Place of Origin: SURAPUR (DUNGAPUR), RAJASTHAN
Date: 18th Century
Overall Length: 380mm
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. 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). 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:
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.