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Thread: A Moghul Indian Tabarzin

  1. #26
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    Is any of that work done by fire gilding a common renaissance western way of gilding on steel. You make an amalgam of gold and mercury and "paint" it on and then heat it to drive off the mercury and burnish. (we call it "the expendable apprentice method" due to the hazards of vapourized mercury.)

    Thomas

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Powers View Post
    Is any of that work done by fire gilding a common renaissance western way of gilding on steel. You make an amalgam of gold and mercury and "paint" it on and then heat it to drive off the mercury and burnish. (we call it "the expendable apprentice method" due to the hazards of vapourized mercury.)

    Thomas

    Thomas,

    I think they are done via gold-overlaying Koftegari technique.

    Kind regards

    Manouchehr

  3. #28
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    Tabarzin gilding

    Maybe a bit late to chime in on tabarzin gilding methods. A few pictures from an axe in my collection, by Lat'f Ali . I believe (wishing is believing?) it is an original (see Melikian-Chirvani) . The steel (quite hard) is deeply cut, with an irregular bottom in the runs. The gilding is pressed in , and doesn't stay proud of the cuts, like in the koftgari technique.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  4. #29
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    A very nice one, perfect as Avatar.
    Please forgive my english.

  5. #30
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    that is a beauty

    excellent chiseling on it.... and very sweet inlay
    is the handle socket round in shape? and does it taper

    you have a real gem !
    thank you for the pictures

    Greg

  6. #31
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    No, the opening doesn't taper and is round. The handle is I believe original (no pics, away for restoration) and a bit special. It is a wooden stave covered with a thin rope on the grip part, covered with modeled shrunk-on leather, and painted black and gold. The part between the axe head and the grip is covered with greenish rayskin or similar, damaged in the head area. The grip area was intact.
    Some years ago, I replaced the head while chatting to a visitor. A bit distracted, I applied too much force, and - horror of horrors- the handle split and ripped in two. To my amazement, a simple short sword turned out to be concealed in the handle! It seems to have been a "last resort" weapon, as you would have to ruin the handle to get at it.
    While I'm aware of Zaghnals, and other Indian stave weapons with concealed swords or daggers, I've never heard of any Tabarzins with this feature, but maybe somebody has a different view...

    Kind regards, Wim
    Last edited by Wim Durinx; 03-07-2007 at 12:20 PM.

  7. #32
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    Hi Wim
    thank you very much

    it is very good to hear about the handle construction... I have made many axes and hammers my self and i'm alway curious about the different shapes used...
    especially the type of hole drifted through the axe body... i have some hammers with a round hole that i've made... and they work well...
    -- some people seem to think that you need an oval shape or such to have a secure mount...

    thanks again......you've provided very good description of an ancient handle... and i'm glad you found the hide away weapon... thats excellent news !

    it would be interesting to start a post on other hide away weapons.... to see other concealed last resorts..

    take care
    Greg

    ps.. wonderful tabar

  8. #33
    Dear all,

    Thank you for sharing this amazing tabarzin, Wim ! I am a PhD student and I am working about afsharid art, notably works of Lotf Ali. It really looks like an original. May I ask you to explain what is the decoration behind the axe, and on the two small part on the top and the bottom ?

    Concerning the stiletto in the haft, I know another axe with it : http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O67805/axe-unknown/
    Last edited by Melisande B.; 03-05-2017 at 02:15 AM.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melisande B. View Post
    Dear all,

    Thank you for sharing this amazing tabarzin, Wim ! I am a PhD student and I am working about afsharid art, notably works of Lotf Ali. It really looks like an original. May I ask you to explain what is the decoration behind the axe, and on the two small part on the top and the bottom ?

    Concerning the stiletto in the haft, I know another axe with it : http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O67805/axe-unknown/
    Thank you for the info on the handle.
    I can't take anymore photos just now (very difficult glass case to open) of the tabarzin. But the back has a square head with a gold inlay border and two birds in the middle (heron and hawk?). The upper and lower part has arabesque inlay.
    The axe head is very similar to the one of Lat'f Ali in the Wallace collection (OA1550). A Lat'f Ali axe head turned up at an auction a while ago (notice the difference between estimate and sale price...):
    https://www.ragoarts.com/auctions/20...es-auction/603
    Thank you for the interest!

  10. #35
    Thank you for the information and the sale I didn't know !
    I now know 10 axes signed by Lotf 'Ali and at least 2 armour, and there is some which are really similar. The corpus could be huge. Karim zadeh Tabrizi also mentions a mirror case.
    Last edited by Melisande B.; 03-08-2017 at 06:54 AM.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melisande B. View Post
    Thank you for the information and the sale I didn't know !
    I now know 10 axes signed by Lotf 'Ali and at least 2 armour, and there is some which are really similar. The corpus could be huge. Karim zadeh Tabrizi also mentions a mirror case.
    Check out, if you didn't already did that, Dr. Melikian-Chirvani's 1979 (?) study on the Lotf'Ali tabarzin. From (failing...) memory, , he mentioned about 15 extant tabarzin.

