast Moplah sword
Malabar coast Moplah sword
Malabar coast Moplah sword
Malabar coast Moplah sword

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