A CEREMONIAL SWORD OF THE NIZAM OF HYDERABAD
A CEREMONIAL SWORD OF THE NIZAM OF HYDERABAD
A CEREMONIAL SWORD OF THE NIZAM OF HYDERABAD
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A CEREMONIAL SWORD OF THE NIZAM OF HYDERABAD

HYDERABAD, CENTRAL INDIA, 1880-1900

Details
A CEREMONIAL SWORD OF THE NIZAM OF HYDERABAD
HYDERABAD, CENTRAL INDIA, 1880-1900
Inscribed steel blade, gold hilt set with diamonds, rubies and emeralds often mounted in silver
38 ¾ ins. (98.5 cm.) long; hilt 9 ¼ ins. (23.5 cm.)
Provenance
Nizams of Hyderabad
Literature
Jaffer 2013, pp.230-32, 233, 273, no.94
Exhibited
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 2014, pp.84-85
Victoria and Albert Museum, London 2015, p.115, no.64
The Miho Museum, Koka 2016, p.141, no.106
Grand Palais, Paris 2017, pp.266-67, no.198
The Doge’s Palace, Venice 2017, p.283, no.194
The Palace Museum, Beijing 2018, pp.298-99, no. 198
de Young Legion of Honor, San Francisco 2018, p. 131, no. 64

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Rahul Kadakia
Rahul Kadakia

Lot Essay

Ceremonial swords such as this example often symbolized power and military prowess during royal processions or while holding a durbar. They also signified the presence of a ruler by being placed on the throne. They were also used in the royal courts to solemnize a wedding ceremony, by standing in for the absent groom. This sword follows the Mughal tradition of encrusted edged weapons, although the form of the hilt is strongly influenced by European small-swords which were fashionable in 19th century Europe. The manufacture and design is typical of South India, most probably Hyderabad, where lavishly decorated swords were popular in the late nineteenth century.
An almost identical sword is known to have existed in the Asaf Jah treasury which is documented in a black and white photograph taken by King Kothi, on 29 March 1951 (Jaffer, 2013, p.273).
For another gem set ceremonial sword in this sale see lot 245.
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