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Indian Katar Dagger with Grip Overlaid in Thick Gold

India, probably Udaipur
18th century

length: 39.5cm, width: 8cm, weight: 387g



private collection.

Katars were used in northern India as push or punch daggers designed to drive into chain mail.

This example features a superb tapering, watered-steel wootz blade and a chiselled steel grip that has been extensively damascened (overlaid) with thick gold. The gold has been finely overlaid in two sets of flower patterns: a scrolling Mughalesque poppy pattern, and a conifer and berry pattern. The pattern on the outside of one side bar of the grip matches the corresponding pattern on the interior of the other side bar.

The bars are slightly concave. The blade is double edged and devoid of fullers.

The grip comprises two faceted, lobed cross bars elegantly gilded with scrolling flower patterns.

There are some losses to the goldwork but overall, the katar is in fine condition. The blade has clear and striking watering.


Elgood, R., Arms & Armour: At the Jaipur Court – The Royal Collection, Niyogi Books, 2015.

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