South Indian Saif
Origin: India (South India)
Date: 18th century
Materials: Steel, wood and cotton
A large Hindu Basket Hilt Firangi of large proportions and a quality chiselled hilt.
THE BASKET HILT
The hilt of the typical Hindu basket hilt of larger than average proportions. It's made of steel, and entirely constructed by forging and chiseling (no casting). At the end of the disc-pommel is a long, curved spike with a flower bud shaped finial. Also, it would give extra protection of the lower arm. The hilt throughout is chiselled and pierced with intricate cuts to provide a fine boarder along the edges of the hilt. On its own, the hilt is nicer than those found in todays market, and in this lies its history and beauty. The larger than average proportions and chiselled design indicate that this was a functional sword, to be utilised in combat, rather than serving a decorative purpose for court wear.
The blade is straight with a single edge and made of spring steel (or Spaad as it is called in India) These types of blades are famous for their flexibility and durability. At the top of the blade, there is a reinforced edge which is typically seen on Khandas, where there is also punch dots marking (maybe indicating kills with this blade?). The length of the blade is clean with no dents or damage - making this a clean example. There is also flexibility to the blade which will enable it to with stand blows and 18th/19th century combat.
Accompanying this beautiful sword is a blue velvet scabbard with gold trim.
Overall, this is a very good example of a Basket hilt Saif with a clean blade. The larger proportions show this a functional sword, which is a nice change from the usual decorative examples. A great addition for seasoned and intermediate collectors.