Origin: India (Rajasthan - Bundi)
Date: 19th century
Length: Total Length: 35cm
Materials: Steel and Gold
A Gold katar of large proportions from Bundi, signed on the inside of the hilt.
The Katar is one of India’s oldest weapons, characterised by its H shape grip and triangular blade. The Katar was predominantly used as a thrusting dagger due to its design – similar to the boxing method – the user would punch with the dagger in the hand with the aim of piercing chain mail and the opponent. Due to the build of the Katar, with its H shaped grip, the Katar also provided a great defence as the handle bars protected the wrist from getting cut.
This style of Katar is attributable to the Rajputs; the warrior caste of India. The overall form is Rajasthani, with the base of the blade and handle bars pointing towards Bundi. The blade has slightly raised edges and five fullers, which lead to a thick swollen armour peircing point. There is a pronounced centre ridge, with a flower etched into the base. The blade is clean with no pitting or rust.
The gold koftgari on the handle bars utilises the typical mughal period floral patterns and is 70% in tact. On the inside of the hilt, there is an inscription which reads:
???Vanja ??? Katar
The inscription is partially cut out for the first word so it is not possible to make out the word effectively. The second part is missing the first three letters but the final part can be made out clearly, and it spells out the word Katar - which is also what this weapon is. The missing term/word is most likely the state the katar was made or the initials of the owner.
A similar example is kept in the Royal Collection: RCIN 11343. This example was Presented to King Edward VII, when Prince of Wales, during his tour of India in 1875-76 by Jaisinhji Bhupatsinhji, Thakur Sahib of Dhrol. The Prince met the ruler of Dhrol, a Princely state in western India, at a formal reception that the Prince held in Bombay, the first stop of his four-month tour of the India.
Overall, this is a very substantial and well-crafted Katar with most of the gold koftgari on the hilt preserved. The blade is also in very good condition.