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Old 11th February 2022, 03:34 AM   #1
Cathey
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Default Hunting Tulwar (Tulwar Shikargah)

Hi Guys

Jens Nordlunde mentioned that the Indian Arms and Armour collectors have been very quiet for some time on this site so I thought I might try and kick it off again.

Whilst we are predominantly early British sword collectors, our interest in Indian Arms and Armour has been renewed of late and we have even started buying again.

After acquiring this Indian Hunting Tulwar (Tulwar Shikargah) I have decided to attempt writing an article on Indian Hunting weapons for my Society Magazine Barrels and Blades. However, I have really not been able to track down a great deal of information on these (plenty of examples but not much text) and I am hoping that some of the forum members might be able to contribute more insight into this unusual family of swords and daggers. I know they come in a large variety of forms from Tulwar to Shamshire, even Katars etc.

Even the spelling of the name for this variety of edged weapon varies greatly including: Tulwar Shikargah / Shamshir Shikargar / shamshir shikargarh/ SHIKARI OR SHIKARGAHA.

This project is becoming expensive as I have already felt the need to increase my library.

What I found interesting in this particular Tulwar is that the hunting scenes vary on each side and the number of animals included.


Regards Cathey
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Old 11th February 2022, 07:53 AM   #2
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Excellent example you have! Congratulations for the acquisition!

However, from all I know, these tulwars are called "hunting tulwars" because of the hunting scenes engraved on their blades and not because they were actually used for hunting.

In fact, almost all of them have very poor quality steel blades, too soft to be of any practical use.

They became popular after the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London (and continued afterwards) as souvenirs and collector items for the Western, mainly British, visitors.

They come in various qualities and yours is definitely from the top tier, with deep, high quality engravings.
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Old 11th February 2022, 01:43 PM   #3
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Hi Cathey,

Excellent carving on that blade! I'm afraid I can't add any further information about these particular swords. As you have found, there is not a lot of readily accessible information on them. Hopefully, some of our members can help. Congratulations on a good find.
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Old 11th February 2022, 02:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Cathey View Post
Even the spelling of the name for this variety of edged weapon varies greatly including: Tulwar Shikargah / Shamshir Shikargar / shamshir shikargarh/ SHIKARI OR SHIKARGAHA...
And don't forget the spelling Talwar, preferred by many authors as the correct term, which will open further doors to your research.
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Old 11th February 2022, 06:40 PM   #5
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Hi Cathey,
Not just bladed weapons, here is a chiselled steel shield of mine, 45cm across, also with hunting scenes. The reverse has some kind of pitch on it probably as a fixative for a cloth lining. The large photo has rather flat lighting the very small image gives a clearer indication of the depth of chiselling.
My Regards,
Norman.


Our friend Jim McDougall noted:-
This shield is as noted a 19th century item, most likely a ceremonial piece and Rajput. The sunburst in the center boss is a typical theme, and is seen not only on Rajput 'dhal's (the Indian term applied to these circular shields) from Rajasthan, but examples to the east in Punjab as well. The sun is symbol for one of the three primary Rajput clans.
The theme with the animals may suggest the hunt, which with warriors in India was not only key as a sporting event, but also kept combat skills in use of weapons well honed. Naturally the shield was not required in hunting, but the theme here may well also be allegorically intended. Tipu Sultan often used such zoomorphic themes with himself and forces represented by the tiger and the animal prey representing enemies.
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Old 11th February 2022, 07:11 PM   #6
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Hi Cathey,
Another take on a hunting motif albeit a lot less prominent. This Tulwar hilted Kora of mine has a figure on the blade hunting with a 'boomerang' an image Jens was able to explain. This blade is definitely not a parade item so I can only guess the hunting motif has some significance other than sheer decoration.
My Regards,
Norman.
P.S. The stand of arms has an Indian 'boomerang' used for hunting hares at the apex.
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Old 12th February 2022, 08:04 PM   #7
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I suspect the tulwar hilt is a later addition to this kora.-- bbjw
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Old 12th February 2022, 10:31 PM   #8
Jim McDougall
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Thank you Norman!!!!
The interesting 'kora' you have there (I remember it from some great discussions on it and items with similar motif years back) is I believe from Bengal, and close to the border regions with Nepal, hence the odd pairing of kora blade and tulwar hilt.
These, as I have understood, have religious ritual significance of sorts, and may have sacrificial associations like the ram dao.
My example has similar symbolic designs and remnants of red paint inside the pommel disc...the markings on the hilt are I think Bengali.

