A pattern welded Afghan Pulouar
Afghanistan, Pashtun area – 19th century.
Materials: White metal, Steel, Iron, Resin.
The ‘Pulouar‘ or ‘Puloar‘ is associated with current day Afghanistan, in fact well known among the Pashtun. However most of these were purely made to be functional, some examples were well decorated and of fine quality. The outlines are typical and are commonly seen on Afghan and Persian arms. The quillons are pointing forward and mostly depict stylized beasts or flowers. The pommel is often disc shaped or round and filled with small pieces of resin to make the sword rattle when being wielded. Most hilts are made from several casted pieces welded together with brass. The most of these date from the early 19th century, but ran out of fashion in the early 20th century. The blades are often of Persian or Indian origin and feature similarities with ‘Talwar‘ blades.
As mentioned, in typical Afghan shape and welded together from several parts. The quillons resemble the style of a stylized ‘Makara’ which we often encounter on Indian hilts. The grip is sectioned in several grooves which originally could have been covered in metal wire to maintain a better grip. The open work pommel and decorated knuckle bow are an interesting feature. The mid section between the quillons is decorated with a white metal flower petal applique on both sides. The pommel features a small knob which once held a lanyard. All parts are made of pattern welded steel which is slightly visible and combines well with the blade.
Of Indian shape, possibly imported from India, or locally made in Indian fashion including the mimicking of the Genoan ‘eyelash‘ marks. The blade is curved, provided with a short ricasso and has a flat spine ending in a typical ‘yelman‘ creating a false edge. The fuller was chiseled out on both sides and runs down fading towards the tip. The blade is of fine quality and was pattern welded of which the pattern is clearly visible consistently. On the forte we notice a small faded mark which could indicate the blade smiths personal mark. The point of balance is about fifteens centimeters from the base.
Condition: Very good, well preserved blade and hilt, the blade has one worn part on the cutting edge. Comes without scabbard.
Blade spine thickness: 6mm
Blade length: 81.5cm
Total length: 95cm
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