Place of Origin: RAJASTHAN, INDIA
Date: 18th - 19th Century
Overall Length: 1070mm (39 ½ Inches)
The stunning decoration of this sword’s hilt is matched only by the formidable proportions of its blade.
Mughal-style flowers and dense foliage in silver koftgari intermingle over the entirety of the hilt’s cross-hatched surface. The symmetry and structure of the hilt are masterful: a gentle ridge runs vertically along the swollen centre of the grip which is separated from the cross-guard by a double-chevron in gold. The hilt’s medial ridge continues into rectangular langets and expands out horizontally from the centre of the cross-guard into the domed quillons. Gold lines all edges of the hilt to highlight its balanced form and create a striking colour contrast against the abundant silver koftgari work. The underside of the disc-shaped pommel is attached with a pieced pommel tag to complete the hilt.
The large blade – with a Devanagari armoury number engraved on one face that reads “Ra Ki Ma 233” – is cut with a pronounced cutting-edge, curving and tapering gently until flaring out again where the blade has been formed with a raised false edge, or ‘yelman’. The sword is complete with a wooden scabbard covered with black velvet and attached with a chape that is decorated en suite with the hilt.
The large weight and section of the blade, though impressive, are unsurprising: the Rajputs were known for using weapons such as this, and the book that accompanies the exhibition Peacock in the Desert provides us with insights in this regard:
“The Rajputs trained hard using weights and exercise bows. Their personal weapons were heavier than the average in use in India. They also took opium in large quantities, which had the effect of giving them energy, dulling the appetite and pain from wounds, and acting as a coagulant. These factors together with their clan spirit and desire for heroic death made them exceptional warriors whose effectiveness on a battlefield far out-weighed their numbers.
17th-century miniature paintings show the very substantial size and weight of Rajput arms.”
Private European collection
 K. Jasol / R. Elgood, Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India, Yale University Press, 2018, p. 109.