Cathey, a wonderful example of these impressive blades, which I think were more aligned with court or diplomatic presentation use than actual hunting weapons. With the Mughals, the royal hunt (shikar) derives from the Mongol 'qamargah' (=ring hunt) which is more of a 'battle plan' where men making noise and disturbance drive the animal into a surrounded setting, there it is killed by the royal figure who presides over the hunt.

The Mughals of course, are descended from the Mongols, so these traditions prevail. As Rajputs were also a warrior race, the hunt was similarly important symbolically to represent the strength of the ruler.
The hunt was an event shared by Mughals and Rajputs as they worked out their alliances.

The Mughal attraction to depictions of flora and fauna in their art extended to their weapons and their Sh'ia religious metaphors. The representations of these animals and settings are found, as Norman pointed out, not just on swords but other weapon forms which provided panels for this symbolic art.

A good source for more on these might be a catalog of the exhibition "Decorous and Deadly Weapons of the Royal Hunt" at the Met in New York, Sept. 10, 2015.

While these highly decorated tulwars and shamshirs were unlikely of course to have been used in actuality, they are most important items of Mughal and in degree Rajput figures of high station.

As of course, usual, as noted, the 1851 exhibition heightened collector interest in Indian arms and these immediately were dubbed 'hunting swords'.
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Old 13th February 2022, 05:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BBJW View Post
I suspect the tulwar hilt is a later addition to this kora.-- bbjw
I wouldn't think so.
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 13th February 2022, 07:47 PM   #10
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I just said I 'suspect' as I have seen several kukris that were circa 1900 that had been fitted with tulwar hilts. I have 2 old koras that are very black with age and have barely visible lotus flowers at the end of the blades.-- bbjw
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Old 14th February 2022, 05:19 AM   #11
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Default Hunting Tulwars etc

Thankyou Norman

Would you mind if I include your shield in my article? From what I have been able to find there are certainly early references to these heavily engraved items as early as the 18th century. It appears Tulwars and in particular Katars where often used for hunting particularly from horseback.

Interestingly the one I acquired recently is well balanced and has an extremely sharp edge. Previously I had always dismissed these items as temple swords, it hadnít occurred to me that they were actually hunting weapons.

Cheers Cathey
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Old 14th February 2022, 06:50 AM   #12
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Hello Cathey,

The fact that a blade has a sharp edge is by no means a sign it is of good quality or that it has practical use. You can give a very sharp edge even to a piece of plastic (think of disposable cutlery). Aluminum foil is very sharp, yet you cannot use it for cutting anything.

One of the defining parameters of the quality of a blade is its edge retention, namely how well it keeps its edge during use.

For a blade to have good edge retention it is very important to have an optimized mix between hardness and toughness. Hardness and toughness are inversely dependent. As hardness goes up, toughness goes down. If hardness is too high, the edge is prone to chipping. If toughness is too high the edge is prone to bending.

Hardness is generally achieved through heat treatment as raw blade steels tend to be rather soft (but tough).

The carved blades generally are not heat treated as any hardening treatment would make them extremely difficult to carve. Also hardening heat treatment cannot be applied after the carving of the blade because the carvings will cause unequal distribution of tension within the blade and will make it prone to bending or breaking.

"Previously I had always dismissed these items as temple swords, it hadn’t occurred to me that they were actually hunting weapons."
Do you have any proof that this kind of blades were used as "temple swords?"
Do you have any proof that this kind of blades "were actually hunting weapons?"
As I said earlier, the fact that the blade is sharp doesn't mean too much in this case.

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Old 14th February 2022, 01:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathey View Post
Thankyou Norman

Would you mind if I include your shield in my article?

Cheers Cathey
Hi Cathey,
Absolutely no problem, if you need better/different images just let me know.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 14th February 2022, 05:34 PM   #14
Jim McDougall
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One thing I think being overlooked is the fact that many animals, birds and other fauna were much admired in Mughal courts as seen in cases with the Mughal emperor Akbar (16th c.). The Mughals were much enamored and influenced by Persian poetry along of course with most everything Persian.

With this, depictions of various animals were used in art metaphorically and allegorically. Notice in these scenes, the animals are in various combative situations with each other, or in some cases unarmed humans are involved.

