Object Title

Dagger (katar)

Dagger (katar)



Object Number



Purchased 1 April 1990.

Physical Description

The blade is curved and double edged. It is made of watered steel, with a mail-piercing tip, and a medial keel with a broad recessed ground at either side. The edges terminate about 6cm from the hilt, with a rounded back at either side.

The H-shaped hilt comprises two concave arms, terminating in rounded points, and joined by a pair of slender cross bars of rounded-square section. The guard, joiningg the two arms, is in the form of a deep concave curve, and is fitted with an arabesque extension at either side of the blade, to which it is attached by three brass rivets. The hilt is covered with decoration in gold koftgari: there are bands of stylised foliage within simple scrolling borders, inhabited by a large parrot at the outer end of either arm, a rather naive peacock at either side of the guard, and a smug seated tiger at either side of the extension over the blade.

The scabbard is of wood covered in mauve velvet, with a convex flange at the throat. Two bands of gold-threaded binding are sewn around the top of the scabbard, and one down the centre rear. The latter retains tyhe bifurcated end of a velvet-covered strap, embroidered with small crosses and running borders, which in its present state passes up the centre front of the scabbard and is sewn in a crumpled mess at the throat. To it is sewn part of a matching strap terminating in an elaborate buckle with fettted finials at either side. In its original state this section was sewn at the top, and the long lower loop fastened through the buckle. The chape is fitted with a lotus-bud finial at either side, and decorated en suite with the katar with a parrot in foliage at either side.


Dimensions: overall length: 44.6cm (17.6in), blade length: 26.0cm (10.2in), hilt length: 19.5cm (7.7in) Weight: The weight of the katar is 0.52 kg, the weight of the scabbard is 0.05 kg

Inscriptions and Marks

Inscribed in gold inlay at the forte 'Nawab Muhammad Sarmast Khan Bahadur, 1173H, may you live like Solomon'.