Central Asia, northern India/Pakistan, Indo-Persian culture, ca. 19th century CE. A fabulous scimitar with a curved blade made of forged steel and a contoured iron handle. The blade has a characteristic pronounced arch with a sharpened edge along the exterior curve, five stamped letters and a pair of sickle-shaped "gurda" forms adorning one side, and a lightly-etched crosshatch panel near the handle on either side. The iron handle has a pair of short quillons with swollen terminals which comprise the cross guard, a knuckle bow terminating with an abstract zoomorphic head, and a discoid pommel. The entire handle is embellished with a thin layer of silver, incised with a crossing floral pattern, and inlaid with jet-black niello. Known as a "shamshir" by the Persians and a "tulwar/talwar" in India, this is a beautiful example of elegant and functional weaponry! Size: 33.5" L x 4.75" W (85.1 cm x 12.1 cm).
Provenance: private Los Angeles County, California, USA collection
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Surface wear commensurate with age, very slight bending and small chips to blade and sharpened edge, fading and chips to silver and niello areas on handle, some tarnishing to steel blade, with expected oxidation to areas of exposed iron, and minor loosening to blade. Light earthen deposits within recessed areas.