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Exceptional Indian Hindu 19th C. Tulwar Sword Shamshir for Rajastani Royalty, Ganesh Head inlaid with precious stones

( ID: is1010 )

A well known type, this is the finest example we've seen on the market in the past several years, and follows a form of hilt that can be seen in the Louvre Museum in France. This style of hilt was popular in the 19th C. and later as well and varying levels of quality hilts are known. However this is the finest of this type that we've had the pleasure to handle.  The hilt is formed of gilt copper chased with floral designs.  The sculptural workmanship of the Ganesh head  hilt with a tiger wrapped around the trunk is truly of a high level of quality workmanship and the artisan who created this hilt, likely on order for a Rajastani royal, inlaid the head with the precious stones of aquamarine and ruby.

The pommel, or elephant, represents the deity Ganesh, and in some versions of the deity upon Ganesha's forehead may be a third eye or the Shaivite sectarian mark, which consists of three horizontal lines, while the Ganesha Purana prescribes a tilaka mark as well as a crescent moon on the forehead, which this hilt has with a third eye of aquamarine stone.  The tiger on the trunk, likewise has inlaid ruby eyes.

The scabbard is of very fine quality retaining all of the original velvet, now just slightly worn, and a sign of the quality of the sword then, the top of the scabbard has a crescent of velvet to prevent the chape of the chiseled gilded copper from damaging the hilt.

Befitting the quality of the hilt, the blade is a watered Indian blade with gold koftgari inscriptions of fine quality workmanship and with indentations at the base which may have been inlaid with stones at one point but which now remain empty.  Dates to the late 19th C.

Overall length is 38 1/2", blade is 32".

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