Wootz and Pattern-Welded Silver Tulwar

The blade of this Indian tulwar is interesting. Close to the hilt, the metal is a very finely grained wootz steel before a scarf weld (or mala)—a feature held to have auspicious qualities—joins it to a metal that seems to show a continuation of this wootz grain mixed with the flowing lines of pattern-welded steel. After that lies what is either a repair or a more intentional weld and the adjoining metal is clearly pattern-welded and displays fine lines and clouds all the way to the tip. Wootz steel and pattern-welded steel are both sought after so to have them present in one blade is a boon.

As for the hilt, much of the silver koftgari remains in place with the curling stems and large flower heads being of the same nature as those favoured by the Mughal ateliers. One quillon has a crack in its iron but this seems secure.

I am treating the blade as having been repaired, hence the much lower price than it might otherwise have been. This tulwar comes with a modern scabbard.


Matthew FordeComment