Place of Origin: Rajasthan, India
Date: 19th Century
Overall Length: 915mm (36 Inches)
This tulwar’s hilt-form – with its rectangular langets, near-flattened quillons, and centrally swollen grip – is typical of those made during the reign of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and is commonly referred to as the Jodhpur type. The disc pommel has been finished with an elaborate sunburst design (likely a nod to Surya, the sun-god that many Rajputs claim descent from), which is bordered by an Devangari inscription. The remaining surface of the hilt is then overlaid in gold with a symmetrical trellis of flowerheads and winding tendrils.
The blade is of thick and heavy section and exhibits its original watered steel finish and a scarf weld – a common feature on Rajput swords which was considered auspicious and locally referred to as a ‘mala’ (a sacred thread). The sword is furthermore accompanied by its original scabbard which is covered in a saffron-coloured velvet, a colour which the Rajputs linked with war and martyrdom.
A comparandum which also shows a hilt of the Jodhpur type and stylistic features typical of the master smith Muhammad Ibrahim was published by Runjeet Singh in The Goddess: Arms and Armour of the Rajputs – London 2018 (Cat. No. 15).