A pulouar sabre




Afghanistan (or Central India)


Early 19th century


Forging, piercing


Steel, gold, brass


Overall length 940 mm; blade length 818 mm

An Afghan (or Indian) pulouar of conventional form. The curved, single-edged blade is made of plain steel with a ricasso and a false edge as well as one narrow fuller along the spine on each side. The steel hilt is formed with a ribbed bulbous grip, a hollow hemispherical pommel, elongated triangular langets and down-turned quillons terminating in highly stylized dragon heads. The pommel, quillons and langets are finely pierced. The faceted dome of the pommel is topped by a small ring to attach a wrist strap or a tassel. In addition, the hilt is fitted with a steel knuckle-bow pierced with scrolling foliage. The hilt is attached to the tang by a steel rivet, having on one side a brass washer formed as an eight-petaled rosette. No scabbard.

COMMENT. Pulouar is the traditional Afghan sabre, which is actually a version of the Indian talwar. The metal pulouar hilt consists of a straight bulbous grip, a hemispherical or spherical hollow pommel, elongated triangular langets, and the quillons are turned downward and terminated in highly stylized dragon heads, which reflects the Iranian influence. The pommel is surmounted by a small ring to attach a tassel or a wrist strap. The pommel, quillons and langets are often pierced. Sometimes there is a relatively broad knuckle-bow, which also can be pierced. The pulouar blades tend to be more elaborately fullered than those of the talwar blades. The sabre type was common not only in Afghanistan itself, but also in those regions of India where there were large Pathan (Pashtun) communities. 

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. 278-279, №101.