Original Northern Indian 18th - 19th Century Ornate Tulwar Sword with Wootz Steel Blade in Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. The tulwar (pronounced [t̪əlʋaːr]), also spelled talwaar and talwar, is a type of curved sword or sabre from the Indian Subcontinent, and is found in the modern countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. It is the "traditional" fighting sword of ancient India, with examples going back 400/500 years. The word tulwar itself originates from the Sanskrit word taravāri (Sanskrit: तरवारि ) which means "one-edged sword". The style originated alongside other curved swords such as the Persian shamshir, the Turkish kilij and the Afghan pulwar, all such swords being originally derived from earlier curved swords developed in Turkic Central Asia.
This is a very upmarket example, which almost certainly belonged to some wealthy Indian official. It measures 35 1/2" in overall length and is fitted with a curved blade of 30" which is definitely a choice example. The blade is made from "wootz" steel, an early form of laminated crucible steel, similar to "Damascus Steel". It bears a square armorer's mark near the hilt, and has semi-precious red gemstones, most likely garnet, inlaid on both sides of the ricasso. One side has three stones, while the other has one. It also looks like there used to be two more stones inlaid on near the spine about 8 inches from the tip. The edge is still relatively sharp, though there is some overall oxidation and wear.
The hilt on this example is anything but typical, looking to be made of black cast metal or possibly carved stone. It could also be an early composite such as gutta percha, as it looks to be black all the way through, as seen in areas where it is chipped. It is somewhat cold to the touch, and shows intricate designs and ornamentation.
The Tulwar comes with its original silver fit curved scabbard, definitely of an upmarket design. It does look to have been refurbished, as we do not believe that the somewhat gaudy red velvet covering is original, nor is the green rope. The scabbard fits the tulwar well, and is most likely wood under the velvet.
This Tulwar dates from around 1800 and was possibly used during Sepoy Rebellion, better known as the INDIAN MUTUNY in 1857- 1859.
An unusual and interesting TULWAR battle sword, ready for display!
Overall length: 35 1/2”
Blade length: 30”
Scabbard length: 30 1/2”
Hand guard: 4” width x 5” length
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