Place of Origin: Deccan, India (left and centre), Rajasthan (right)
Date: 18th Century (left and centre), 19th Century (right)
Overall: Left 425mm (16 ¾ inches), centre 310mm (12.2 inches), right 430mm (17 inches)
These spearheads are lavishly decorated throughout with fantastic motifs in gold.
All three of the spearheads are formed with a faceted socket, that of the first spearhead exhibits decorative bands of three-petalled flowerheads set amidst leaved vine stems over the entirety of its socket in gold koftgari. A separate, central band comprising a sequence of small dots in gold, when examined closely, leads charmingly into a miniaturised spearhead-shape. The long and slender blade is formed with a pair of shallow fullers which taper into the blade’s reinforced, armour-piercing point at approximately halfway along its length.
The second with finely painted bands of curving leaves and minute flecks of gold adorn the cross-hatched surface of the final example’s darkened steel socket. This leads into a bifurcated base which has been fitted with a bud-shaped finial and adorned with panels of vines that swirl and stretch over the greater part of the twin arms’ lengths. The two blades then are each formed with a forte of leafy branches thickly painted in gold that each lead into a stylised lotus and spear-shaped panel.
The third being decorated with fine lines of gold that delineate each of the sides. A bulbous moulding with foliate decoration sits just below the base, which has been cleverly formed as a pair of large, open-mouthed makara (two further makara in miniature appear at either side). The blade is then chiselled at the forte in deep relief with a uniquely detailed lotus flower, its curved leaves and petals neatly incised and so imbuing the artful panel with texture and realism. Sunken twin fullers appear over the greater part of the blade’s remaining length at either side of a small, stylised lotus and an engraved medial ridge.
The third example shown at the left within the images may be compared with a spearhead (Cat. No. 15) published by Runjeet Singh Ltd in Arts des Guerriers d’Orient (2018), especially with reference to the chiselled unfurling flower visible at the base of the blade. Another, preserved in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (Accession Number 20.151.5), similarly shows this theme at its forte. In its decoration and form, the second and central spearhead of our set is also similar to a piece exhibited by Runjeet Singh Ltd in The Goddess: Arms and Armour of the Rajputs - London 2018 (Cat. No. 21).