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Zafar Takiya Salapa

Place of Origin: Mysore? (India)

Date: 18th Century

Reference: 018

Status: Sold

Full Description:

A rare Indian Zafar Takiya short sword (literally ‘cushion of victory’). It was used by high ranking men as part of court, or durbar, dress.  The hilt would be used to rest the hand or wrist while the owner sat on the floor cross legged.

It has a broad curved blade double-edged to the point in front of the yelman, forged from pattern welded damascus steel.  Steel hilt entirely covered in thick sheet silver, quillons each with rounded terminal, recurved tapering knuckle-guard with scrolled finial and recurved cushion-shaped pommel of circular section tapering towards the tips.  A later wooden scabbard covered in faded purple velvet with shaped silver chape.

It is difficult to place this sword geographically, but a portrait of Tipu Sultan (ruler of Mysore 1782-1799) in the British Library (ref. Foster 28) shows him wearing a sword with unusual rounded quillions of similar form.

A similar example is in the Jaipur royal collection, see Elgood (2015), no.89, p.131.