TULWAR with OPEN BASKET HILT (Ex-Figiel Collection)
18– 19C (heirloom Indian or Persian blade), possibly Delhi or environs
From the collection of Dr. Leo S. Figiel (firm provenance provided).
Blade: An unusually long and elegant wootz blade exhibits a prominent kirk narduban pattern that is easily visible, with overall complex Damascus pattern of wavy lines and whorls. The quality of the blade suggests that it’s an heirloom that was re-hilted in the 18th/19C. The sword has two cartouches (the gold koftgari color, style and thickness suggests that it was applied prior to re-hilting, possibly contemporaneous to the blade).
Hilt: The hilt type is the uncommon “open” basket hilt, comprised of a knuckle guard (with a flower bud at the pommel disk-end) and two metal guards (with a stylized swan at the pommel disk-end, seen in Marwari hilts) terminating in a pierced quillon block that has respectant birds (peacocks?) but facing away. The teardrop shaped grip is distinctive with somewhat slender terminal ends at the pommel cap and the cross guard, in addition to fluting. The disk pommel is saucer shaped with dome and tang button. The quillons are short, stubby, and downward curved. The languets terminate in stylized buds. The hilt has gold koftgari vines and flowers applied all over, the fineness of which suggests Sialkot workmanship (some areas worn away). A top quality tulwar that suggest use by nobility.
Upper Cartouche:AllahMuhammadTalaseh Sahnantab
Lower cartouche:Assad Allah Isfahani
Scabbard: Simple, green velvet that appears to be old.
Dimensions: Blade (linear length): 35” OAL: 39.5”
Literature: See Pinchot (2014): Arms of the Paladins, p. 65, fig. 4-17 for similar ‘open’ basket hilt elements. Item on Consignment