Place of Origin: India
Date: 18th –19th Century
Overall: 680mm (26.75 inches)
An impressive example of a tirsool (trident) head with attached bagh-nagh (leopard claw), this piece is constructed from separate parts screwed to the threaded socket. The socket itself is quite rudimentary, but with an interesting chakrum-like disc at the centre. A long central spike screws into the socket, locking into place a W-shaped double-bladed element and the two curling bagh-nakh (leopard claws).
The overall design fits with Sikh traditions of the 18th and 19th centuries and it is feasible that this weapon belonged to an order of Nihangs who would not only have used it to great effect, but would also have worshipped it as they do an eight-limbed battle standard named Ashtbuja (eight-arms) which is said to have belonged to the 10th Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh (1666–1708). The Ashtbuja is now preserved at the Sikh shrine Huzur Sahib in Nanded, Maharashtra, India, and has obvious connotations to the eight-armed goddess Chandi. Similarities in the design of the two objects can be seen in the chakrum-like central disc and the W-shaped spikes.
This tirsool is displayed on a short wooden shaft and a steel base for display, but the original foot piece has been retained and the object could be fully mounted on a 6-foot-long pole if required.