Antique 17th-18th century Indo Persian Islamic Mughal India Gold Inlaid Indian Damascus Steel Sword Talwar Tulwar
Antique, 17th-18th century, Indo Persian Islamic Mughal India gold inlaid Indian aristocrat sword, Talwar-Tulwar.
DETAILS: A superb quality sturdy, slightly curved, single-edged blade hand-forged from the characteristic Indian mechanical Damascus steel with excellent quality watered pattern in the form of Mohammed's ladder.
Gold-inlaid steel hilt of Aurangzebi type comprised of a baluster grip, a cross-guard formed with beautifully shaped quillons and langets, a knuckle bow terminating to finely sculptured and gold overlayed head of a mythical beast, Makara.
A gold inlaid pommel is shaped of large saucer, with an elegant helmet-shaped finial, surmounted with a hinged pierced suspension mount inlaid with a tiny gold writing.
Also, on the saucer's rim near the Makara head pommel are remains of gold inlaid writing.
The sword comes with a wooden scabbard bound in hand-stitched leather fitted with elaborately shaped copper chape.
1. A few swords with this type of Indian mechanical Damascus steel blades, all dated to the 17th century, are published in the book "On Damascus Steel" by Leo S. Figiel. However, none of these blades have Mohammed's ladder pattern like this particular blade.
2. Two talwars from the Leo S. Figiel collection with a similar Mechanical Damascus Steel pattern were sold in 1998 by "Butterfield & Butterfield Auction" for $8050 and are published in the catalog "DR. LEO. S. FIGIEL COLLECTION OF MOGUL ARMS Sword & Dagger." Lot: 2022 Page. 44-45, and the Lot: 2024 sold for $9775. Page.48-49 (30 years ago, the prices of Mughal swords were much lower than today).
3. A tulwar with the pommel in the shape of a large saucer decorated in an almost identical gold koftgari floral pattern and dated to the 17th century is published in the book "The Art of the Muslim Knights: The Furusyya Art Foundation Collection" by Mohamed Bashir. No.51. Page: 87.
This is the only Indian blade with such type of Mohammed's ladder Damascus steel pattern that I have seen in my over 50 years of handling antique swords.
The buyer will be provided with a copy of the pages from the mentioned references, together with a certificate of authenticity.
Overall length with the scabbard: 92 cm (36.22 inches)
Overall length without the scabbard: 83.5 cm (32.87 inches)
Length of the blade: 72 cm (28.35 inches)
CONDITION: This sword is in good original condition considering its age to be over 200 years, showing its age and use, some wear to the gold inlaid.
Please see all 24 pictures in the listing as they are part of the object's condition description.
Like swords in most cultures, talwars were worn as both weapons and status symbols. The man for whom this splendid sword was made must certainly have been a fairly important figure in Mughal Indian society since he had a sword of such high quality and very expensive at the time.
It is a stunning museum-quality Mughal sword, a true work of art, and an important example of Indian Mughal swordsmiths art.