The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Sword with scabbard
  • Sword with scabbard
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Jaipur, India
  • early 18th century
    17th century (blade)
  • Gold, steel and enamel, enamelled
  • Length: 93.5 cm
    Weight: 1 kg, without scabbard
  • OA1432
  • Oriental Armoury
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • The hilt is a tour de force of the enameller’s art; fashioned entirely in gold, the grip is formed as a horse’s head, enamelled in naturalistic colours, while the guard features richly-enamelled monsters’ and tigers’ heads. The blade, although purporting to be of seventeenth-century European origin, is in fact more likely to have been made in India. Straight multi-fullered back-edged blades like this one were predominantly a European style, but were highly prized in the East. There was accordingly an active export trade in them from Europe (where by this date they had become relatively unfashionable) to India. Such was the demand that many blades of this type were copied by local bladesmiths, complete with (sometimes garbled) European-style inscriptions and makers’ marks.