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Item:
ON4423

Original 17th Century Indian Maratha Empire Firangi Sword - 33 inch European Blade

Regular price $395.00

Item Description

Original Item: One Only. I.M.A. has acquired a very small Collection of 17th century Firangi Swords used by the famed Maratha tribes of India. The first Maratha Emperor crowned in 1674 was CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI who unified most of Central India under his Mogul rule, and was adamantly opposed to any connections with the outside world.

In spite of this, the Portuguese were able to establish a small foot hold in Goa on the Western Coast of India.They were the first to establish trade the Maratha Empire, and imported many used 16th and early 17th century Sword Blades into the sub continent, as well as other Western manufactured goods. These surplus Blades were almost always exclusively straight in design and of a quality unattainable in 17th century India. The Marathas built these into their classic 17th Century design fighting swords, which became known as "FIRANGI SWORDS"

The Maratha Empire lasted until the British East India Company finally routed the armies of Emperor BAJI RAO 2nd., concluding the Third Maratha War of 1817/1818. Thereafter Great Britain took total control, which they maintained until 1947. Portugal, being England's oldest European ally, was permitted to retain Goa as a sign of British gratitude for so many years of friendship.

Our Swords come from a single British Collection, and each varies in size and form, though all are of the same basic design. All have seen considerable use but are totally and completely original. Some blades may even be 15th or 16th century in origin.

We will be offering these individually over the next few months and each will be described at the time of offering.

The Firangi Sword offered today is 41" in overall length, the blade being 33" long with a now rounded tip from wear. There is a double fuller down each side of the blade in which one can just see the remains of the original European Armorer's markings, in this case  a combination of "S's and F's". Remember that 4-500 years ago not many people could read and write, especially a blacksmith.

The characteristic iron hilt is of the "Kanda" type, which features a large sheet guard behind substantial blade re-enforcement at the bottom of the blade. The pommel is of circular design as later used on the "Talwar" style swords of the late 18th and 19th centuries. It also has a substantial 3 1/2" tail which was designed for extra purchase with the use of the second hand for additional support.

This Sword, already over 300 years old with a blade that may be 400 years old, is worn overall and polished to a fine glow making it ideal for decoration. This was an antique when General Washington was around and the blade even possibly dating from the time of Christopher Columbus. A genuine old classic, if all European it would be many thousands of dollars, ready to display.

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