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South Indian Malabar sword

18th century

Overall length
84 cm

Blade length
73 cm

steel, iron

South India, 18th C.

Kerala coast, 18th century

From a private collection we are glad to offer another specific type of tulwar called a Kayamkulam vaal.

It's a rare Indian sword from the South West coast of India and is referred to as a 'Kayamkulam Vaal'. 'Vaal' meaning 'sword'. It was used by the rulers and soldiers of Nair aristocracy (mostly in Travancore), in the Kayamkulam princely state of India. The hilt is made of iron and chiseled with geometric motifs. The design of the hilt stands out from other tulwar hilts: The characteristic raised pommel dome, the flared langets and conical quillon finals. We've sold a few similar examples in the past which had silver inlay work. The blade was etched many times but shows a nice surface grain. The sword is in cleaned condition and comes with a recently made 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 

- One example with straight blade on display in the Government Museum Bangalore



Interested in this item? Contact me.



Interested in this item? Contact me.