Punjabi Khanda for the court of Ratlam overall
This item has been sold.
Overall length

84.2 cm

Blade length

73.5 cm

Blade thickness

Start edge 3.5 mm

Middle 2.5 mm

5 cm from tip 2.5 mm

(Blade only, without strips)

Blade width

Base 36 mm

Middle 32 mm

Widest 40.5 mm

Weight

842 grams

Point of balance

15.3 cm from guard

(Almost exactly where the edge starts)

Materials

Iron, wootz steel, gold, pitch

Scabbard; wood, velvet, metallic thread

Origin

Made in Punjab, Lahore or Sialkot

For the court of Ratlam

Dating

Hilt dated 1841 A.D.

Provenance

From a European private collector

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Description

A very interesting sword with a khanda blade of fine-grained wootz steel. The straight, single-edged blade swells near the tip, which is rounded, and has a backedge on that final portion of the blade. In typical khanda fashion, it has a long reinforcing strip along the spine and a shorter one on the main edge side.

The unusual hilt is basically a talwar hilt with knuckle guard, with added to it on one side a semicircular guard. One could call it a half-khanda hilt and it is both practical and comfortable in the hand.

The work style is entirely Punjabi, with forward inclined quillons and a vase-shaped grip section so typical for this area. The dense gold decor is again typical Punjabi. The hilt is most likely made in Lahore or Sialkot, the two main production centers for this type of work at the time of manufacture.

 

Inscription

Inside the knuckle guard is an inscription. The placement of the inscription itself is again very Sikh/Punjabi in style; the Rajputs of Rajasthan would normally inscribe the pommel plate.

Sikh style inscription on inside of guard

The inscription reads:

दरबार रतलाम सम्वत १८९८
Darbar Ratlam samvat 1898

"Court of Ratlam, 1841 A.D."

 

Not what I expected to see but then again, the Sikh court in Lahore brought some of the best armorers of the region to that place and it became a major arms production center. It makes sense that a member of the court of Ratlam would have the means to commission such a piece from afar. Another explanation could be that it was presented to Ratlam by the Sikhs.

 

Condition

In very good condition. Some small losses to the gold, see photos. Blade in very good shape for age. The scabbard is old but probably a later, 20th-century replacement.

Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841
Punjabi khanda for the court of Ratlam, hilt dated 1841

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