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Heavy Katar

Place of Origin: RAJASTHAN

Date: 18th–19th Century

Overall Length: 475mm

Reference: 223

Status: Available

Full Description:

This katar is unusual for a variety of reasons. The lean, fullered blade has a 25mm thick diamond section to it, making it not just capable of slitting chainmail links but also able to pierce heavier armour. Also notable is that this weapon is much larger and heavier than most of its kind and so it must have been made for a Rajput who possessed not just high social status but also great stature. The hilt’s gold koftgari has been arranged into a series of dots and rendered as a repeating pattern of scrolling foliage that runs all along the frame.

Of note are the four bars that form the grip, their ends protruding through the side-bars. Similar examples have been published by Jens Nordlunde[1] and dated to the 18th century; while earlier varieties can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art[2] and in Robert Elgood’s indispensable book about the Rathores[3]. Both the Met’s and Elgood’s examples are dated to the 17th century (the former being from South India, the latter being from Ahmadnagar in the Deccan), pre-dating any known Rajput specimen. It is likely that these earlier katars informed the Rajput design of which ours in an example.

 

[1] J. Nordlunde, A Passion for Indian Arms, 2016.

[3] R. Elgood, Rajput Arms & Armour: The Rathores and their Armoury at Jodhpur Fort, Niyogi Books, 2017, p.678 (SSP/213E).