Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Overall length

Sheathed 31.8 cm

Knife 27.6 cm

Blade length

17.4 cm

Blade thickness

Base 5.5 mm

Middle 3.5 mm

Blade width

Base 23 mm

Middle 19 mm

Weight

149 grams

Point of balance

18 mm into hilt

Materials

Wootz steel, copper alloy, gold, brass, wood, fabric, gold, cotton, garnet beads

Origin

India

Dating

18th or 19th century

Provenance

From a German collection

Price €2200, -

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Description

A north Indian kard (کرد), also known as churā (छुरा) in Hindi.1

It has a fine wootz blade of typical form, with gold koftgari decoration at its base.

The all-metal hilt is made of a copper alloy, finely chiseled with floral decoration over a stippled background. It was then fire-gilt, the copper now visible through some of the wear.

The wooden scabbard is covered with black fabric, probably once velvet with the pile now lost, and the fabric is in fragile condition. There are two brass scabbard mounts with fine openwork, a small part missing on one side of the mouthpiece.

A string of red garnets is attached to a ring on the upper scabbard mounts. The main string contains 68 of them and the loop 29 for a total of 97. 

 

Attribution

Gilt copper alloy mounts are normally a trademark of work from Kutch in Gujarat, but in this case, the style of the flowers is not typically Kutch.

Looking at the entire piece, I have the feeling it is either north Indian or possibly Deccan.

 

Notes
1. They are consistently called churā in Thomas Holbein Hendley; Ulwar and its Art Treasures. W. Griggs, London, 1888.

Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger
Gilt copper hilted kard dagger

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