Coarsely Laminated Steel: A Chevron Patterned Talwar

Details of an Indian talwar (19th Century) , the hilt (not shown) to the right. The upper image is of one of the flat surfaces of the blade while the lower picture is of the back of the sword (not the same area)

The bold chevrons appear to be full thickness alternations of material, with weld boundaries between the areas of brighter patterned metal and darker non-patterned metal. The pattern seen in the brighter areas is developed from a blade surface very nearly parallel to the planes of the layered contrasting alloys, with minor variations in forging of less than a millimeter causing a bold random surface pattern. The image below of the back of the blade confirms this impression, showing the relatively flat layers in profile as an alternating series of bright and dark lines.

Such a construction would seem to predispose to failure if any of the many welds between chevrons were defective. Two swords of similar construction are illustrated in Figel (1991), p. 104 - 107 and a dagger of similar construction is illustrated in Sachse (1994), p. 98.

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29 March 1998 ~ v1.0 ~ Copyright © 1998 by Lee A. Jones
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