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South-Indian Spearhead SOLD

17th century



Overall length
55 cm

Blade length
23 cm

Materials
steel, iron, brass

Dating
17th century


Origin
Tamil Nadu


A South Indian spearhead with a strong straight, double-edged blade.

The leaf-shaped foliage has a pronounced mid-back flanked on either side by broad fullers. The edge slopes down from a slightly raised area to give it extra strength. The steel shows some signs of a laminated, forged folded construction. At the beginning of the blade is an elegantly styled floral engraving.

The base of the blade has an elegant V shape that emerges from the hollow steel shaft. This shaft is reinforced with raised ribs and decorated with grooves. It is made of a thick iron sheet solder joined. The base is a semi-domed structure and the end of the shaft is serrated.

Condition

In good overall condition. Minimal bend at the very tip. Surface in very neat condition with pronounced edges.

Similar examples

An identical shaft appears on a spearhead in the Government Museum of Chennai, accession number 2235 and dated to the 16th or 17th century.

The Metropolitan Museum has a different type of spearhead, but with a similar serrated shaft edge attributed to 17th century Tanjore. See accession number 36.25.1930. It came from the famous London dealer W.O. Oldman who bought some of these pieces from Walhouse, after the disbanding of the Tanjore armory in the 19th century. Ex George Cameron Stone collection, bequeathed to the museum in 1936.


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