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Zlatko Vlašic




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Feb 2007

Posts: 32

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jul, 2011 1:56 am    Post subject: Ancient arms - any experience?         Reply with quote

I have recently developed a bug for Indian tulwars (in the absence of a proper Ottoman kilij, the best curvy thing around Wink ), and apart from the cold steel frankenstein, these seem to be the only guys around manufacturing any. Anybody had any experience with them?

http://www.ancientarms.biz/servlet/StoreFront

The prices look very affordable, on the other hand, labour cost is cheap in India. They probably sell them at 10 times the manufacturing cost.

So has anybody ever bought anything from them? Are they legit? Am I just going to give my money away to some crazy person and never hear from them again Eek! ? How come they are so under the radar?

As far as the appearance, all pieces look really good. I am concerned about the quality and durability. Are these just glorified wall hangers? I plan to do a whole lot of light cutting...
Also, does the manufacturer ship the swords sharpened?

I have my eye on this one, it has the slight yelman on the tip thing going, similar to Ottoman kilij.

http://www.ancientarms.biz/servlet/Detail?no=1512

I would like to replace the hilt with the more classic tulwar disc shape, but apparently the manufacturer is open to such semi-custom orders.

the other candidates are these

http://www.ancientarms.biz/servlet/Detail?no=834

http://www.ancientarms.biz/servlet/Detail?no=576

http://www.ancientarms.biz/servlet/Detail?no=414

"To you, Baldrick, Renaissance is just something that happened to other people."

Edmund Blackadder
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Gene W




Location: The South Of England
Joined: 01 Dec 2010

Posts: 116

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jul, 2011 3:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've dealt with him.
He's on ebay as: ancientarms_etcetera

I dealt with him several times a few years ago.
Dealing with this chap is a bit of a different experience from what you might be used to.

I have to say first of all that I liked the guy.
But it can be a frustrating experience if you are expecting precision and efficiency.

My experiences were basically that if you order something, then a couple of weeks later 'something' will arrive.
Often as not, it'll not be the item that you ordered, but usually it'll be close.
Essentially, what he seems to do is to leave the same picture in the Ad, but that picture will be representative of a batch of items all slightly different.
So you order the one in the pic, and one of the 'batch' gets sent.

So, the first thing to remember is to get him to send you pictures of the ACTUAL item he has in stock. Now sometimes that will be the item in the pic, but its best to make sure. Also, Ask him to personally check it for damage and supervise its packing. Wink

In my experience, we usually had some issues when the item arrived.

Sizes could vary, designs could be slightly different.
One item arrived with some damage.

On one occasion I ordered a couple of koftgari covered wall hangers (two totally different designs of the same item) and received two identical ones. He blamed 'the boy who packs the parcels'.

Anyway, I guess the bottom line is that he always tried to do something about it.
I believe that he's a genuine chap and despite the list of 'problems' that I encountered, he always listened to my concerns and we came to an acceptable solution.

I don't want to generalise Indian business practices, but there can be a more 'relaxed' attitude to deals than we might be used to.

So, to construction and quality.
These items are the work of various people rom various sources. They quality and workmanship vary a fair bit.
As far as my experience goes, none of the blades are sharpened. You would need to verify with him if this has changed.
I haven't bought a Tulwar/Shamshir from him, but I've bought several other bladed weapons.
If you are looking at the pattern welded stuff (damascus/raindrop pattern etc) then the steel is fairly soft and easy to work. I would say that smaller thicker blades would be usable, but I wouldn't imagine that long thin blades would survive long in use.
They are more decorative than practical.

If you work this type of modern Indian 'damascus' steel and compare it with even a simple laminated or monosteel 19thC tulwar blade, then there is frankly no comparisson.

