Scissor Katar (silver koftgari)
Date: 19th century
Materials: Steel and Silver
A scarce large 19th century Indian scissor Katar (often referred to a Katar Jamadhar Seshlikaneth or Kenchi Katar) with silver koftgari.
THIS SCISSOR KATAR
Our example of the scissor katar is decorated with silver work on the handlebars (hilt) and blades. This silver work is approximately 95% in tact with the remaining prominently visible and in good condition. This Katar is silver-inlaid with vegetal scrolls, foliate designs and geometric bands; common of arms of the Punjab region. Similar patterns are also seen on Mughal period Swords and other Arms and Armour. The two grip bars compress together to open up the two halves of the outer blade, revealing the third dagger blade contained inside. There are many functions of this mechanism. Often the katar was used to thrust, then open, to increase the wound damage. Alternatively they could have been used to deflect projectiles, by opening up and covering more space. The mechanism is semi-functional due to age with some movement in the blade (back and forth) - but nothing of concern. The movement is typical of scissor katars of this age. The blade has signs of age (pitting) but the silver kofgari is still excellently preserved.
Similar examples of the Scissor Katar are preserved at the Worcester Art Museum: Object number - 1917.58 which is dated to the early 1800s and at The British Museum: Museum number OA+.2762 which dates it to the 'Mughal Dynasty' period of 18th-19th century. An almost identical example is held at the Met Museum: Accession Number:30.140a, b. This example is also comparable with a Scissor Katar given to the Prince of Wales by the Maharaja of Mandi in 1875 (see 'Indian Art at the Marlborough House' by C. Purdon Clarke - Object number 175).
CONCLUSIONOverall, a good quality scissor katar in a good state of preservation. Our example is one of a handful that still has the silver work intact and matches similar museum quality examples.