Description & Technical information

This iron sword handle (tulwar) is damascened in gold with a delicate, florid pattern. The shape is typical curved steel but the pattern is intricately stylised with punched flowers. The flowers have circular centres and large petals. The pommel ends with further floral decoration and has a spherical top. A sword with a similar tulwar handle can be found in the Royal Collection Trust, London, Acc. No. RCIN 37638. Striking parallels can be drawn between the two in size, form and design. It has a curved steel falchion blade with a guarded steel hilt that features a flat circular pommel. Curators have dated this object to the early nineteenth century India and it is plausible that our object also dates from this period.

Date:  19th century
Period:  19th century, 1850-1900
Origin:  India
Medium: Iron, gold
Dimensions: 16.5 cm (6¹/₂ inches)
Categories: Arms & armour, Oriental and Asian Art