Silver-Encrusted Deccani Sword
Date: late 18th century
Materials: Silver, Steel, Wood, and Velvet
A rare Silver Encrusted (Teh-tulla) Tulwar from Deccan.
Teh-Tulla is when a gold or silver foil is hammered onto a cross-hatch or punched surface. This is more of an overlay art. You can feel the gold/silver on the objects. The pattern is embossed. Our example features a North Indian style hilt which is quite unusual for this type of sword. The hilt is of large and heavy construction with a thick grip section and the silver Teh-tulla design is in the form of flowers and vines. This is preserved 95% in tact which is a fantastic addition. The quillons are slightly forward-oriented and the design of the flowers are hallmarks of Deccani manufacture.
The blade is a true fighting example with excellent weight to it and its original cutting edge and polish. The blade is constructed of forge folded steel. This steel construction creates a tasteful wood-grain like texture (which is often seen on Japanese swords). The layers of steel are tempered to form cloudy effects in the carbon (much like pattern welded steel) that makes a hard cutting edge. The blade is a perfect example of a functional and practical blade.
Accompanied with a new blue velvet scabbard with some wear. Silver trim in the centre is loose and may be removed.
The Personal Sword of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. 1637-38 CE - Presently in the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar features a similar style hilt in Gold.
In the Furusiyya Art Foundation collection, there is a hilt that carries similar decoration. The Arts of the Muslim Knight. Furusiyya Art Foundation. Skira Editore S.p.A. Milano. 2008. Page 96.
Overall this is a fine example of a rare Teh-Tulla sword. A great addition for seasoned collectors.