Genuine 19thC armoury Tulwars are so cheap, go for one of them if you want to cut things.
But if you want one of the modern ones to hang on the wall, then with the riders I've mentioned, I would still deal with the above chap. Just pay by paypal Wink

Best
Gene
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Gene W




Location: The South Of England
Joined: 01 Dec 2010

Posts: 116

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jul, 2011 3:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also, if you are intending to use any tulwar, consider the hilt size. Some have small grips that may not suit your hand (depending on how big you are).
Large 'disk' pommels can also be restrictive.
Edit:
As you know, 'Tulwars' were routinely fitted with all sorts fo blades and come in all shapes and sizes.
Top down on my rack;

Imperial German Sabre

Afghan Sabre (19thC)

Pair of armoury Tulwars with broad flat blades. Razor sharp and sringy steel. Probable Bikaner Armoury marks.

Large heavy 18thC curved Tulwar with crystaline wootz blade.

Tulwar with fine persian wootz trade blade.

Shamshir with laddered wootz blade.

Turkish star pattern twistcore Kindjal.

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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
Likes: 16 pages

Posts: 355

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jul, 2011 7:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had some experience with such items from India. The overall quality is not homogeneous and it seems they don't take much care for quality control - warped blades, different hardness, loose hilts etc.
Why not Cold Steel shamshir? the price is more or less the same, and for this price I believe nothing is better. Not truely historic but an awsome cutter. And I think also made in India... I would have changed the plastic grip panels.
BTW a kilic is more of a show piece than a true fighting saber (at the contemporary period).

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Zlatko Vlašic




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Feb 2007

Posts: 32

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jul, 2011 10:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

those are some very useful replies, thank you good people

taking all of this into account, I think I shall pass at this vendor, for the time being. Maybe sometime in the future
shame, if they adopted better quality control and standards, I guess they would have

@ Gene
Can you perhaps direct me to some sites where an actual antique tulwar may be purchased that are apparently so cheap? I have tried ebay but nothing really interesed me there....something similar to your broadsword bladed pair in the above picture
By the way, very nice collection:)

@Sa'ar
It's just a matter of aestethics - I like the tulwars and kilic sabres, don't like the shamshir (at least not the cold steel variety).
Interesting comment about the kilic - it is my understanding that it was actually a battle piece, even more so than some other eastern curved swords, due to the added weight of the yelman.

"To you, Baldrick, Renaissance is just something that happened to other people."

Edmund Blackadder
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
Likes: 16 pages

Posts: 355

PostPosted: Wed 27 Jul, 2011 1:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Zlatko, don't get me wrong, I like the aesthtics of the kilic also, alot. Especially the classic type with wide blade and pronounced yelmen. I was lucky enough to handle several excellent pieces from the collection of Oriental-Arms, the better are amazingly light.
Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Gene W




Location: The South Of England
Joined: 01 Dec 2010

Posts: 116

PostPosted: Wed 27 Jul, 2011 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Zlatko Vlašic wrote:
those are some very useful replies, thank you good people

taking all of this into account, I think I shall pass at this vendor, for the time being. Maybe sometime in the future
shame, if they adopted better quality control and standards, I guess they would have

@ Gene
Can you perhaps direct me to some sites where an actual antique tulwar may be purchased that are apparently so cheap? I have tried ebay but nothing really interesed me there....something similar to your broadsword bladed pair in the above picture
By the way, very nice collection:)

@Sa'ar
It's just a matter of aestethics - I like the tulwars and kilic sabres, don't like the shamshir (at least not the cold steel variety).
Interesting comment about the kilic - it is my understanding that it was actually a battle piece, even more so than some other eastern curved swords, due to the added weight of the yelman.


Hi Zlatko,

Firstly what is the postal service like in Croatia and what are the regulations for recieving swords in the post?

Kilıç / Kilij were fighting swords (I believe Kilıç / Kilij is 'sword' in Turkish). Even if made when firearms were used, they were still a primary weapon, and an extremely effective one.
As were Tulwar and Shamshir.
If you do a little research you will find that these 'types' have crossover examples. I've seen Kilıç with Shamshir blades traded from Persia, I've seen Tulwar with fully formed Kilıç blades etc.
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