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Thread: Eyelashes mark on an Indian sword

  1. #1
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    Eyelashes mark on an Indian sword

    In the last auction of Hermann Historica and Indian sword was sold. Please take a look at the maker's mark. Have you see similar ones to this somewhere else?

    By courtesy of Hermann Historica

    "India, circa 1900
    Curved, single-edged, blade of watered steel with smith marks stamped into the reverse side. The surface of the iron hilt is entirely covered with gold-inlaid floral decoration and has a monster head pommel. The quillons have lion's heads finials. The knucklebow is shaped as a hare. The eyes are inset turquoise and rubies respectively (some missing). Felt-covered wooden scabbard. Length 93 cm."
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    Eyelash mark ....

    Hello Manouchehr!

    Thanks a lot for posting this piece .... ahhh, Hermann Historica, if i should win the lottery jackpot someday ....

    But back on that sword:
    Can we be sure that this is really a makers mark? Reason of the question is the following: I've seen the "eyelash symbol" on many
    different blades, that are most certainly not connected (cultural as well as makers wise). Please find attached a picture of a kukri
    of mine that also features the two eyelashes (this time with 3 dots at the end) on both sides of the blade.
    I'm quite sure that this kukri is nepalese - not indian. So my questions are:

    - do we know what the eyelashes mean ?
    - how can we tell that they are part of a mark or there for other (symbolic ?) reason ?
    - (added) does it make a difference if the lashes are on the inside or the outside (kukri: inside, indian sword: outside) ?

    Thanks a lot in advance

    Andreas
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    Last edited by Andreas Volk; 02-02-2007 at 02:44 AM. Reason: added a third question
    As lo, the boy looked upon the beauty of the forward curved blade, and beauty stayed his hands
    and from that day forward, he was financially doomed.

    King Kukri, 2005

  3. #3
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    Hi Andreas,

    You are absolutely correct. I did not express myself well. These eyelashes can also be seen on European swords, I think Italian/Vencie (?). I think there is a theory that the Indian smiths were imitating eyelash marks as a sign of quality. Thank you very much for the wonderful Kukri. I would really appreciate more posts of these marks and also more input.

    Kind regards

    Manouchehr

  4. #4
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    tulwar eyelashes

    Hi Manouchehr!
    Thanks for the answer - I think i've heard of that theory/hypothesis. Do we know if the eyelashes have a symbolic meaning
    in hindu society/culture ? In the meantime, "inside" eyelashes (already fading) on a tulwar.

    regards

    Andreas
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    As lo, the boy looked upon the beauty of the forward curved blade, and beauty stayed his hands
    and from that day forward, he was financially doomed.

    King Kukri, 2005

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manouchehr M. View Post
    In the last auction of Hermann Historica and Indian sword was sold.

    These things make me feeling poor...

    Great sword.
    Please forgive my english.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlo Giuseppe Tacchini View Post
    These things make me feeling poor...

    Great sword.
    I see what you mean Carlo

    It is really a great sword.

    Kind regards

    Manouchehr

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andreas Volk View Post
    Hi Manouchehr!
    Thanks for the answer - I think i've heard of that theory/hypothesis. Do we know if the eyelashes have a symbolic meaning
    in hindu society/culture ? In the meantime, "inside" eyelashes (already fading) on a tulwar.

    regards

    Andreas
    Andreas,

    Thank you very much for your picture. Very interesting. Please see the nimcha below. The description reads:

    "A very good example of the NIMCHA, the famous Moroccan saber. It has a 33 inches, slightly curved single edge heavy blade with a clipped tip. The blade is stamped with a styled Eyelashes stamping and a star. The grip is cut and shaped from a solid piece of Rhino horn showing clear fibrous structure, set with chased brass collar. The cross guard and the D guard are forged in one piece with the typical three prongs down curving quillons with silver Koftgari decoration. There is no scabbard . Total length 39 inches. This is a real early fighting sword probably early 19 C."

    Kind regards

    Manouchehr Moshtagh

    By courtesy of Oriental Arms
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    Andreas,

    Please note that the next nimcha is described as having a European blade. Note the eyelashes mark please.

