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Old 19th April 2021, 07:29 AM   #1
estrij
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Default Tulwar/Talwar regimental codes?

Hello,

I have cleaned my Tulwar which was almost only rust. Which seems to be very common with these sword. But in doing so I discovered I could read the stamps on the sword. Strangely these are Latin letters and numbers.

NRA 428

Were their British regiments in india or during the afghan wars fitted with these kind of weapons and then stamped with regiment codes?

Thank you for your help in advance!
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Old 19th April 2021, 01:42 PM   #2
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Indian customs and excise are known to stamp ID numbers on antique weapons leaving the country... Most commonly seen on muskets etc.
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Old 20th April 2021, 03:17 AM   #3
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A picture of the entire sword please.
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Old 20th April 2021, 12:30 PM   #4
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A picture of the entire sword please.
Here with photo's of the rest of the sword.
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Old 20th April 2021, 12:32 PM   #5
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Indian customs and excise are known to stamp ID numbers on antique weapons leaving the country... Most commonly seen on muskets etc.
So you are saying that this sword was made for export? Would there be a way then to know what these letter mean?
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Old 21st April 2021, 10:51 AM   #6
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Hereby the pictures of the entire sword
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Old 24th April 2021, 08:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estrij
So you are saying that this sword was made for export? Would there be a way then to know what these letter mean?
These letters and numbers are associated with administrative functions in the British Raj, and have to do with 'rack' or issue numbers to whatever regiment, unit, or other type force with which it was issued.
I was unaware of any type of numerals or such markings placed on 'antique' weapons for export (?). This would deface any bona fide antique notably.

Often captured or stored weapons in armories or arsenals would have inventory numbers placed, but it seems usually on the blades. There are not as far as I know any detailed records of these armories or their holdings beyond some which were emptied out in the latter 19th century. Of these huge stockpiles of weapons, some of the more choice were kept for posterity, while the larger volume was scrapped.

The only known marking system was at Bikaner in Rajasthan, and these were stippled numbers and letters in Sanskrit. The only armory that I can recall recorded was at Tanjore and no numbering system was in place.

The styling in this tulwar is 19th century and Rajasthani, and the type of markings were most likely issuance as noted. Possibly a search of the native regiments and the designated names and numbers might reveal.
There were swords stamped with letters like this for something like North Baroda Railway or to that effect, but that is the idea of what I refer to.
Many units in British army native regiments had colloquial terms such as 'Murray's Jat's' and other names they were known by beyond the unit numbers.
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Old 25th April 2021, 11:44 AM   #8
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National Rifle Association.
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Old 25th April 2021, 12:20 PM   #9
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National Rifle Association.
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Old 26th April 2021, 01:03 PM   #10
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Sorry,
I was being facetious.
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Old 26th April 2021, 02:38 PM   #11
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So you are saying that this sword was made for export? Would there be a way then to know what these letter mean?
Not at all, even antiques could end up with numbers stamped on them... One of the more irritating things that happen to items exported after independence. Bloody big numbers and codes stamped onto the breech of a musket for the most part.
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Old 26th April 2021, 04:13 PM   #12
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Sorry,
I was being facetious.
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There should always be room here for a bit of humor Richard.

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Old 26th April 2021, 07:15 PM   #13
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Not at all, even antiques could end up with numbers stamped on them... One of the more irritating things that happen to items exported after independence. Bloody big numbers and codes stamped onto the breech of a musket for the most part.
Hi David,
This is both interesting, and horrifying. Where does this happen, and under what circumstances? I know that China, along with many countries, forbids the export of antiquities, though of course there is brisk activity in the less than legal traffic in them. It does not seem such marking would happen in that case.

With firearms I can somewhat understand such marking from the standpoint of checking for safety etc. but in other types of antiquities, including swords and other arms, I cannot see the purpose. Naturally as I am not a gun collector or shooter I am asking just for clarification.
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Old 26th April 2021, 07:43 PM   #14
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There should always be room here for a bit of humor Richard.

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Humor ... of course .
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Old 30th April 2021, 08:11 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
These letters and numbers are associated with administrative functions in the British Raj, and have to do with 'rack' or issue numbers to whatever regiment, unit, or other type force with which it was issued.
I was unaware of any type of numerals or such markings placed on 'antique' weapons for export (?). This would deface any bona fide antique notably.

Often captured or stored weapons in armories or arsenals would have inventory numbers placed, but it seems usually on the blades. There are not as far as I know any detailed records of these armories or their holdings beyond some which were emptied out in the latter 19th century. Of these huge stockpiles of weapons, some of the more choice were kept for posterity, while the larger volume was scrapped.