  12. #37
    Thanks ! He described 4 tabarzin in his article (Milan, Wallace Coll., V&A and one without localization), but in fact, it does exist really more tabarzins signed by him and a lot very similar. Mayer mentioned him also.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manouchehr M. View Post
    This is really a beautiful piece with excellent crucible steel pattern. The following is taken from the site of Oriental Arms:

    The heavy blade is 3 inches wide, 5 inches tall, forged from very fine high contrast wootz steel. The 21 inches long handle is covered with heavily gilded copper. The blade is very richly decorated with gold koftgari work.

    Any input and your ideas on the decoration style of this axe are highly appreciated. Or any other ideas and opinions. Thanks.

    Kind regards

    Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani

    By courtesy of Oriental Arms
    Here is a well worn relative of the tabar originally posted here.






  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melisande B. View Post

    Concerning the stiletto in the haft, I know another axe with it : http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O67805/axe-unknown/
    Indian (Sind) tabar battle axe, late 18th century or earlier, crescent shape 5 inch long head with a square hammer opposite of the blade, 22 inch long steel haft, the end of the haft unscrews to reveal a 5 inch slim blade.

  15. #40
    What is the weight of these axes? The heads look very substantial!

  16. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by eric t View Post
    Here is a well worn relative of the tabar originally posted here.



    This would be a nice Tabarzin if cleaned. It's almost certainly a wootz blade.

  17. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Edward C. View Post
    What is the weight of these axes? The heads look very substantial!
    I have one of the ones with a wootz blade and copper alloy over wood handle (as opposed to the all steel one with the screw-in dagger above your post).
    Mine weighs 890g

  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Wim Durinx View Post
    No, the opening doesn't taper and is round. The handle is I believe original (no pics, away for restoration) and a bit special. It is a wooden stave covered with a thin rope on the grip part, covered with modeled shrunk-on leather, and painted black and gold. The part between the axe head and the grip is covered with greenish rayskin or similar, damaged in the head area. The grip area was intact.
    Some years ago, I replaced the head while chatting to a visitor. A bit distracted, I applied too much force, and - horror of horrors- the handle split and ripped in two. To my amazement, a simple short sword turned out to be concealed in the handle! It seems to have been a "last resort" weapon, as you would have to ruin the handle to get at it.
    While I'm aware of Zaghnals, and other Indian stave weapons with concealed swords or daggers, I've never heard of any Tabarzins with this feature, but maybe somebody has a different view...

    Kind regards, Wim
    Hi Wim,

    That's interesting. Usually the shafts containing daggers are the screw-in type with tubular steel shafts. I've never encountered a shaft as you describe with a concealed dagger.
    My Tabarzin has the wound string with parchment/paper shrunk onto it then painted. Sort of reminiscent of rexine!
    Having read your post, I've just tried a strong neodinium magnet on the shaft and there is no attraction. So mine does not contain any secrets!

  19. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Melisande B. View Post
    Dear all,

    Thank you for sharing this amazing tabarzin, Wim ! I am a PhD student and I am working about afsharid art, notably works of Lotf Ali. It really looks like an original. May I ask you to explain what is the decoration behind the axe, and on the two small part on the top and the bottom ?

    Concerning the stiletto in the haft, I know another axe with it : http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O67805/axe-unknown/

    In th V&A Publication: Islamic arms by TL Anthony North on page 40 there is Tabarzin with the description:
    "chiselled steel inlaid with gold
    Inscribed as having been made at Lahore, and bearing the spurious signature of the craftsman Lotf'Ali
    Hindustan 19th Century"

    ISBN 0 11 290384 3
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Gene Wilkinson; 03-15-2017 at 11:44 AM.

  20. #45
    It is one of the Melikian's tabarzin. Thanks !

  21. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Melisande B. View Post
    It is one of the Melikian's tabarzin. Thanks !
    I can't see a collection attribution.

  22. #47
    Sorry, I was not clear, it is not a collector, it is the scholar who wrote the paper about Lotf Ali tabarzins in 1979. He demonstrates that this tabarzin was probably made in Lahore to copy Lotf Ali works.

  23. #48
    The V&A publication offers no further information.
    I note though that the description of this axe say that it is "inscribed as having been made at Lahore".
    It would be interesting to see the inscription.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Wilkinson View Post
    My Tabarzin has the wound string with parchment/paper shrunk onto it then painted. Sort of reminiscent of rexine!
    Having read your post, I've just tried a strong neodinium magnet on the shaft and there is no attraction. So mine does not contain any secrets!
    Gene, do you have any photos of your tabar?

  25. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Wilkinson View Post
    The V&A publication offers no further information.
    I note though that the description of this axe say that it is "inscribed as having been made at Lahore".
    It would be interesting to see the inscription.
    It is a North's mistake. This is the inscription.

    'Amal-e Lotf Ali Golham 1150
    (Better picture here : http://media.vam.ac.uk/media/thira/c...474_jpg_ds.jpg)

    The one inscribed "made in Lahore" is this one : Because of similarities in form and technique, Malikian ascribed the first one to Lahore too.

    The one who bears the inscription "made in Lahore" is this one :

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