Sabre (Talwar) with Scabbard (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

18th-19th century
Indian
Arms And Armor
Metalwork
gold, silver, steel, lead, solder, iron pigment, resinous material, bedding material, rubies, emeralds, diamonds; wooden scabbard covered with velvet and overlaid with gold
South India, India
Overall (sabre): 33 1/2 × 4 × 2 5/8 in. (85.09 × 10.16 × 6.67 cm)
Overall (scabbard): 31 × 2 1/2 × 1 in. (78.74 × 6.35 × 2.54 cm)
68.8.134a-b
The long, curved shape of the Indian talwar’s blade was likely influenced by Persian and Central Asian swords. Refined under the Mughals, the talwar was adopted by India’s nobles and became part of the royal regalia of most Indian rulers. This example’s lavish hilt, which is encrusted with gems set into nearly pure gold, and its delicate gold scabbard fittings suggest that it was meant for ceremonial, rather than military, use.
Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon
Dye, Joseph M. The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. London: Philipp Wilson, 2001. (cat. no. 199, pp. 423-424, 524)
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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