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Silver Shamshir

Place of Origin: Kutch/Calcutta? (India)

Date: 17th-19th Century

Reference: 017

Status: Sold

Full Description:

A fine Indian shamshir sword with chased silver hilt and ensuite scabbard with an earlier blade circa 17th century.

The silver hilt of pistol grip form with swollen central grip and bud shaped quillions is completely overlaid with fine and deeply wrought floral scrolls, scabbard fittings to match.  The floral work is in a looser arrangement than typically found in Kutch silver but retains the general form.  It is known that several Kutch silver workers settled in Bombay (see Dehejia, p.128) and so this may be an explanation of the change in an otherwise consistent style.  The leaves on this example are thicker and curl to a rounded end, this can be compared to a calling card case from Calcutta that Dehejia illustrates (p.80, no.16).  Of note Dehejia also states that the most famous Kutch silversmiths originally belonged to the mochi or cobbler caste who manufactured leather shields and armour plates (p.127-128).

The blade of high quality Wootz crucible steel and is probably an ancestral blade of an earlier date (circa 17th century), a worn Persian inscription would support this theory.  Wooden scabbard covered in yellow velvet.