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Old 4th May 2021, 12:41 PM   #1
kronckew
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Default Indian wotsit -Keratch?

Just aquired this Indian tulwar hilted sword. It's on it's way to me at the moment, should have it in a few days. It's straight, double edged and sharp both edges to the prominent ricasso. Very pointy too. No apparent markings in the photos. Dark patinated hilt, appears to be undecorated, pointy midsection of the grip suited for gloves, so i'm guessing northern. Hilt pommel disk has a spike with a damaged end. Blade is NOT decorated, and remains in the rough state after being filed into shape by the original bladesmith, and left unpolished. Surprising since the blade shows distinct signs of being pattern welded steel in a fairly uniform bird's eye pattern )I'll use FeCl on it after it gets here to confirm.


So appears to be a 'munitions grade' user rather than a parade weapon, but made from a good steel possibly better than wootz for combat. Shall I call this a keratch? If not, what?


more details on arrival.
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Old 4th May 2021, 12:48 PM   #2
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Old 4th May 2021, 02:04 PM   #3
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I'm far from being an authority on Indian arms, but I have suspicions about the authenticity of this sword: the blade seems of recent manufacture to me. But as I said, I'm no expert.
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Old 4th May 2021, 02:13 PM   #4
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I think this is acidic damast (sorry, I don't know how to say it correctly in English. If someone understands me now - I will be grateful for the correct English term).
Polishing can remove residues, and new etching will do nothing.

By the way, the Udaipuri hilt type

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Old 4th May 2021, 03:34 PM   #5
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i think you may have meant 'acid etched'. A pattern of resist is transferred to the object, usually repeating along the object, which is then dipped in acid eating into the bare parts and not the resist coated ones.



In true pattern welding the pattern goes all the way thru. I'll polish a patch and find out. Hand rasping to hide an etched pattern rather than just using a power grinder seems a bit unusual. Even a bit of hand sanding would eliminate a botched etch better.
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Old 4th May 2021, 11:08 PM   #6
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Those blank spots on the blade are curious.
Usually I see this pooled, or bullseye pattern used in contemporary work, but this isn't contemporary I think.
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Old 4th May 2021, 11:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Those blank spots on the blade are curious.
Usually I see this pooled, or bullseye pattern used in contemporary work, but this isn't contemporary I think.

I suspect the 'blank spots' aren't, it's just artifacts from my converting to greyscale to emphasize the patterning and 'optimizing' the photo to HDR. I'll take better ones eventually when it arrives.
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Old 4th May 2021, 11:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew View Post
i think you may have meant 'acid etched'. A pattern of resist is transferred to the object, usually repeating along the object, which is then dipped in acid eating into the bare parts and not the resist coated ones.
Thanks, Kronckew
Yes, I wanted to say it


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In true pattern welding the pattern goes all the way thru. I'll polish a patch and find out.
There is no pattern distortion on the bevels of the blade.
With pattern welding, there should be distortions of the pattern in these places.
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Old 6th May 2021, 08:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russel View Post
I'm far from being an authority on Indian arms, but I have suspicions about the authenticity of this sword: the blade seems of recent manufacture to me. But as I said, I'm no expert.
Yeah this is a definitely a modern blade attached to an old hilt. Damascus blades historically were used on Indian swords in the late 18th (I believe? some greater expert please correct me if wrong) to 19th centuries, but they were of a very simple low-layer pattern, that actually did resemble flowing water like wootz did. Modern high-layer damascus blades like the one in this post only appeared in the 20th century I believe.

In regards to the hilt, funnily enough, it's relatively modern too. This hilt form is thought to be Rajasthani/Udaipuri in origin, and it developed during the 19th century, which, although 200 years ago, was during the time when India was being heavily colonized and thus many martial things (including swords & sword hilts) were becoming more symbolic and ritual in nature, and less based on practicality/usefulness.

Name-game wise, I'd just call it a sword lol. I don't think the assemblage is serious enough that it deserves semantic arguing. Kirach probably works best. Or just call it a straight-bladed tulwar
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