Deccani silver Tegha

An Indian 'Tegha' sword with true silver inlayed hilt. Deccan, 17th century.

Details of this item

Price

-

Status

Reserved

Region

South Asia (India, Sri-Lanka)
(Deccan, India)

Period

17th century

Materials

Steel, Silver, Iron.

Price

Reserved

Status

Reserved

Region

South Asia (India, Sri-Lanka)

(Deccan, India)

Period

17th century

Materials

Steel, Silver, Iron.

Description

The ‘Tegha’ is a typical sword which originates from India and was developed to cut through fabric armor and often used for executions. It can be distinghuised from the regular ‘talwar’ due to its relatively shorter blade with stronger curve and rather wide blade proportions. The ‘Tegha’ is often heavier then other swords to provide maximum downward force to cleave armor or opponents.

The hilt:
A very fine large hilt with typical Islamic Indian outlines, known as ‘Karan shahi’ The rounded quillons and medial ridge on the grip are a typical feature seen on Deccani swords. The disc shaped pommel was attached to the knuckle guard which features a ‘makara’ or tiger head with silver inlayed tiger stripes. The entire hilt is lavishly decorated with fine silver inlay floral motives and arabesque patterns. The pommel itself is decorated with four lotus leaves emerging from a background of foliage.

The blade:
Of early form, curved and showing a fine pattern welding structure which I decided to keep it as found. The forte is typically Indian and blunt on both sides, the cutting edge emerges approximately six centimeters from the hilt and runs down the entire blade. The spine starts flat and ends up in a yelman showing a false edge. The blade shows three dimples, a feature that some believe represents the count of slayed victims.

Deccani silver Tegha

Condition

Very good condition, some minimal ware on the silver inlay.

Dimensions

Hilt length: 18cm

Blade length: 70.8cm

Blade spine thickness: 6.4mm

Total length: 82cm

Weight

1300g.

Comparable items

Provenance

Dutch private collection

Literature

– Salam Kaoukji, Precious Indian Weapons and other Princely Accoutrements: the al-Sabah Collection, Thames & Hudson, 2017, Nos. 8 & 9, pp. 48-51. for a similar style of decoration.