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    North Indian Child’s Chiselled Steel Push Dagger (Katar)

    North India
    17th century

    length: 21.6cm, width: 7.4cm, depth: 2.3cm, weight: 228g



    European art market

    This fine push dagger or katar is of tiny proportions and would have been intended for a boy – perhaps a young prince or similarly aristocratic child. It would have been worn as part of his ceremonial dress. In battle, a katar was designed to pierce the chain mail of an adversary.

    It has a watered-steel wootz blade and a chiselled steel grip.

    The side bars of the grip are chiselled with elegant floral scrollwork on the exterior and interior sides.

    The fortes on either side that hold the blade in places and are chiselled on both sides with a stylised Mughal-style poppy motif.

    The two cross bars are elaborately cast with central spherical lobes.

    The blade is grooved and has a bulbous tip.

    Katars made specifically for children are relatively rare. It is in fine condition without losses or repairs.

    The dagger is accompanied by an attractive, custom-made stand.


    Caravana, J. et alRites of Power: Oriental Weapons: Collection of Jorge Caravana, Caleidoscopio, 2010.

    Elgood, R., Hindu Arms and Ritual: Arms and Armour from India 1400-1865, Eburon, 2004.

    Hales, R., Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour: A Lifetime’s Passion, Robert Hale CI Ltd, 2013.

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