Akbar was intrigued by cheetahs, and actually captured many with the intent of training them for the hunt. Elephants obviously were used in warfare and hunting.

The tiger is much admired, and feared, and Tipu Sultan was well known with the sobriquet "The Lion of Mysore". His regalia was of course heavily decorated with bubris (tiger stripes) The symbol known as the cintamani
of Timur from whom the Mughal dynasty derived is comprised of lines for the tiger and spots for the cheetah.

Tipu was also known for using metaphor such as a tiger attacking a European in artistic creations, symbolizing his power defeating them.

It seems that it is well represented that shamshirs and tulwars were indeed used in the hunt, however these blades and weaponry highly adorned with various animals appoear to be more toward Mughal admiration of them and perhaps in cases used metaphorically.

In this blade example, we see the individuals apparently training or attempting to control the elephants, which of course was normal as the elephants were used in hunting. The threat of attack by tigers on hunting parties was of course well known.


These seem the more esoteric aspects of these arms worthy of further note here.

Question: are there any examples of these 'hunting' arms which actually show men with weapons hunting the animals? As far as I have seen the depictions of these events are typically in miniatures and similar art.

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Old 14th February 2022, 08:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
... Notice in these scenes, the animals are in various combative situations with each other, or in some cases unarmed humans are involved...
I have noticed that, but i thought; Jim will no doubt approach that, with all his authority ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
: ... are there any examples of these 'hunting' arms which actually show men with weapons hunting the animals ? ... As far as I have seen the depictions of these events are typically in miniatures and similar art.
You are right. I do have paintings with such motifs but, not being weapons, they don't fit within the subject.
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Old 14th February 2022, 09:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post

Question: are there any examples of these 'hunting' arms which actually show men with weapons hunting the animals? As far as I have seen the depictions of these events are typically in miniatures and similar art.
Definitely there are!

I had a couple of 19th century miniatures depicting hunting scenes as you have seen but I have also seen some hunting scenes in silver repousse and carved in stone.
I also have a 19-20th century presentation dagger with a very well made high relief engraved koftgari hunting scene.
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Old 14th February 2022, 11:00 PM   #17
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As they say in these parts in Texas, 'well....there ya go!'
Thank you very much Marius!
So we know that actual HUNT scenes are on various items of material culture in addition to the miniatures, to include daggers.
Thanks for the most kind note Fernando . The art of course depicts the hunt, and using swords, but as far as I have seen, no swords with said scenes.
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Old 15th February 2022, 12:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
... Question: are there any examples of these 'hunting' arms which actually show men with weapons hunting the animals? ...
Apparently very hard to find, Jim; go figure why .
Here is one, for a change; although with engravings rather poorer by far than those in Cathey's sword.


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Old 15th February 2022, 07:51 PM   #19
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Very impressive indeed, and the panels with scenes seem OK, I have a hard time gauging from photos the quality. The overall quality seems impressive for what these are. In my opinion, based on what I have learned from others who have deeply studied Indian arms, these are most likely diplomatic or court type swords, but there lingers the potential number which were likely made as souvenirs hawked at durbars.

My comments on the examples of these swords with 'hunt scenes' should have noted, 'I personally have not seen such scenes on sword blades,but have seen the array of animal images'.
In the noteworthy quip of an esteemed colleague, "a sword with floral motif engraved on its blade, does not mean it was carried by a gardener!"

Here it seems the hunt is carried out with lances and bow and arrow, which seem more feasible weapons, while the sword (and katar) are more likely for the 'closure', as the prey is surrounded. The miniatures depicting the sword in use was more of a heroic analogy it would seem, but not saying not done with actual combat weapons.

It is interesting to see the often elaborate attention given to blades used in European hunting, which is of course much like the context of India and other cultures in its status oriented nature.

Actually the use of motifs on the European hunting hangers often had to do with various regalia and talismanic devices and symbology. The talismanic part of the motif would suggest that the dangers inherent in the hunt were of concern, and there is the prospect of invocation for success.

