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Kayamkulam vaal
Malabar sword
Kayamkulam vaal
Malabar sword
Malabar sword
Malabar sabre
South India, 18th century
Indo-Persian arms
Ref. is0048
€ 1600

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. It could be a German trade blade. The sword is in good condition with a puncture hole in the hilt near the pommel and obvious corrosion to the blade. No scabbard.

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

93cm (36.61inch )