A Large Kirach
Origin: India (Maybe North India Region)
Date: Late 18th century/Early 19th century
Materials: Iron, steel, gold, wood and velvet
A Large Kirach with a Basket hilt.
Philip S. Rawson in The Indian Sword (Herbert Jenkings, London, 1968. Pages 28-29) uses the term ‘basket hilt’ to describe such a hilt of large proportions, with a stork and closed hilt. Most commonly these were found on Khandas and Firangis - larger swords to be precise. Such a hilt offers protection for the hand and an excellent two handed grip. Most of these hilts were found on luxurious swords that had the function of being the primary weapon. Our example features a large basket hilt with its original cushion padding and hilt wrap - completed in orange and a regal green which has now faded. The hilt is also decorated with a fair amount of gold koftgari which is 95% intact. The subtle use of gold koftgari would indicate that this particular piece was crafted for battle - in which over use of gold koftgari was not always needed.
The pairing of this hilt with this type of blade is unusual. The blade is of a kirach type (often referred to as a Khatti) with a razor sharp edge. It has a very imposing presence and almost feels like an executioner sword. The blade has a mirror finished polish and is stamped with a European marking. The sword has a very heavy presence and is clearly a battle sword, the blade with a sharp cutting edge. The kirach sword is one of the rarest forms of Indian sword—usually reserved for the warriors who possessed the greatest skills in battle. The blade has its original polish, which means the blade's surface is burnished, with the original burnisher's marks still present on the base. This is a very rare feature to be found on this type of blade (as it's not often even found on tulwars). Often this polish if neglected and etched down to be removed. But in our case, it's been kept!
A great fighting sword with warrior character. Perfect for seasoned collectors who are selective in adding only the rarer items to their collection.