    "A very fine example of the NIMCHA, the famous Moroccan saber. It has a 30 inches, slightly curved single edge heavy blade with a 5 inches false edge. The blade carries several stampings, both European and Oriental, including the famous Eyelashes stamping, but it is probably an 18 Century or even earlier European blade. The grip is cut and shaped from a solid piece of Rhino horn showing clear fibrous structure, set with engraved brass collar. The cross guard and the D guard are forged in one piece with the typical three prongs down curving quillons, with interesting top buttons on the central ones. Traces of silver Koftgari decoration. There is no scabbard . Total length 36 inches. Good condition. Some blackened spots on the blade and worn koftgari silver."

    Kind regards

    Manouchehr


    By courtesy of Oriental Arms
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    Now if we change the culture, we can even see that the eyelashes mark can be seen on Nepalese kora.

    ""ora swords were used in Nepal and North India for both fighting and sacrificial processes. They are quite similar, only the sacrificial sword is wider and heavier. This one is basically a fighter of very good quality. Heavy, down curving, blade, with its deadly sharp edge on the concave side and with wide heavy tip. This one has a 19 ˝ inches blade, 4 ˝ inches at the tip. The tip is marked with the Eye talisman marking, and the base of the blade is marked with the styled eyelashes mark. Total length 25 inches. It is of a whole steel construction with the grip of cylindrical form between disk shaped cross guard and pommel."

    By courtesy of Oriental Arms
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  10. #10
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    Eyelashes mark on another Indian tulwar

    By courtesy of Oriental Arms
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    Eyelashes mark on an Indian tega

    "This heavy wide blade sword is a variant of the Tulwar also known as Tega. It is characterized by the short, very curved and wide blade with reinforced spine and back edge. Blade 24 inches long, back edge 9 inches, two inches wide. It is forged from pattern welded steel (Damascus) but the blade need a proper polish and etching to bring the pattern to its full strength. The blade is marked with the famous eyelashessign of Italian origin but this is most probably an 18 C. copy of the original marking. The most beautiful part of this sword is the hilt, relatively big, with an unusual side extension to protect the hand, and it is heavily set with gold koftgari decoration. Good condition. Some filing signs on the edge and very shallow pitted spots. More than 95% of the gold decoration is intact."

    By courtesy of Oriental Arms
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    Eyelashes mark on a twohanded Indian khanda

    "This Khanda sword has a very long 42 inches, heavy wedge shaped blade with a 10 inches back edge tapering to an acute tip. Basically a cutting weapon that could be used for thrust as well. The blade is marked on the spine with gold inlay letters and with the famous eyelashes marks as a sign of quality. Indian basket hilt, whole steel with a four inches pommel extension used as a second hand grip. A sword of quality with a very good and sharp blade. Total length 50 inches."

    By courtesy of Oriental Arms
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    Eyelashes mark on an Indian sword with a straight blade

    "interesting heavy sword from India, with what looks like a European old blade. It is heavy, straight, single edge, 31 inches long and 1 ž inches wide with a 7 inches back edge. The blade is marked with the Eyelashes, originated in Italy in the 16 C. and was copied by many cultures in the east as a mark of quality. In addition the blade is marked with small Eye marking near the hilt langet on both sides of the blade. The shape, dimensions and fuller style indicate a European origin. The handle is whole steel type, common on Indian Tulwars. It was plated with heavy silver plating, now partially worn. Total length 35 ˝ inches"

    By courtesy of Oriental Arms
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manouchehr M. View Post
    In the last auction of Hermann Historica and Indian sword was sold. Please take a look at the maker's mark. Have you see similar ones to this somewhere else?

    By courtesy of Hermann Historica

    "India, circa 1900
    Curved, single-edged, blade of watered steel with smith marks stamped into the reverse side. The surface of the iron hilt is entirely covered with gold-inlaid floral decoration and has a monster head pommel. The quillons have lion's heads finials. The knucklebow is shaped as a hare. The eyes are inset turquoise and rubies respectively (some missing). Felt-covered wooden scabbard. Length 93 cm."

    The gold decoration of the hilt is described as an inlay here, which would suggest the receiving area of the gold is depressed into the material, right? Are there enough visible hints that make it evident this is an inlay versus a surface-only application?

    Also in:
    http://forums.swordforum.com/attachm...0&d=1170397568

    ... correct me if I'm wrong but the blade appears to be forge welded (folded). I see certain parallel wavy lines that suggest folding. What do you think?
    Adrian
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Ko View Post
    The gold decoration of the hilt is described as an inlay here, which would suggest the receiving area of the gold is depressed into the material, right? Are there enough visible hints that make it evident this is an inlay versus a surface-only application?

