Date: 19th Century
Size: 34 inches
An interesting ’Shikargarh Shamshir’ hunting sword of Panjabi provenance, most probably from the Lahore workshops.
The steel hilt is complete with knuckle guard and is decorated with thick silver overlay in geometric and floral design, which remains almost 100% intact with only minor losses.
The distinctly unusual blade is full of character and charm with either side of the blade featuring contrasting decorative styles.
One side of the blade features a full-length inscription which is most likely a dedication or salutation as ‘Sri’ is repeated throughout, the body of the inscription remains undeciphered which allows room for further research. The base of the blade is decorated in floral silver Koftgari work creating a border around the langet which has been well executed and is also chiselled with a cartouche containing an Arabic inscription.
The reverse side of the blade is chiselled in classic floral and fauna style synonymous to the “Shikargarh” type of Indian arms with elephant and deer amidst flowering foliage in hunting scenes. The presence of the hunting scenes indicates that, at one point, this sword was intended for hunting. Additionally, the sharp curvature of the blade would have made it an ideal weapon to use on horseback while hunting wild boar, a popular tradition amongst the warrior races of India.
This style of blade was produced in both Panjab and Kashmir, the silver Koftgari overlay, especially the large rosettes decorating the hilt are attributed to Panjab and are also common in Rajasthan.