Katar with Openwork Scabbard
Place of Origin: RAJASTHAN
Date: 19th Century
Overall Length: 550mm
Every surface of this notable Rajput katar’s hilt has been finished handsomely with gold koftgari. As was favoured for the decoration of such high status weaponry, this gold has been arranged to present columns of leaves, stems and flowers, all accompanied by linear patterns. More of this precious metal can be found on the triangular blade where it meets its hilt, still foliate in theme but this time densely arranged in curling forms beneath an elegant multifoil arch and a trefoil pinnacle. This design has been laid across the undulating landscape of the polished blade’s twin fullers and medial ridge and seems to be influenced by the cartouches found on Islamic blades.
The rare openwork scabbard has a strong geometric presence to it and has been decorated with gold koftgari in a similar way to the katar it protects. In addition, three sets of long-tailed birds perch amid leafy branches and admire each other across the central rib. The scabbard’s inner lining survives and this material can be seen through the openwork, its ochre hues providing a background for the natural darkness of the iron and the bright lustre of the gold.
This large katar is an impressive piece indeed, especially when displayed within its scabbard.