The only known marking system was at Bikaner in Rajasthan, and these were stippled numbers and letters in Sanskrit. The only armory that I can recall recorded was at Tanjore and no numbering system was in place.

The styling in this tulwar is 19th century and Rajasthani, and the type of markings were most likely issuance as noted. Possibly a search of the native regiments and the designated names and numbers might reveal.
There were swords stamped with letters like this for something like North Baroda Railway or to that effect, but that is the idea of what I refer to.
Many units in British army native regiments had colloquial terms such as 'Murray's Jat's' and other names they were known by beyond the unit numbers.

I have tried to search for the naming convention for NRA but am unable to find it. Best what I can imagine would be something like Native Rajasthan Army but that would be a guess. Thank you for your explanation.
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Old 30th April 2021, 08:14 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by David R View Post
Not at all, even antiques could end up with numbers stamped on them... One of the more irritating things that happen to items exported after independence. Bloody big numbers and codes stamped onto the breech of a musket for the most part.

So this would mean the Indian government would stamp it to keep up a register of some sort for the exported items?
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Old 30th April 2021, 09:12 PM   #17
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So this would mean the Indian government would stamp it to keep up a register of some sort for the exported items?
Actually that would be pretty unheard of as most countries jealously guard their antiquities, and while this common tulwar is of course, not a national treasure, it would be quite unnecessary to keep logs of these kinds of items sold off.

The British Raj, a very administratively 'organized' government simply tried to maintain records of the weaponry used by their military, as well as their subsidized enterprises in the security forces. There are surely records of the many acronyms and numbers of these units, but not readily at hand.

While armories surely existed throughout the princely states of India, the only well known one that comes to mind is as mentioned, Bikaner. As noted the arms stored here, captured mostly in the campaigns of Anup Singh in the late 17th c. The stippled numbers and letters in Gujerati script typically include the date and other particulars. Coincidentally the location where many of these were acquired was in Tanjore.

In the 19th century (1863) the Tanjore armory was dismantled, and the almost unimaginable hoards of old weapons were huge, thus largely became scrap. However many were kept for posterity due to their unique character or quality, and many of these were recorded by M.J. Walhouse ("The Old Tanjore Armory", Indian Antiquary, Vol. VII, Aug. 1878) in some degree but no particular detail. As far as known, these did not have distinguishing markings or numbers. Many of these arms circulated as souvenirs into collections, many ended up in the Metropolitan in New York via George Cameron Stone, obtained from W.O.Oldman via Walhouse.

Over many years, I know Jens Nordlund has tried to compile a listing or record of arsenal or armory marks or designations in India, however no notable number have surfaced.

As discussed, the only lettered and or numbered system of markings on these kinds of weapons are from the Raj period into modern times and for military units and private security forces.
The only systems for marking of weapons as far as being antiques would probably be as noted, on guns, for safety control purposes.
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Old 6th May 2021, 09:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
Actually that would be pretty unheard of as most countries jealously guard their antiquities, and while this common tulwar is of course, not a national treasure, it would be quite unnecessary to keep logs of these kinds of items sold off.

The British Raj, a very administratively 'organized' government simply tried to maintain records of the weaponry used by their military, as well as their subsidized enterprises in the security forces. There are surely records of the many acronyms and numbers of these units, but not readily at hand.

While armories surely existed throughout the princely states of India, the only well known one that comes to mind is as mentioned, Bikaner. As noted the arms stored here, captured mostly in the campaigns of Anup Singh in the late 17th c. The stippled numbers and letters in Gujerati script typically include the date and other particulars. Coincidentally the location where many of these were acquired was in Tanjore.

In the 19th century (1863) the Tanjore armory was dismantled, and the almost unimaginable hoards of old weapons were huge, thus largely became scrap. However many were kept for posterity due to their unique character or quality, and many of these were recorded by M.J. Walhouse ("The Old Tanjore Armory", Indian Antiquary, Vol. VII, Aug. 1878) in some degree but no particular detail. As far as known, these did not have distinguishing markings or numbers. Many of these arms circulated as souvenirs into collections, many ended up in the Metropolitan in New York via George Cameron Stone, obtained from W.O.Oldman via Walhouse.

Over many years, I know Jens Nordlund has tried to compile a listing or record of arsenal or armory marks or designations in India, however no notable number have surfaced.

As discussed, the only lettered and or numbered system of markings on these kinds of weapons are from the Raj period into modern times and for military units and private security forces.
The only systems for marking of weapons as far as being antiques would probably be as noted, on guns, for safety control purposes.

Thank you for your detailed explanation! It is much appreciated
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Old 8th May 2021, 11:39 PM   #19
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Thank you for your detailed explanation! It is much appreciated

Absolutely! my pleasure, glad I could be of some help. It is a great subject area, and always learning.
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