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copper, brass, steel
South India, Kerala
This is a specific type of tulwar called a Kayamkulam vaal.
A rather rare Indian sword from the South West coast of India referred to as a 'Kayamkulam Vaal'. Used by the rulers and soldiers of Nair aristocracy (mostly in Travancore), in the Kayamkulam princely state of India. The hilt is most likely made of copper and unlike most examples this one is fitted with a hand guard. The sabre blade is of European form with one fuller near the back edge and bilaterally marked with a crescent and three stars. Porbably a German trade blade. Strangely I have yet to see a blade in good condition on this type of weapon. The sword is in good condition with a puncture hole in the hilt near the pommel and obvious corrosion to the blade. No scabbard. Below, an engraving (1847) of Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma seated on his throne with his hand resting on a Kayamkulam vaal.
- A similar sword is kept at The National Museum, Edinburgh, Scotland – bought to the Paris Exhibition of 1855 by the East Indian Company. The sword is illustrated on the rear sleeve of Hindu Arms & Ritual by Robert Elgood.
- A few swords on display in the Mattancherry Palace, Kochi, Kerala
- A few swords on the display in the Arakkal Museum, Kannur
- One example with straight blade on display in the Government Museum Bangalore
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