Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Overall length

Sheathed 39 cm

Khukurī 35.5 cm

Blade length

27.2 cm

Blade thickness

Base 6 mm

Shoulder 5 mm

5 cm from tip 3 mm

Blade width

Narrowest 22 mm

Widest 43 mm

Weight

270 grams

Point of balance

9 cm from hilt

Materials

Iron, steel, nickel silver, wood, leather, bone, silver, gold, fabric

Origin

Nepal

Dating

Early 20th century

Provenance

A European collection

Price €775, -

Interested?
Anything similar for sale?

Contact me

Introduction

Kothimora khukurī are presentation khukurī in ornamental scabbards. In the British Indian army, regimental kothimoras were worn only by the Pipe Major (senior bagpiper) when on parade and senior NCO and ORs of the Officer's Mess. They were also presented to retiring Ghurka officers, or when an officer moved up rank. Others may have been private purchases, or presentation pieces for other occasions.

For more information, see my glossary article: Kothimora khukurī (कोथि मुहुड़ा खुकुरि)

This example

A charming bone-hilted khukurī. The blade has a gentle forward bend without sharp shoulder, moderately wide belly and a deep, roundish notch. It has the two customary grooves running along the spine on the lower section, and the main blade is hollow ground. 

It has a nickel-silver bolster, a material known as báitóng (白銅) in China. Previously it was primarily found in Yunnan and was a prized commodity, until the alloy was synthesized in Europe. The grip is carved from a dense piece of done.

The scabbard is made of wood, covered in fine-grained goatskin. It has a very large ornamental kothi (कोथि, "chape") with ornamental borders and a faceted parcel gilt center. The top mount, also of silver, is elaborately pierced. It has a bright red fabric backing that shows through the piercings. This treatment is seen on better metalwork across the Himalayas, also, for example, on royal Bhutanese sword pommels and further East on some of the Tibetan metalwork from Derge.

The top section shows floral designs within a border of leaves, under that a row of jire buṭṭā (ornamentation that looks like a row of cumin seeds). The lowest panel has a human figure emanating from a fish mouth. It holds a flower in one hand and a flute in the other. The whole is framed by braided silver borders and the designs highlighted with gilding.

On the back is the usual pouch, containing the karda and cakmak. The khisā is lost.

Matsya the fish

The figure on the scabbard is Matsya the fish, normally seen as one of the main incarnations of Vishnu. The flute, however, identifies this figure as Krishna. This variation of the story has its origins in the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, written in Bengal around the 1st century AD. The story goes that one day a king named Manu had a small fish come into his hands, who begged him to save his life. He put it in a jar, but it soon outgrew the jar. Then put it in the Ganges river, which it soon outgrew, and then in the ocean. He then realized it was Krishna himself, who appeared before him and warned him of a great flood which would end the world. He ordered Manu to build a boat and take seeds of al plants, and two of each animal, which he did. Krishna as Matsya would proper the boat up to Mount Himavan, the only place that would remain safe, and so it went.

Condition

Pretty good condition throughout. There is some damage to the back pockets and a split in the side of the scabbard. Blade in good shape, save from some staining. Still very sharp.

Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri
Bone hilted kothimora khukuri

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

With a very fine Nepalese blade, but kard-like hilt and scabbard.

€3500,-

Early type with very shallow notch in the blade and little flare in the pommel.

€2750,-

Unusual example with hilts carved in lionesque heads.

€850,-

20th century military khukurī with many different tools in its back pocket.

€650,-

Simple piece with a beautiful blade profile.

€650,-

Very large presentation kukri from the Sundarijal Arsenal in Nepal.

€600,-