    Also in:
    http://forums.swordforum.com/attachm...0&d=1170397568

    ... correct me if I'm wrong but the blade appears to be forge welded (folded). I see certain parallel wavy lines that suggest folding. What do you think?
    Adrian,

    I did not handle this piece in person. Yes the description says inlay. I have also seen gold-overlaid handles with excellent execution where it is very hard to tell the difference.

    I think the blade is the typical Indian crucible steel, like water pattern.

    Regards

    Manouchehr

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    Another tulwar with eyelashes mark. Note that the mark is partially gold-inlaid.

    By courtesy of Oriental Arms

    "Up for sale is this good fighting sword, Indian early 19 C. Good curved blade 29 inches long with 9 inches back edge. The blade is marked with a styled Eyelashes marking of good quality. The marks are partially inlaid with gold. Steel handle in a classical form with many silver inserts all around and traces of gold inlay. Total length 35 inches."
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  17. #17
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    The next item is very interesting as the eyelashes mark are on a bishwa dagger from India.

    By courtesy of Oriental Arms


    "his dagger is a Bichwa, an unusual blade in the Indian arsenal, meaning: �The Scorpion Sting�. It is an early 19 Century example. The blade is 8 inches long forged from laminated steel, double edged and deeply re-curving. It is stamped with the "eyelashes" mark, a mark of quality of blades in various places. The hilt is brass, ring shaped, decorated with engraved circles decoration. Total length is 12 inches."
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  18. #18
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    The next tulwar has a crucible steel blade with eyelashes mark.

    By courtesy of Oriental Arms

    "We offer for sale this 19 C. interesting sword from India, with heavy, single edge blade, 30 inches long with a 9 inches back edge. The blade is forged from good wootz (Damascus) steel and constructed in the form known as Scarf Welding . Scarf welding was done in order to weld a hard steel blade to a softer more flexible heel part of the blade. It is a common technique since many centuries and found on both Indian and European quality swords. The blade is marked with several armories marks on both sides and on the blade spine and also marked with a crude copy of the Eyelashes mark to indicate a quality blade. The handle is whole steel type, common on Indian Tulwars. Total length 35 inches. "
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  19. #19
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    Dear friends,

    Here you can compare these marks to each other.

    Kind regards

    Manouchehr

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    Sorry I forgot the picture
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  21. #21
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    excellent post

    the last comparison photo really allows you to see the trend..

    the placement of the dots varies ... maybe different areas or smiths?

    - is it a sign of quality... or maybe a charm to avoid the " eye " ?

    good stuff
    Greg

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    I have seen those same "eyelash" markings, but i'm not sure what exactly they represent. i supposed that they were the marks of the blade smith.
    as andreas knows i have been to the rhajastanian royal armory. Unfortunatly the indian govt. does not allow cameras into royal museams. the particular location i saw the marking was in a little village. i was asking around if anyone had any decent ancient weapons. one man had a dagger with a tulwar hilt it looked almost evactly like the first one posted. i ended up not buying it because the price was very, very high and i couldnt identify if it was an original or not because it was in excellent condition. from what i know about hindi the eyelash symbol is often used as a symbolic representation of the sun (power and life giving strength)
    Pro veritas, iustitia, et honos.
    (For truth, justice, and honour)

    Arjun Kumar

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arjun Kumar View Post
    I have seen those same "eyelash" markings, but i'm not sure what exactly they represent. i supposed that they were the marks of the blade smith.
    as andreas knows i have been to the rhajastanian royal armory. Unfortunatly the indian govt. does not allow cameras into royal museams. the particular location i saw the marking was in a little village. i was asking around if anyone had any decent ancient weapons. one man had a dagger with a tulwar hilt it looked almost evactly like the first one posted. i ended up not buying it because the price was very, very high and i couldnt identify if it was an original or not because it was in excellent condition. from what i know about hindi the eyelash symbol is often used as a symbolic representation of the sun (power and life giving strength)
    Thanks Arjun. Could you please open a thread and report on the museum you saw? That would be a great thing even without pictures.

    Thanks.

    Kind regards

    Manouchehr

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