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Old 14th December 2020, 09:19 PM   #17
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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Originally Posted by Drabant1701
Well put Jim. A similar example to the wolf and umbrella is the Assad Allah Lion. On many Qajar swords you know it's a lion mark because its always a lion mark. For someone not knowing what they are looking for it may as well be a dog, a pig or hippopotamus.

I was doing some more reading in the umbrella thread on the forum.

There is some discussion about the tree of life in connection to the umbrella in south Borneo. So there might be a tree in there after all.

The thread also has the photo below. I am not claiming it to be similar to the mark on my sword. It does however have a half circle+ at the bottom. So there are other umbrellas out there with unorthodox bottoms.

Excellent example! This is clearly a Mughal application and reminds me of similar cases with Tipu Sultan. What this is would be the Mughal 'umbrella' incorporated into the familiar cross and orb symbol often used on German blades, virtually a hybrid symbol denoting quality and status.

In some cases Tipu amalgamated his own personal symbol with that of the East India Co. in that same sense, ironically even though they were enemies. In some way it seems possibly that this was a kind of metaphor as I think it was superimposed, as if showing him overcoming the EIC, but of course this may be reading into it too much.

The umbrella symbol as a regal indicator pretty much goes back into ancient times, and was well known in Asia. With the strong Persian influence in Mughal courts, and of course such influences which came to them from the east, it stands to reason the notion filtered into Mughal symbolism.

The Assad Adullah lion was used on Persian trade blades, and was so used to afford interpretation or awareness to basically illiterate or uninitiated buyers, as a pictogram rather than wording as usually in cartouche. While typically in the Islamic context, the pictograph would be readily interpreted as the "Lion of God" , in other cultures using the blades, obviously other versions of perception might occur.

The hippopatamus note I think comes from a reference (Reed, 1987) referring to a Sudanese chieftain who was looking at a Passau Wolf on a blade for a kaskara and claimed that was what it was.

Again, an outstanding tegha example! and all the more so with these great markings. These are not commonly seen as it is, and this with Rajput character (the Hindu basket hilt) and Mughal type markings makes it remarkable in my opinion.
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