Kard (Straight Dagger)
Place of Origin: Rajasthan, India
Date: 19th Century
Overall Length: 375mm (14 ¾ Inches)
The expert craftsmanship of this dagger’s blade – particularly its ‘Tears of the Wounded’ and laddered wootz steel patterning – make it a fine example of the kard type. Faceted elephant-ivory grip scales are secured to the tang of the blade with gilt-copper rivets, the backstrap and bolster then decorated throughout with graceful five-petalled flowerheads in gold koftgari and stylized lotuses interspersed among curving foliage.
Two slots close to the watered blade’s back-edge are each inset with a sequence of small iron spheres – a feature often referred to as ‘Tears of the Wounded’. The blade is forged from wootz steel and exhibits a rare design over its surface commonly called the ‘Mohammed’s Ladder’ pattern (or ‘kirk narduban’). The back-edge is notched at its mid-point before the blade recurves gently upwards at the tip. The dagger is complete with a scabbard covered in purple silk velvet which is woven at its entrance with a threaded foliate pattern and fitted with a chape.