With an inscription alluding to it having belonged to the son of Tipu Sultan.
(to center crossguard)
Base 6 mm
Middle 5 mm
Start backedge 3 mm
Base 35 mm
Middle 32 mm
Start backedge 33.5 mm
14.5 cm from guard
Iron, steel, resin, silver
Scabbard: wood, velvet, metallic thread
Princely state of Marwar
Rajasthan, North India
Hilt dated 1857 A.D.
From a German private collector
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A 19th-century talwar with fairly typical blade for one of these, curved and with a sharp backedge at the tip. The steel shows an attractive pattern weld.
Blades of this style were often burnished bright, the pattern being invisible, or otherwise just have the edge burnished. In this case there are remnants of the original burnishing under the hilt's langets and also the marks of the burnisher. such marks are quite rare, often collectors polish and etch them away. This sword also comes with a later etch, revealing the pattern, but luckily the forte of the blade with burnisher's marks was left intact and I am very happy for it.
Burnisher's marks on base of talwar blade.
The hilt is in the typical Marwari Rajput style, with a large disc pommel with radiating sun motif at the back, wide quillons with flattened ends, and also flat ends to the langets. This style is called karan shahi.
It is overlaid with silver koftgari work, decorated with slightly raised motifs of stylized vines over a background of punch dotted silver sheet.
At the base of the pommel is an inscription in typical Rajput style. It mentions:
Ram Namar Karigargh
It can be translated as:
Made by Ram Namar in 1857 A.D.
1857 was the year of a major Indian uprising against the British East India Company, an event known as the Indian Mutiny.
A nearly identical hilt is seen on a talwar from a private collection, illustrated in Elgood's Rajput Arms & Armour. It too is signed and dated. This time samvat 1931, corresponding to 1873 A.D.
1. Robert Elgood; Rajput Arms & Armour, Niyogi Books, New Delhi, 2017. Volume 1. Pages 472-473.
It comes in a later, probably 20th-century scabbard, made in the traditional way with velvet-covered wood and metallic thread.
Some losses to the silver, damage to hilt spike. The blade in very good shape, in later etch but with no pitting or major distortions.
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Found in excavated condition, published with results of c-14 and XRF analysis.
Of steel construction with gold overlay. Of a type produced in Rajasthan in the early 1800s.
Its hilt overlaid with thick silver, then fire-gilt.
A what? Yes exactly. An extremely rare piece, the only example I am aware of in published collections at…
All the designs being true inlay, with almost no losses.