While clearly these cannot be equated with the scenes on these blades, it seems notable of the importance of the hunt in most cultures.
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Old 15th February 2022, 09:03 PM   #20
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Hunting scenes on aristocratic weaponry go back a long long way!
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Old 16th February 2022, 09:17 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
... Here it seems the hunt is carried out with lances and bow and arrow ...
... and a firearm may also be seen; an interesting detail.
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Old 16th February 2022, 03:49 PM   #22
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Speaking of Cathey's concerns that there are a great deal of images out there but not so many (supporting) texts, here is a beautiful katar with a rather comprehensive description.
I will call this link a courtesy of member Runjeet Singh, as i spotted this example in an Indian 'blog' where he signs the post. I am certain Runjeet would have certainly posted such info in here; only that he has been absent from the forum for the last few months.

https://hinducosmos.tumblr.com/post/...an-india-circa

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Old 17th February 2022, 12:28 AM   #23
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Default Shikargah Tulwar

Hi Guys

Actually, it was Runjeet Singh (a fellow member of the Heritage Arms Society) that recently corrected me in relation to this sword and advised that it is a hunting sword (Shikargah) and was as the name suggests used for hunting. Runjeet has supplied some references already, however as you can see there are numerous examples out there, but detailed information is far less numerous.

The references I have found at this early stage are:
ALEXANDER David G. Islamic Arms and Armor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art Pp 219
BLACKMORE, Howard L. Hunting Weapons from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century Pp 552-553
W. G. Archer, Indian Painting in Bundi and Kotah (London, 195 9), Pls. 22, 31
EGERTON, WIBRAHIM Illustrated Handbook of Indian Arms Nepal, Burma, Thailand Malaya Pp131, 132
FIGIEL, Leo S. The Dr. Leon S. Figiel Collection of Mogul Arms August 24th 1998 pp 18-19
FIGIEL Leo S. M.D. On Damascus Steel Pp 60-61
HENDLEY, Thomas Holbein Damascening on Steel Or Iron as Practise PP (II) Plate 1
HENDLEY Thomas H Memorials of the Jeyppore Exhibition 1883 Vol 1 PP 10, 11, Plate X
Nick Evangelista: The encyclopedia of the sword, published by Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995, page 537
PANT, Gayatri Nath INDIAN ARMS AND ARMOUR Volume II (Swords and Daggers) Pp 76, 78, Plate XV, Plate XVII
OSBORNE W. G. The Court and Camp of Runjeet Sing (London, 1840), p. 183.
TIRRI Anthony C Islamic Weapons Pp 207, pp 324
RICKETTS, Howard and Philipe Missillier. SPLENDOUR DES ARMES ORIENTALES Pp 125
REDDY Ravinda Arms & Armour of India, Nepal & Sri Lanka Pp 105, 354,355
STONE-G-C-Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms & Armour Pp 552-553

I now have about 8 additional books on order, one devoted to Islamic Hunting Arms so hopefully one of these will help. If anyone stumbles on anything else, please let me know.

Cheers Cathey
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Old 17th February 2022, 03:19 AM   #24
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"...No mention has been made of Oriental swords because no swords were designed in the east solely for the hunt. "

"...The sword seen almost exclusively in Indian and Persian illustrations of the hunt is the curved talwar or shamshir, the most common of Eastern swords.
The blades of some of these are decorated with animal or hunting scenes and have been named as hunting swords 'shamshir shikargar', but nothing else distinguishes them from the rest. Judging from Indian and Persian paintings, hunters wielded them with great effect, leaning from their saddles to deliver great slashing blows which almost cut an animal in two".

"...the painting of Umed Singh, Raja of Bundi, N.India (1749-1773) in the Victoria & Albert Museum (I.S.554-1952)( shows him on horseback slicing the throat of a giant boar with his talwar, having unsuccessfully attacked it with bows and arrows. Another Bundi painting of c.1820 depicts a huntress, a lady of the court, striking down a tiger with a wide bladed tulwar".

"Hunting Weapons: From the Middle Ages to
the 20th Century"
Howard L.Blackmore
Dover edition, 2000, pp.47-48
from 1971 edition.
Clearly shamshirs and tulwars were used in hunting. The blades of some of these have the shikargar designation from the animal and hunt scenes, for which they are named hunting swords.


I searched through "The Indian Sword", Philip Rawson, 1969....but there is no mention whatsoever on shikarga, nor hunting scenes on blades etc.

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Old 17th February 2022, 09:10 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc View Post

For a blade to have good edge retention, it is very important to have an optimized mix between hardness and toughness. Hardness and toughness are inversely dependent. As hardness goes up, toughness goes down. If hardness is too high, the edge is prone to chipping. If toughness is too high, the edge is prone to bending.

