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Heavy Katar

Place of Origin: Rajasthan, India

Date: 19th Century

Overall Length: 480mm (18.75 Inches)

Reference: 374

Status: Available

Full Description:

This fine katar is of substantial weight and size. The long side-bars are decorated throughout in gold koftgari with interlocking poppy-heads, the grooves of their petals and anthers given lifelike texture with carefully incised lines. In keeping with the hilt’s impressive proportions, the twin grip-bars are swollen and protrude substantially through the sides. The knuckle-bar is of an almost imperceptibly shallow V-shape and overlaid with a line of Devanagari script.

Deeply sunken fullers have been cut into the surface of the dagger’s formidable blade. These taper to a heavily reinforced armour-piercing point, designed to strike through mail armour.

Further comparanda are to be identified by the similar stubs they show protruding through their side-bars from the grips. A piece similar to the present example was published by Runjeet Singh in The Goddess: Arms and Armour of the Rajputs – London 2018 (Cat. No. 3).[1] Katars with this distinctive feature also appear in Nordlunde’s A Passion for Indian Arms,[2]  dating to the 18th century, while earlier varieties are preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (see Accession Number 36.25.753)[3] and Robert Elgood’s indispensable book on the Rathores.[4] Both of these earlier examples are dated to the 17th century, pre-dating any known Rajput specimen. It is likely that these earlier katars informed the Rajput design of which ours is an example.

 

[2] J. Nordlunde, A Passion for Indian Arms: A Private Collection, Denmark (Jens Nordlunde), 2016.

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

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