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Gold Deccani Sword

Origin: Deccan, India
Date: Taken in 1803 Possibly earlier manufacture
Size: 37 inches
Ref: DA002


A rare Indian sword with ‘Decanni type Shamshir’ hilt taken at the Battle of Assaye in 1803. The hilt is elaborately decorated with an interesting ensemble of stylized mulberries and tendril in heavily applied gold Koftgari. The application of the Koftgari decoration is particularly successful with the design being well executed and symmetrical.

The hilt is of typical Decanni form with a pistol pommel, faceted grip section and quillons terminating in large open work palmettes with the langet also being pierced. Complete with a knuckle guard with lotus bud terminal.

The single fullered polished steel blade is of substantial construction with a ricasso block section at the forte which is struck with an undeciphered armoury/makers stamp at the ricasso.

The leather over wood scabbard with silver wire threading retains its original chape and mounts which are complete with their suspension rings and are forged of Wootz watered steel with remnants of gold Koftgari decorated borders. A steel plate attached to the scabbard reads:

“Taken at Assaye 1803 presented to Lt. Gen J. Stuart by the 19th DNS”.

The Battle of Assaye was a major battle of the Second Anglo-Maratha War fought between the Maratha Empire and the British East India Company near Assaye in western India on 23 September 1803.

Lt. General John Joseph Stuart led the British to victory against the French in the Napoleonic Wars at The Battle of Maida in Calabria Italy July 1806.

The 19th DNS is an accepted abbreviation for the 19th Light Dragoons; a cavalry regiment of the British Army created in 1781 for service in British India who fought in the Battle of Assaye and were subsequently awarded the battle honour of “Assaye”.