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Trident

Place of Origin: RAJASTHAN

Date: 19th Century

Overall Length: 1500mm

Reference: 241

Status: Sold

Full Description:

The trident (or trishula) is an important ancient weapon and symbol, and closely linked to the goddess form Shakti, as well as the male form, Shakta. The three blades represent the three aspects of the primordial power as creator, protector and destroyer. When the shaft is long it symbolises the axis of the universe, and through Indian paintings and scriptures we know it to be the main weapon of the goddess against evil personified by demons and monsters (see item number 26 of this catalogue).

The three blades on this example are all triple-sided and meant for armour-piercing. The central head is larger than its two cousins with beautifully executed hollow ground faces to each side. Traces of bluing remains and gold decorations have been rendered amongst it: garlands of flowers and leaves grow out of the lower and upper borders as neat posies seem to float between them. The two outer blades are actually formed from a single U-shaped piece, being retained on the handle by means of a ring at its middle. The long handle is made from steel and concludes in a facetted, domed design.

Two and three-headed spear use, while found more commonly in hunting and fishing, also saw sporadic employment in times of warfare[1]—often by warriors with a religious association to the weapon[2].

 

[1] H. S. Cowper, The Art of Attack and the Development of Weapons, Naval and Military Press, 2006, p.102.

[2] K. Roy and P. Lorge, Chinese and Indian Warfare—From the Classical Age to 1870, Routledge, 2014, p.329.