Its hilt overlaid with thick silver, then fire-gilt.
Base 4 mm
At thickening 14.5 mm
Base 55 mm
At thickening 28 mm
At blade / hilt junction
Iron, steel, wood, velvet
UK antique art market
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The name Garsoee katar comes from Lord Egerton's landmark book Indian and Oriental Arms and Armour of 1896, describing a katar with the distinct hilt also seen in our example here.1
It is probably written घरसूई in Hindi, pronounced gharasūī. Gaṛhī (गढ़ी ) means fortress, sūī (सूई) means needle. Together it could mean something like "fortress piercer"
The katar described by Egerton was made in Bhuj, Kutch state in Gujarat. However, many weapons with different origins were made in Kutch, among which Persian shamshirs, Deccan chilanum and even Arab jambiya, all madein the distinct Kutch style with gilt copper mounts with flower decoration. So the fact that Kutch workers made this style of katar is not indicative of the style actually being from there.
For more, see my glossary article: Garsoee katar.
Notes to introduction
1. Lord Egerton of Tatton: A Description of Indian and Oriental Armour, with an Introductory Sketch of the Military History of India. London, W.H.Allen & Co. 1896. Page 138, number 727.
A large example. The substantial blade has an elongated triangular profile, with pronounced thickening in the point. A sunken panel in the center is divided by a narrow ridge.
At the base of the ridge is a chiseled palmate motif that hints towards a south Indian aesthetic. However, is forged as one piece from blade to hilt which is a trait of North India.
The hilt of textbook form for these with recurved side bars. The grip consists of a hollow, pierced polyhedral.
There are hints of a laminated steel construction in both hilt and blade.
It comes with its old scabbard, with remains of blue velvet textile covering.
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All the designs being true inlay, with almost no losses.
Of a style often associated with Tanjore, the seat of the Vijayanagara empire.
Broad bladed example with horn hilt and engraved blade.
A robust and heavy example, crafted with care.
A rare type of dagger from South Kalimantan, loosely based on Islamic daggers seen worn by traders.