A military presentation or dress saber from India

Code:  IP13

This presentation or dress saber has a heavy brass cutlass handle and basket with a lioness or leopard head open to accept the 3 pronged hilt basket. The brass hilt is approximately four inches, quite small for a normal hand. The basket and lion pommel are uncharacteristic of mameluke swords, which casts some doubt on this identification by the original owner.  The curved blade style is related to the shamshir, with its origins in Persia.  The style migrated broadly across India as well as Egypt and North Africa. 

The blade is honed and sharpened with an overall length of 27 inches.  The heavy steel blade has an acid etched design and is securely attached to the brass hilt.

The scabbard is made of reed wood, covered with a light brown suede-type fabric with gold treaded red and blue trim.  A solid brass toe,band and scabbard head detach for cleaning. Eye holes on the scabbard permit a lanyard or cord to be attached for wearing or display.  The overall weight of the sword and scabbard is approximately 2 pounds.

The estimated age of the sword is 60-75 years.  The sword and scabbard brass and blade show expected age wear but both are still in beautiful condition and polish to a bright gleam.

Although the blade is quite sharp and functional, this is a "dress" style saber, shortened for wearing when among a group of people.  In a formal setting, a full size saber would be ungainly and cause the wearer to bump into people.

I purchased this sword from a collector who obtained it from an estate sale of a British Army Officer who served in  India. The family stated that the officer acquired the sword in India while serving there following WWII. This was one of many swords in this late officer's collection.