An Indian Tulwar

This tulwar has a handsome and interesting blade, possibly a result of trade with Malaysia. The forte is made from laminated steel, ensuring that this ‘base’ section is strong and stiff; while the rest of the blade is a dark and very high carbon steel—flexible and light. The objective of this union is to make sure the blade would have efficiently delivered the wielder’s power without shattering upon impact. The difference between these two steels can be seen in the photographs, with the high carbon section being unusually dark. (This colour difference can be easily polished out if this isn’t to your taste.)

The presence of a scarf weld on a blade like this not only suggests a certain degree of sophistication on the part of the bladesmith but it was also considered auspicious by the warriors of the Indian Subcontinent. Clearly, this was a valued fighting sword in its day.

However, the centuries have exacted payment from the sword. The hilt would have been covered entirely in sheet silver, only a small amount remaining, and the blade has numerous bends all along its length—luckily, these are not particularly noticeable when displayed.


Matthew FordeComment