Hardness is generally achieved through heat treatment, as raw blade steels tend to be rather soft (but tough)....
True, but blades can be differentially heat treated with tougher spines and harder edge. A hard edge steel can be inserted into tougher steel in the main part of the weapon too. Both done historically. A bent blade can be straightened in the field. A broken one cannot.

Carving pre-treatment would make that treatment rather difficult, as you note. Especially if the carvings come very close to the edge.

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Old 17th February 2022, 12:36 PM   #26
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Hi,
Europe has a long tradition of depicting scenes of the hunt and of trophies of the hunt on weapons that are particularly designed for hunting. Perhaps it may be the case in other cultures?
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 17th February 2022, 10:37 PM   #27
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FROM: "Arms and Armour at the Jaipur Court"
Robert Elgood, New Delhi, 2015
In this resoundingly important reference, it is noted that Shikargah was a Persian term for a Mughal hunting sword, and refers to miniatures showing the use of swords to hunt animals.

Naturally, we do not know that these swords for hunting were specifically designated and decorated with hunting or animal scenes, just that swords were indeed used for this purpose. As noted in my previous post, Blackmore states that swords used for hunting were the same as those in general use.

Elgood notes further that the shikargah term was "subsequently applied commercially, quite wrongly, to 19th century decorative swords with chiselled animals down the length of the blade,also referred to as shamshir shikargah.


He notes that the Kashmiri swords with animals and men (as noted by Egerton in 1880) with gold relief were made in the Punjab, and were decorative never made for use.
Apparently Mughal hunters considered that a true hunting sword should have dark hilt and mounts and that gold or silver were too conspicuous and would frighten the quarry.

In the footnotes in the text (#319) :
Akbar slaying tigers near Gwalior in 1561 (painted 1600) V&A museum
#320 Hendley, 'Memorials of the Jeypore Exhibition ' 1883, pl. X

These two examples of shikargah are as noted of latter 19th c. but are of far too high quality (in my opinion) to simply be decorative souvenirs.
Part of the diplomatic pageantry and ceremony during the Raj were the durbars of course, but the hunt was a much celebrated event. I would suggest these kinds of weapons may well have been presented in accord with these.

I looked into "The Use of Flora and Fauna Imagery in Mughal Decorative Arts" (Stephan Markel, "Marg", Vol.50, #3, March 1997) to see if there was anything specific to hunt scenes etc. but there was not. It was more to the allegorical and metaphorical aspects of various animals...naming lions (early 17thc) then horses, nilgai (blue grey Indian antelopes), camels, elephants, parrots, rams, and goats, with these referring to zoomorphic hilts.

From : By My Sword and Shield", E.Jaiwent Paul, New Delhi, 1995, p.110;
"......the custom of giving gifts at the durbar (court)of local rulers and at every public reception of a guest, has also contributed to the demand for ornamental arms. At the Mughal court the bestowal of weapons was a mark of high distinction and a beautiful sword or dagger at the belt of a courtier indicated his position at the court, signaling imperial approval".
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Old 18th February 2022, 03:51 AM   #28
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Quote:
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"... subsequently applied commercially, quite wrongly, to 19th century decorative swords with chiselled animals down the length of the blade,also referred to as shamshir shikargah."
Hi all! Just popping in again to give what info I can here. First of all, in my opinion as someone who mainly studies indian arms, I believe this quote from Elgood (that I have quoted above from Jim's post) is the most important thing to keep in mind here. That is to say that, principally, these aren't hunting swords, or swords with some deep hunting-related symbolism behind them, but rather just swords that happen to have hunting scenes carved into the blades. Most of them were made simply as high quality tourist pieces, and indeed most seem to have succeeded to this point - even to this day westerners seem to get consistently ensnared by the concept that these swords were of deep importance, commensurate with the intensity of their carvings.

My intention here being not to tear down or disregard how cool or impressive the amount of detail in some of these swords can be, but rather just a message of warning not to conflate ultimately vapid tourist bait with those decorations that have legitimate spiritual/religious significance (ok I'll admit calling these swords "vapid" is a bit harsh, but I hope that you all get what I mean ).

