Object Title

Dagger (katar)

Dagger (katar)



Object Number



Presented by the Indian goverment, 1861. From the Indian disarmament, 1859.

Physical Description

The blade is double-edged and is recessed between the cutting edges with a bold central rib. The tip is reinforced. The ricasso is decorated with a floral pattern, now much rubbed and worn. The H-shaped hilt comprises two arms, terminating in rounded ends and joined by a pair of waisted cross bars, which swell in the middle of the grip. The arms are pierced with two narrow panels of stars separated by a bar running down the middle. The curved bar at the head of the H and the top of the blade is chiselled with with a pattern which partly resembles the floral pattern on the ricasso and partly the star shapes on the arms of the hilt; it is difficult to make out exactly what was intended because again this pattern is extremely worn and faded.





BladeLength248 mm
OverallLength406 mm
OverallWeight0.452 kg
HiltWidth88 mm

Inscriptions and Marks



Bibliographic References

J. Hewitt, addenda to the Official catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1870, no. Ad227, p. 7.

Viscount Dillon, Illustrated guide to the Armouries, London, 1910, no. xv.770, p. 32.


It is often difficult to ascertain where katar daggers were made, but in terms of general features (shape, decoration) this dagger appears to be more likely to have originated in Northern India. Also, this dagger has been traced back to an additional entry to the Hewitt catalogue, published in 1865, (additional entry 227) as a 'waist dagger from Hindostan (Kuttar) ' [sic] which came in the shipment which arrived as a presentation from the Indian government in 1861 after the disarmament of 1859. The areas from where these objects had been gathered seem to have been recorded fairly carefully.