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From the collection of Dr. Leo S. Figiel an Imperial Indian Mughal shamshir with an extraordinary rich watered steel wootz blade

( ID: is615 )

From the renowned collection of Dr. Leo S. Figiel. This example was purchased from a sale of the individual who purchased this and several other items now available on our site, directly from Dr. Figiel.  Dr. Figiel, the well known author of “On Damascus Steel”, the classic 1992 reference work featuring stunning examples of watered steel, and much of which came up for sale in 1998.  The pieces we feature were purchased and sold before the reference work was published and therefore do not feature in the 1998 Butterfields sale, however each is indicative of the care that Dr. Figiel placed in curating his pieces.

While the two available tulwars display magnificent kirk narduban patterns, the blade of this sword displays the most complex watered steel pattern I’ve ever encountered.  The complexity of the dark and light combination that makes watered steel wootz so prized is on full display in this Indian Mughal shamshir.  The crossguard is wootz and overlaid with gold koftgari, while the chiseled cartouche displays the symbol of the Royal Mughal house, the umbrella and is likely chiseled with the name of the blade maker, possibly Assadullah considering the complexity and quality of the watered steel.  The grips are stag horn or bone slabs in the classic 17th C. Indian Mughal style, and the handle is missing the pommel cap.  The shamshir comes with a well fitted velvet scabbard.

It appears that the inscription reads:

Upper cartouche:
 
O ‘Ali! (terminating in the Imperial parasol mark)
 
Lower cartouche:
 
Hazrat (meaning Honored One—referring to Ali
Ajhar (maybe a name)

 

Photo #1 of From the collection of Dr. Leo S. Figiel an Imperial Indian Mughal shamshir with an extraordinary rich watered steel wootz blade
Photo #2 of From the collection of Dr. Leo S. Figiel an Imperial Indian Mughal shamshir with an extraordinary rich watered steel wootz blade
Photo #3 of From the collection of Dr. Leo S. Figiel an Imperial Indian Mughal shamshir with an extraordinary rich watered steel wootz blade