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Deep-Sheathed Kard

Place of Origin: SURAPUR (DUNGAPUR), RAJASTHAN

Date: 18th Century

Overall Length: 380mm

Reference: 230

Status: Available

Full Description:

This is an old type of weapon, tracing its origins all the way back to the 7th century CE. It was popular with a wide variety of people, from traders to emperors, and as such was often included in Central Asian paintings[1]. The hard-stone grip of this kard, a tapering cylinder with swirling veins of pastel colours, leads to a silver-gilt bolster that moulds onto a heavy, straight blade. This blade boasts two inscriptions. In a deeply set square near the base, in beautiful Persian calligraphy, can be seen:

سوراپور سنھ ١٢

“Surapur, year 1206 (1791–2 CE).”

Surapur could refer to the village near Dungapur, a city in the southern-most part of Rajasthan where an ancient carved-stone temple still stands (its one-time ruler is depicted in a Mughal painting in the Victoria and Albert Museum[1]). A further, similarly deeply set cartouche has been worked into the blade near the tip. This time, it takes the form of a teardrop and its words are in Devanagari:

“Shree Gopala.”

“Lord Krishna.”

The long scabbard covers most of the kard’s handle, as is traditional, and is made from wood covered with velvet that is now worn. It has been fitted with a silver chape that has been engraved and finished with attractive openwork, and decorated with silver wire ribbon.


[1]S. Kaoukji, Precious Indian Weapons and other Princely Accoutrements (the al-Sabah Collection), Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2017, p.239.

[1] http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O9416/painting-kesav-kalan/