Swords: P1803 British infantry hilt with Persian Wootz blade

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Swords: P1803 British infantry hilt with Persian Wootz blade

Postby Michael2 » 14 Sep 2010 23:21

Probably one of the more interesting swords that I still have. Speculation at this stage but this sabre might have been made for someone there during the British 1801 Egypt campaign.

The cartouche is in Farsi and says "Sarkar Hakim Khan". Sarkar is a military title, Hakim a name and Khan is a title.

Post sword cartouche 1803.jpg
Post sword cartouche 1803.jpg (51.77 KiB) Viewed 570 times


The pattern of wootz is Persian and as you can see the pattern over the entire blade, I was advised that the blade is almost certainly Persian.

post sword blade 1803.jpg
post sword blade 1803.jpg (68.84 KiB) Viewed 570 times



Although the short ricasso would exclude a Persian origin, I was advised that the sabres from Bukhara (part of Iran) exhibit this feature and that the ricasso would suggest the blade was made for someone with a European taste.

The hilt appears to be an early style of the 1803 hilt with the “GR” and “Light Infantry” bugle.

post sword hilt side 1803.jpg
post sword hilt side 1803.jpg (27.6 KiB) Viewed 570 times


The blade is 30 3/4 inches across the curve, 1 1/4 inch at the ricasso, and just a shade under 1/4 inch thick at the ricasso. Although the blade has no fuller, it much heavier than other sabres that I have (even those with longer blades) and the blade thickness continues further down the length of the blade.

post sword full 1803.jpg
post sword full 1803.jpg (19.53 KiB) Viewed 570 times


Overall, it was suggested that it is possible that the entire sword was made in the Middle East. I was told that during the late 18th/early 19th century centers in Khorassan, Qazvin and Isfahan in Persia increased production of wootz blades to meet the demand and that this blade is likely one of these.

So, overall, a sword that has a number of features you would see when looking at the hilt of the 1803 British infantry pattern with a Persian wootz blade.

Michael
Michael2
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