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An unusually large aradam sword

Number

3447

Origin

India (probably Deccan)

Time

Late 18th or early 19th century

Technique

Forging, etching

Material

Steel

Dimensions

Overall length 855 mm; blade length 720 mm

An Indian sword with an unusually massive blade. The straight, single-edged blade is made of plain steel with a T-section spine, a ricasso, a false edge and two pairs of narrow fullers on each side. It is partly serrated on both sides and features a triangular-shaped narrow tip with a serrated base. Each side of the blade is etched with a hardly noticeable design imitating the watered steel surface pattern. The udaipuri type steel hilt is fitted with an S-shaped knuckle-bow terminating in a makara monster head. No scabbard.

COMMENT. Aradam is the general name for Indian swords and sabres with blades serrated along both edges. The word "aradam" derives from the Sanskrit "ara", which means "saw". The serrated blade was intended for cutting mail armour and causing severe lacerations to a victim. The presented sword looks rather strange and intimidating, although very broad and heavy blades were often found in India. The unusually large proportions and unique shape of the blade suggest that sword was manufactured not for use as a fighting weapon, but rather for demonstration purposes.

literature: Сиваченко Е. Сталь и Золото: Восточное оружие из собрания Feldman Family Museum = Steel and Gold: Eastern Weapons from the Feldman Family Museum Collection. – Киев, 2019. – С. 396-397, №153.