Lion pommel kothimora khukurī
Overall length

Sheathed 44 cm

Khukurī 39.6 cm

Blade length

29 cm

Blade thickness

Base 7.5 mm

Shoulder 7 mm

5 cm from tip 3.5 mm

 

Blade width

Base 26 mm

Widest at belly 50 mm

Weight

361 grams

Point of balance

9 cm from hilt

Materials

Iron, steel, brass, silver, wood, leather, plant fiber thread

Origin

Nepal

Dating

Early 20th century

Provenance

 UK antique market

Price €850, -

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Description

An unusual variety of kothimora khukurī. Typical 20th-century blade with pointed shoulder, relatively wide belly, and deep, nearly symmetrical notch. It has a bronze bolster.

The hilt is carved from black buffalo horn, the first section is conventionally shaped, up to the ring typically carved that separates grip from pommel. From then on, the hilt is carved in a stylized animal head, judging from the curly manes, a lion. The designs are repeated in the hilts of the karda and cakmak, in this case the front paws are also included into the design.

Carved lion heads

The kothimora scabbard has a beautiful silver top mount with repousse decoration in high relief. The center shows a kīrtimukha (कीर्तिमुख), literally "face of glory". An all-devouring monster that is used across Asia as an auspicious decorative element that is supposed to consume evil. According to legend it was created from Shiva's third eye to consume a demon named Rahu. Once summoned, Shiva decided to spare Rahu and ordered kīrtimukha to consume its own body instead. The motif is frequently seen on temple gates, consuming all evil.

Kothimora khukuri scabbard with kirtimukha

The scabbard body of made of wood, covered with smooth dark brown leather. The silver chape is engraved with floral designs. Apart from the karda and chakmak it carries two khisā in an enlarged back pocket.

Animal pommels on khukurī

A very rare feature that I have only seen before on a khukurī that was presented by Maharaja Jung Bahadur (1816-1877), ruler of Nepal, to Sir John Login (1809-1863), governor of Lahore in 1849. It is now in the Royal Armories collection, accession number XXVID.45 A. Another more conventional khukruī has the karda and cakmak hilts caved in lion faces. It was also presented by Maharaja Jung Bahadur, to the East India Company in 1851. Victoria & Albert Museum, accession number 2561(IS).

These examples date from the early 19th century and are of far superior quality. However, it shows the carving of animal head hilts on khukurī has a longer history.

Condition

Blade with a nick in the edge. Some staining. Otherwise the whole is in pretty good condition. See photos.

Lion pommel kothimora khukurī
Lion pommel kothimora khukurī
Lion pommel kothimora khukurī
Lion pommel kothimora khukurī
Lion pommel kothimora khukurī
Lion pommel kothimora khukurī
Lion pommel kothimora khukurī
Lion pommel kothimora khukurī
Lion pommel kothimora khukurī
Lion pommel kothimora khukurī
Lion pommel kothimora khukurī
Lion pommel kothimora khukurī
Lion pommel kothimora khukurī

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Thought to have been presented by the Royal House of Nepal.

€2500,-

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