Place of Origin: Rajasthan, India
Date: 19th Century
Overall Length: 480mm (18.75 Inches)
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). Katars with this distinctive feature also appear in Nordlunde’s A Passion for Indian Arms, dating to the 18th century, while earlier varieties are preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (see Accession Number 36.25.753) and Robert Elgood’s indispensable book on the Rathores. 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.
 J. Nordlunde, A Passion for Indian Arms: A Private Collection, Denmark (Jens Nordlunde), 2016.
 See R. Elgood, Rajput Arms & Armour: The Rathores and their Armoury at Jodhpur Fort, Niyogi Books, 2017, p. 678 (SSP/213E).