North Indian katar with tools
Overall length

40.5 cm

Blade length

20.8 cm

Blade thickness

Base 8 mm

Thickening at point 10.5 mm

Blade width

Base 55 mm

At thickening 29 mm

Weight without scabbard

443 grams

Origin

Rajasthan, North India

Materials

(Wootz) steel, iron, gold, wood, fabric, leather

Dating

Mid 19th century

Provenance

Prior to 2019, Runjeet Singh

2019; Peter Dekker, sold to a a Scandinavian private collector

2024 Purchased back from collector

Price €3800, -

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Description

A nice example of a north Indian katar. It has a strong and thick wootz blade with pronounced ridgeline between two hollow sections. The center is etched to reveal the wootz pattern, while the edges are burnished bright following the typical northern aesthetic.

Hilt

The hilt is decorated with thick gold floral scrollwork, most of it still intact. Where the hilt meets the blade, there is an unusual loss of gold. An inscription has probably been deliberately removed here.

Scabbard & tools

It comes in its original wooden scabbard, covered with olive green fabric. It has a silver endpiece and a leather belt wrapped around it with a golden damascened buckle. It has a separate compartment in the front that holds four tools, each damascened in gold, just like the katar itself.

The tools consist of two pairs of tweezers, a pin of square cross-section, and a chisel-like implement with an oblique head and a dagger-like hilt.

Condition

Katar and tools in very good condition, with only some minor losses to the gold save for the katar's base. Blade in very good condition, no edge damage, etc. The scabbard has some losses to the textile covering.

Provenance

The piece was previously sold by Runjeet Singh, see multi-tool-katar. I acquired it from a collector in 2019, and sold it the same year. In February 2024 I purchased it back from the collector, to offer to the market once again.

Conclusion

Katar complete with tools are very rare. Such pockets with tools are more commonly associated with the Nepalese khukurī, which often carried a flint striker, a little knife, and a tinder pouch, but sometimes also tweezers and other more unusual tools. See for example this trousse khukurī.

This is a good quality example in a rather good state of preservation, retaining all its original parts. The katar itself has a substantial wootz blade and lavish gold decoration.

North Indian katar with tools
North Indian katar with tools
North Indian katar with tools
North Indian katar with tools
North Indian katar with tools
North Indian katar with tools
North Indian katar with tools
North Indian katar with tools
North Indian katar with tools
North Indian katar with tools
North Indian katar with tools
North Indian katar with tools
North Indian katar with tools
North Indian katar with tools
North Indian katar with tools

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