Object Title

Dagger (katar) and scabbard

Dagger (katar) and scabbard

Date

1801-1830

Object Number

XXVID.85

Provenance

Former ownership uncertain. Possibly deposited by Lord Hardinge of Penshurst, 1955.

Physical Description

The blade has a reinforced point; the point and the edges are bright polished steel. There is a large sunken panel on each face of the blade, chiselled with figures with details picked out in koftgari. On one side is a tiger fighting an elephant, and a tiger fighting an armed man with a shield; on the other is a tiger with captured prey, and a tiger on a lead being walked by a man wearing a helmet or hat with a zoomorphic countenance. The edges of the sunken panels, some of the central chiselled areas and the borders around the outline of the figures in the design show a watered surface pattern, which provides a visual suggestion that the central element of the blade at least is of crucible steel (wootz).

The H-shaped hilt has two cross grips, and is decorated all over in gold koftgari with assorted flowers and foliage.

The scabbard is of wood covered with reddish-brown velvet (the red is now very faded), with a green panel picked out with gold stitching/braid, and a band of blue velvet below the top at the back. The chape is gilded, with a frilled upper edge and simple pierced decoration.

Techniques

Koftgari

Materials

Dimensions

BladeLength220 mm
ScabbardLength232 mm
ScabbardWeight0.036 kg
DaggerLength420 mm
DaggerWeight0.565 kg
OverallLength433 mm
HiltWidth89 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

None.

Associations

Bibliographic References

S Stronge (ed.) The arts of the Sikh Kingdoms, London, V&A Publications, 1999: 219, no. 81, pl. 157.

Dorling Kindersley, Weapon. A visual history of arms & armour, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London, 2006, p. 134