Object Title

Dagger (katar) and scabbard

Dagger (katar) and scabbard



Object Number



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.





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

Inscriptions and Marks



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