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Thread: Indian Swords with British Blades

  1. #1
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    Indian Swords with British Blades

    Were British blades valued by Indians? Specifically, British blades with tulwar hilts? How did the Indians feel about such swords? Your input is appreciated. Thanks.
    Tom Donoho

  2. #2
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    They liked them enough that, in the Victorian period, British makers like Robert Mole made their own tulwar 'patterns'. European traders (including the British, English and Scottish) were selling and swapping blades on the Subcontinent at least as far back as the 1500s and many of these foreign components turn up in tulwars, pulwars, katars and patas. Some appear on expensive fighting pieces, showing that the blades were liked for the exoticism they imparted to the owner and also for their fighting qualities. During the Tudor period in England, firangis became one of the favourite blade-types in the Mughal court of India's north, often being remounted in different hilts numerous times. The Marathas of the South used imported weapons quite a lot too, from Europe, the Ottomans and Persia. Not all of this foreign steel was actually good, though: I think I've read an account of a Tudor merchant stating that, of all of his cargo, only his sword blades were left untraded - but I can't recall the source.

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    Writing from memory, I would mention that Captain Nolan of Light Brigade fame was intrigued by the effectiveness of Indian Cavalry swords, and was told that for the most part they were old 1796 British Light Cavalry blades, sold out of the service, and bought and remounted locally..... In one case a John Co. Dragoon was cut through the back, his leather cartridge box, the lead shot, the spine and through to the heart in one sweep. The reason for this devastating effect was that Indian swords were well sharpened, carried in a wood and leather scabbard rather than a steel one, and stored out of the scabbard wrapped in oiled muslin when not in us.......

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    Thanks for the input, M Forde.

    So from the input so far, it seems that foreign (British) blades were liked by the Indians and effective as working swords.

    Can we get some pics of a Mole Tulwar, please?
    Last edited by T. Donoho; 12-14-2019 at 02:42 PM.
    Tom Donoho

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    Thanks for that, David R.
    Tom Donoho

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    You will love this one,..... http://www.swordforum.com/vb4/showth...mplaints/page6
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Here.
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    Thanks for posting again, David R.

    I do recall the Tulwar made by Mole. It looked like a really good sword--had a rectangular attachment to the pommel I believe for a sword strap.
    Tom Donoho

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by T. Donoho View Post
    Were British blades valued by Indians? Specifically, British blades with tulwar hilts? How did the Indians feel about such swords? Your input is appreciated. Thanks.
    I visited the armoury at the Amber Fort in Jaipur earlier this year and there are many Indian swords with obviously British blades. I’m afraid I cannot be more precise and I do not have any photos, however the answer to your question is a resounding yes.
    Celeriter nil crede

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    Thanks for that, Richard.
    Tom Donoho

  11. #11
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    Hello Tom,

    Perhaps this sword in my collection will be of use as an example. A tulwar with a British 1822 pattern blade made by Mole.

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    Matt

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    Thank you, Matthew, for sharing.
    Tom Donoho

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  14. #14
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    Thanks.
    Tom Donoho

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