Talwar of ‘Sher Khan’
Origin: Punjab region
Date: 19th century
Materials: Iron, steel, gold, wood and velvet
A Fine quality pattern welded sword from North India.
The hilt is of large proportions and in the style of North India, often found in the Punjab. The hilt has a knuckle guard with a floral terminal at end. The layer gold decoration along the boarder functions as a decorative border drawing the holders eye to the black, negative, space which is most likely Wootz steel. The pommel features fine gold work, again in a bordered pattern, which complements the black negative space. A lanyard ring is also attached at the top of the pommel spike. The blade is of high quality pattern welded steel. Pattern welding is a technique that combines several pieces of iron (with varying carbon content and, often, minor amounts of other metals) by twisting or plaiting or/and folding them together to ‘spread’ any weakness in them evenly along the resulting blade’s entire length. By folding and hammering out and folding and hammering out the blade it gains some form of relatively homogenous make-up. High quality pattern welded steel blades are very sought after and do not come up on the market much. As high quality pattern welded steel is just as sought after and prized as quality Wootz steel. The blade is practical, with a good weight, and exhibits one of the best pattern welded blades on the current market.
The pattern welded steel blade is inscribed towards the forte with the following:
This means that the owner of the sword, Sher Khan, was a noble or high rank of some sort. The remaining inscription in not readable due to the loss of gold due to age. An educated guess would be that the remaining inscription was some sort of invocation or verse of protection from the Quran, as that is what is typically found.
Accompanied by a modern black velvet resting scabbard.
A very nice Tulwar with a high quality blade and hilt. The inscription provides the sword with real depth and history.