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A Zulfaqar style tegha sabre

Number

3013

Origin

India (probably Deccan)

Time

19th century

Technique

Forging

Material

Steel

Dimensions

Overall length 775 mm; blade length 680 mm

The strongly curved, single-edged blade is made of plain steel with a long ricasso and a pronounced yelman. There are one broad fuller and two narrow fullers on each side. The blade is expanded and forked at the final third of its length. The cutting edge and yelman are serrated. The purbiya style hilt is made of plain steel. The S-shaped knuckle-bow terminates in a bud. No scabbard.

COMMENT. Tegha is the common name for Indian heavy sabres with a massive curved blade and mainly Indo-Muslim hilt. Muslims, Rajputs and Marathas widely used these weapons. This unusual and rare sabre represents one of the Indian versions of the legendary sword associated with the Prophet Muhammad and Imam Ali. It reflects two different interpretations of the shape of Zulfaqar since its blade is not only forked but also serrated. The alternative name for Indian swords with a forked tip is sapola (Pant, G.N. Indian Arms and Armour. Vol. II: Swords and Daggers. – New Delhi, 1980. – P. 34; Tirri, A.C. Islamic Weapons: Maghrib to Moghul. – Miami, 2003. – P. 313). In addition, there are special names for Indian swords with serrated blades. The sword with a blade serrated on one side is called arapushta, while the sword with a blade serrated on both sides is called aradam (Pant, G.N. Indian Arms and Armour. Vol. II: Swords and Daggers. – New Delhi, 1980. – P. 34; Tirri, A.C. Islamic Weapons: Maghrib to Moghul. – Miami, 2003. – P. 313). For other examples with similar-shaped blades, see Карлова Е.М., Пастухов А.М., Попов А.Ю., Успенская Е.Н. Смертельная красота. Оружие Индии и Китая: Каталог выставки. – Москва, 2015. – С. 230, №147; Geibig, A., Grieb, H. Kunstvolle Waffen des Orients: Ausgewählte Blankwaffen der Sammlung Werner Uhlmann vom Maghreb bis nach Indien / Sonderdruck aus dem Jahrbuch der Coburger Landesstiftung. – Coburg, 2015. – S. 55, no. 84; Paul, E.J. Arms and Armour: Traditional Weapons of India. – New Delhi, 2005. – P. 63; Pendergrass, R. Mythological Swords. – Published by Lulu.com, United States, 2015. – P. 81; Tirri, A.C. Islamic Weapons: Maghrib to Moghul. – Miami, 2003. – P. 310, fig. 229.

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. 356-357, №135.