Mutiny era khukuri
Overall length

45.8 cm

Blade length

33.5 cm

Blade thickness

Base 11 mm

Middle 8 mm

5 cm from tip 5.5 mm

Blade width

Narrowest 31 mm

Widest 51 mm

Weight without scabbard

531 grams

Point of balance

11.8 cm from hilt 




Iron, steel, wood, leather, brass, quill


Probably 1850s

Price €2200, -

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In May 1857 several instances of anti-British resistance broke out in India, a historical event now known as the Indian Mutiny. The Nepalese prime minister immediately offered 6000 troops to aid the British, the Gurkha soldiers fought bravely and fiercely and played a key role in some decisive victories against the uprisers. 

In one instance, for example, the Gurkhas attacked the village of Manduri which lead to a decisive victory with 200 enemy forces killed, compared to only 26 Gurkhas lost. September 27 in Mubarakpur an army of an estimated 4000-5000 was defeated by a Gurkha force of 1100.1

Notes to introduction
1. Ian Heath; Armies of the 19th century, Asia, Central Asia and the Himalayan Kingdoms. Foundry Books, 1998. Pages 131-132.


This example

Understated is the word. It has a substantial fine layered blade of simple but precise geometry. There are two narrow grooves near the base, running to almost halfway up the blade. The spine is without pronounced "shoulder" but with a more rounded profile. Both sides of the blade are flat ground, with a strong convex secondary bevel leading up to the edge. The forging is very tight for a khukurī, with no forging flaws whatsoever.

It has an unusual and rarer form of kauri, with a fleur-de-lis-shaped protrusion. Above it, on the left side, is a stamped mark that resembles the standard kauri

The grip is made of a single piece of hardwood, now with a beautiful deep patina, the wood's grain showing in a slight relief from many decades of handling. There is a raised ridge and two carved bands. The bolster is made of iron, with brass soldering.

The scabbard is made of black goatskin leather of the finest bookbinder quality. It is decorated with geometric and floral designs in quillwork; embroidery is done with peacock quill strips. The work is very fine.


Quillwork on a kukri scabbard

A close-up of the fine quillwork on the scabbard, compared to the end of a regular pencil for size.


The scabbard has a back pocket with two small utility knives, called karda, and a pouch that was frequently used for tinder. The scabbard is without a chape, but with a suggestion of it done by the quillwork. There are no signs that it ever had one. The quillwork at the bottom of the scabbard emulates the fleur-de-lis design seen on the blade's kauri.


Comparable examples

There are some similarities between this piece and the so-called "Fischer kukri", a khukurī that belonged to Lieutenant John Frederick Lane Fisher, commander at the Sirmoor Battalion, who fought at the Siege of Delhi in 1857.

There is the identical marking and kauri. Also of note is the gradual curve seen in the spine, with no pronounced "shoulder", and a very similar overall profile.

Fisher kukri

Top: The subject of this article.
Bottom: "The Fisher kukri"


The museum gives the following description:

"Lieutenant John Frederick Lane Fisher was an early commander in the Sirmoor Battalion, one of the first units of Gurkhas raised by the Honourable East India Company for service to the Crown. He was present alongside his men during the Siege of Delhi in 1857, at the defensive fortification known as ‘Delhi Ridge’. The Sirmoor Battalion fought alongside the 60th Rifles and the Corps of Guides during the siege and distinguished themselves in close hand-to-hand combat against rebel troops. Fisher would later achieve the rank of Major General." 1

-The Gurkha Museum Trust Winchester



Egerton also describes a khukuri with some similar features:

Egerton kukri

Nr 318 khukuri described by Egerton in 1880

This piece is described as:

"Sword; "Kukri;" bright blade, the back edge perforated at intervals; hilt of dark wood; sheath of black leather, ornamented with quill embroidery. Nepal. Presented by the late Sir Jung Bahadur. L 18 in. (Pl. IX., No. 318.)

The segmented blade decoration reminds strongly of the Fisher piece, while the blade profile is similar to both. The dark wooden handle with flaring pommel is similar to the khukuri presented in this article. It also comes with a black leather scabbard with quill embroidery. This piece was collected in 1855, two years before the Indian Mutiny of 1857, and clearly represents a style common among high-end khukuri of the day.


Dating & attribution

Both this piece and the Gurkha Museum's "Fisher kukri" are not typical Sirmoor Batallion khukuri, but officers were probably able to purchase their own. While we cannot prove this particular khukuri was used by any notable troops during the Indian Mutiny, the strong resemblance to the Fischer example and the Egerton example does suggest our example dates from around the 1850s.



In near-mint condition. Some very old chips off the wooden handle, but no splitting. Scabbard leather in excellent condition, save for a few very minor blemishes. The quillwork is all intact save for the work on the bands leading up to the two buttons on the front. Pockets and accessories are also in top condition. See photos.



A beautiful khukurī that may seem simple at first, but close examination of each and every part reveals quality throughout. Blade profile and markings suggest it was a high-end piece made around the 1850s, a time when Gurkha soldiers aided the British in beating down the Indian Mutiny.

A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era khukuri
A fine mutiny era 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.


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


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


Simple piece with a beautiful blade profile.


Very large presentation kukri from the Sundarijal Arsenal in Nepal.


With iron, silver overlaid hilt. Its associated scabbard features fine quillwork.