Place of Origin: Possible Bidar, Deccan Plateu, India
Date: 17th Century
An important Indian sword incorporating styling from sword hilts from across the Islamic world, one of only two known, the other being in the Furusiyya Art Foundation Collection, illustrated by Mohamed (2008), cat.no.60, p.96.
The iron hilt of uncommon form, is strongly influenced by the North African Nimcha in the pommel section, with long Turkish inspired quillons and arrow-shaped Indian langets. A pierced pommel for a wrist strap, the hilt is decorated in a style resembling local Bidar work (bidri), with silver flowers and scrolling foliage on a dark background.
The heavy Persian blade of dark grey wootz steel, has a high contrast and uniformed ‘watered’ pattern. The blade is marked with a gold cartouche in a style that is comparable with the Furusiyaa sword. It reads:
ادورد فتجرلد کمبل صاحب بهادر
“Edward Fit[z]gerald Campbell Sahib Bahadur”
Sir Edward Fitzgerald Campbell, 2nd Baronet (25 October 1822 – 23 November 1882) was a British peer and soldier, he fought in the Punjab Expedition in 1849, the Afridis Expedition in 1850, and the Siege of Delhi in 1858. He was Aide de Camp to the Commander-in-Chief, India and was promoted to Major in 1858; he ended his military career as Lieutenant-Colonel of the 60th regiment of Foot. The sword is likely to have been obtained during his service in India.
Kept in a wooden scabbard with later blue velvet covering and later silver chape with floral patterns.