Wootz hilted Afghan Pulouar
Afghanistan, Pashtun area – 19th century
Materials: Steel, Iron, Silver, Resin
The ‘Pulouar‘ or ‘Puloar‘ is associated with present 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, which is filled with tiny balls of resin is a traditional feature and makes the typical rattling sound when wielding it. The mid section between the quillons is decorated with a silver flower petal applique on both sides. The pommel features a small knob which once held a lanyard. The grip and most forward langet are made of high contrast wootz steel which is clearly visible and combines well with the blade.
Of early Islamic ‘Kilij‘ shape, possibly imported from India, or locally made in Indian fashion including the mimicking of the 16th and 17th century European blades. 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 shows some fine forging construction. The blade is entirely unmarked and could date from the 17th or 18th century, with the hilt being added later. The point of balance is about twelve centimeters from the base.
Condition: Very good, the blade has some light pitting. Comes without scabbard.
Blade spine thickness: 4.5mm
Blade length: 64cm
Total length: 77cm
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