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  • DESCRIPTION

Title: Talwār

Classification: Sword

Artist(s): Unknown

Date: 17th–18th century

Dimensions: L. 35.875 in.

Museum number: 256

Physical location: Section 2 (Central Hall): Implements of War

Inscriptions: (Scroll down)

The hilt of this talwār is comparable in shape and size to swords manufactured in the Punjab during the nineteenth century. While the blade is of a very high quality, the hilt strangely does not carry any decoration. One possibility is that the original hilt may have been stripped off and this simple one attached by its previous owner at a later date. The blade has a spear-point tip, and is similar in shape to certain Persian and Indian blades. Both sides of the blade have gold inscriptions with each line in a separate cartouche. The inscription on one side indicates that the sword was sent to India from Iran. The style of the calligraphy and the content of the first two cartouches close to the hilt on side 2 seem to be done by a different hand. These were probably added by a local Indian engraver whose skills were no match to the superior rendition of the Persian craftsman.

Side 1:

Agar khāhī keh rūz-e razm bar dushman shavī ghālib
(If you wish to overpower your enemy on the day of combat)

Bakun bar tīgh-e khud nām-e ‘Alī ibn-e Abī Ṭālib
(Inscribe onto your sword the name of ‘Alī, son of Abī Ṭālib)

Rūzī keh hīch kas nabuvad dād-ras mara
(The day when there is no one to rescue me)

Yā Murtaża Alī to beh faryād-ras mara
(O Murtaża ‘Alī, be the regressor of my grievances)

Side 2:

Naṣr-um-min-Allah-ī wa fatḥ-hun qarīb
(Victory from Allah and an imminent conquest)

Adriknī yā ‘Alī ‘Alaih-is-salām
(Come save me O ‘Alī ‘Alaih-is-salām)

Mīr Murād ‘Alī Khān Sarkār Tātar

Za rāh-e dūstī shamshīr-e Iran
(As an expression of friendship, a sword of Iran)

Sū-e dīwān farastādeh ast Iran
(Sent from Iran to the dīwān)

Yā Qāhir-ul ‘udūv, yā Wālī-ul walī
(O subduer of enemies, O guardian of saints)

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