Antique, 18th-19th century, Indo-Persian horseman's saddle axe (tabarzin), Islamic Mughal Northwest India, Bhuj, Gujarat.
The large crescent-shaped head in gilt copper is decorated on each side with hand chased, scrolling foliage and flowerheads, fitted with a very sharp sturdy steel blade.
The protruding rear hammer is surmounted by an elephant with an engraved saddle blanket and flanked by two tigers mounted on a tubular steel haft which is completely overlaid with silver foil engraved with a floral pattern highlighted in gold.
The bottom of the shaft ends with an elaborately chiseled gilt copper finial that unscrews and serves as a handle for a dagger hidden inside the shaft that was used as a secondary weapon in combat.
REFERENCES: A similar axe is published in the catalog "Rites of Power: Oriental Weapons" (Rituais de Poder: Armas Orientais), Collection of Jorge Caravana. Page 99.
Which can also be viewed online: please see the link below.
The buyer will be provided with a copy of the pages from the mentioned references and a certificate of authenticity.
CONDITION: It shows age and use, the steel blade pitted, the bottom corner of the gilt copperhead, near the steel blade with a combat crack (but holds firmly and steadily), the silver overlay on the steel haft, and the gold gilt on the copper slightly worn.
Overall length: 49 cm (19.3 inches).
Length of the head from the steel blade to the top of the elephant: 15.5 cm (6.1 inches).
Weight: 677 grams (1.49 lb.)