Indian Talwar sword circa 1750-1820s


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Standard iron constructed pattern sword used for many decades by forces mainly on the Indian continent. The word talwar originated from the Sanskrit word taravāri (Sanskrit: तरवारि) which means “one-edged sword”. Talwar also means ”sword” in Hindi, Bengali and Urdu.

Like many swords from around the world with an etymology derived from a term meaning simply ‘sword’, the talwar has in scholarship, and in museum and collector usage, acquired a more specific meaning. Unfortunately, South Asian swords, while showing a rich diversity of forms, suffer from relatively poor dating (so developmental history is obscure) and a lack of precise nomenclature and classification.

The typical talwar is a type of sabre, characterized by a curved blade (without the radical curve of some Persian swords), possessing an all-metal hilt with integral quillons and a disc-shaped pommel (sometimes called the ‘Indo-Muslim hilt’ or ‘standard Indian hilt’). Talwars possessing only slightly curved blades can be called sirohi.

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