Anyways, onto some new-ish information for this discussion, I'd like to point out some linguistic info. As the phrase "shamshir shikargar(h)" would imply, this phrase is likely of a persian or heavily persian-influenced origin (what with the use of the term shamshir as opposed to tulwar). Of note, however, is that even in modern hindi, the term "shikar" is most often used to refer to the action of hunting or a hunter, with "shikargar" indeed likely being an older/archaic term for the latter. The modern term in hindi for a hunter, meanwhile, is funnily enough even more persianized; "shikari". The "i" at the end serving the same purpose as the i in say, afghani, iraqi, punjabi, etc., i.e. designating that something is of/comes from that place. In the case of "shikari", this would mean they are a "person of the hunt", literally speaking. I would be willing to guess this is what the "gar(h)" at the end of "shikargar(h)" means as well.

One possible explanation for this relates to the root of the verb "to do" in hindi being "kar", which could potentially be misheard and colonially transliterated as "gar" instead, especially when spoken quickly by a native speaker (someone saying something along the lines of "(this is a) shamshir shikar kar" - a shamishir that one is to hunt with). This is also why I prefer using the spelling of "shikargar", as I feel "shikargah" is phonetically too vague and, likely, is the result of someone mishearing the last consonant of the original term.

Finally, however, I will note that all of this linguistics talk is pure speculation and conjecture. I am, compared to an actual, professional linguist, purely a "linguistic dilettante" of sorts, and though I find the area fascinating I am not at all fluent in Hindi or any other south asian language. Rather, all of this is built off of the 1 and a half years of hindi that I took while at university .
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Old 18th February 2022, 04:49 AM   #29
Jim McDougall
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Nihl, thanks very much for these interesting insights. While I am far from being a linguist as well, I find these kinds of looks into etymology and transliteration fascinating.
What I found in Pant (op. cit. 1980, p.76) was the listing for SHAMSHIR SHIKARGAHA, where he notes (footnote 271) that G.C.Stone (p.553) wrongly spells it as 'shamshir shikargar'.

The Mughal courts were profoundly influenced by the Persians of course, and often did, in high station, carry shamshirs. Here I would note that the term 'shamshir' was of course quite collectively used in Persian for saber, much in the same manner that talwar was used in India for 'sword' in similar manner.
There are suggestions that the word tulwar is also of Persian root.

Many Indian tulwars (Indo-Persian hilt) are termed 'shamshir' (see my post #27 examples from Elgood), while there are shamshir style hilts (the one attached believed Deccani) which are termed tulwar.
In the Native cavalry of the Raj, even the British cavalry sabers carried by them were termed tulwars.

I take the opportunity here to correct my comment in previous post about "The Indian Sword" P.Rawson, 1969.......where I said there was no mention of shikargah......and later found this salient note on p.30;

"...all the sword forms known from the North-West, both from works of art and surviving examples,are versions of the talwar. Although during the late 18th c. the cities of the North-West passed under Sikh and Rajput rule, the sword made and used there remained the talwar.
In the ornament of the weapons however, the craftsmen returned to Hindu motives for inspiration. For example at Lahore, whereas under the Mughlas SWORD BLADES HAD BEEN CHISELED WITH ROWS OF ANIMAL AND HUMAN FIGURES IN PERSIAN STYLE, under the Sikhs the same type of chiseled work was carried on, but the figures were of Hindu origin such as avatars of Vishnu, or the planetary divinities".

This entry would suggest that swords with these chiseled scenes in the blades were indeed viable weapons as produced in these Punjabi regions under Mughal rule, and continued using Hindu motif under the Sikhs and Rajputs.

I found online an example of a 'kirach' stated from Lahore from late 18th c. with Mughal 'shikargah motif. The kirach is simply a tulwar with a straight blade which ticks forward at the tip.

Also, for further reference, which I have not yet consulted:
"Sikh Heritage: Ethos & Relics" by Bhayee Sikander Singh and Roopinder Singh, p.146
A tulwar of Guru Gobind Singh of 18th c. with hunting scenes, which seems contradictory to the previous note on Sikhs using Hindu motif.


Attached: Deccani tulwar
Lahore kirach with shikarga blade
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Old 18th February 2022, 07:01 AM   #30
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A quite compelling argument that these tulwars with elaborately decorated blades were NOT actually used for hunting but were merely presentation swords is the condition of their edge.

All the blades of this kind that I have seen, as well as the examples presented here, do not show any traces of use and resharpening on their edges, but have the intact, original edge geometry.
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