Category: talwar

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Indian Tulwar with Complex Hilt, 18th or 19th Century

The single-edged watered steel blade of curved form, impressed mark near forte, the steel hilt with button quillons, open triangular outer-guard pierced with two gold-damascened ducks at the base and rising to a stylised duck’s head finial, curved tapering knuckle-guard with duck head finial, compressed spherical pommel with bud-shaped finial on a petalled mount, decorated in gold overlay with floral sprays and bands containing flower heads, undulating vines and chevron designs. 95 cm long.

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Indian Tulwar, 19th Century 

The hilt is of steel with short quillons (tholies), the front one supporting a a knuckle guard (paraj), and a large saucer-shaped pommel (katori). The surface is decorated in gold koftgari with sprays of flowers and foliage and bands of chevron pattern in thick gold outlined in plain steel against a gold ground. The blade is single edged and curved, of watered steel, narrow at the hilt and widening slightly to the point. It has two narrow grooves (mang) close to the rounded spine, a short ricasso, and a bevelled edge. The scabbard is of wood covered with crimson velvet, with a chape and throat of gilt copper. The baldrick is of crimson silk webbing with greem borders and scrolling foliage decoration in gold thread, with a buckle of gilt copper.

Dimensions: length: 87.8 cm (34.5 in), blade length: 75.2 cm (29.6 in) Weight: 1.16 kg (2 lb 9 oz)

© Royal Armouries

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Indian Mutiny and William Hodson Display at the National Army Museum in London

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Indian Tulwar, 18th-19th Century

An 18th or 19th century Indian tulwar sword with silver koftgari decoration to the hilt. Curved blade of good quality construction, 29 inches (74cm) long, with ‘eyelash’ engraving.

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“Soldier of the Rajah Coming to the Sword Sharpener of Ahmedabad” by Edwin Lord Weeks (1849 – 1903)

Indian Sword Blade Types:

A very useful guide from Matthew Forde of Forde Military Antques and antique_steel on Instagram.

When The Indian ‘Tulwar’ Sword Is Not Curved

Indian tulwars (swords) are normally thought of as curved. But sometimes they aren’t!

The British and the Tulwar: undefined

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Indian Tulwar

An Indian sword, tulwar the heavy curved 81cm blade with multi-grooves, typical iron hilt with disc pommel and knuckle-bow decorated overall with intricate floral patterns in silver koftgari.

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Tulwar, Northern India, 18th Century

With curved, slightly broadening and channelled blade, the hilt heavily overlaid in gold with floral motifs, Gurmukhi inscription on upper part of blade in the form of a stylised parasol. 81.5 cm long.

The inscription reads Akal Sahai, Maha Singh, Samvat 18...
Sardar Mahan Singh (1760-1790), the father of Ranjit Singh, was chieftain of one of the smaller Sikh misls or confederacies, the Sukarchakia. Mahan Singh’s father died when he was a child and the misl was ruled in his stead by regents until he was fourteen. The territory he controlled and his power grew by a series of military successes, in particular his occupation of Rasulnagar (renamed Ramnagar), after which many of the other misls transferred their allegiance to him. In 1787 Colonel James Browne estimated his standing army at fifteen thousand horse and five thousand infantry. Im 1774 he married Raj Kaur, the daughter of Raja Gajpat Singh of Jind, and in 1780 she gave birth to a son who was named Ranjit (‘Victor in War’), later to become Maharaja of the Punjab. Mahan Singh died of dysentery at the siege of Sodra in operations against the Bhangi misl.