Serpentine hilted pesh-kabz
Overall length

Sheathed 48 cm

Dagger 44.4 cm

Blade length

31 cm

Spine thickness

Base 10.8 mm

Middle 12 mm

Tip 6.5 mm

Blade width

Base 58 mm

Middle 35 mm

Tip 17 mm

Weight

487 grams

Point of balance

At blade-hilt junction

Materials

Iron, steel, serpentine, bone, red paste, brass

Origin

Bhera, Punjab

(Present-day Pakistan)

Dating

Mid 19th century

Provenance

From a Scandinavian collection

Price €1600, -

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Introduction

The town of Bhera in the Punjab, present-day Pakistan, was an important trading outpost on the road to Kabul. It was known for its production of fine fighting daggers, often with serpentine hilts. The serpentine was polished to a smooth finish, making it nearly indistinguishable from fine jade. It was locally known as sang-i-vesham.1

Notes
1. Henry Baden Powell; Handbook of the economic products of the Punjab. Thomas Civil Englishineering College Press, Roorkee. 1872. Pages 148-149.

 

This example

A relatively large pesh-kabz with a very crisp blade, still in its original finish. It has two wide fullers on either side, and a pronounced T-shaped cross section for half its length. The last half is entirely double-edged. The period finish was done with a resistance-etch to simulate the appearance of wootz steel.

The hilt is a sturdy full-tang construction. The fine serpentine is riveted to the tang with very small rivets, as not to disturb the appearance of the prized material too much. Edges are filled with red filler and there is a bone strip dividing the grip scales. At the pommel is a small hinged loop.

Comes in its original leather-covered scabbard with a steel endpiece. Some damage to the leather, otherwise al l in good, original condition with no restorations or repairs.

Serpentine hilted dagger from Bhera
Serpentine hilted dagger from Bhera
Serpentine hilted dagger from Bhera
Serpentine hilted dagger from Bhera
Serpentine hilted dagger from Bhera
Serpentine hilted dagger from Bhera
Serpentine hilted dagger from Bhera
Serpentine hilted dagger from Bhera
Serpentine hilted dagger from Bhera

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I might be interested in buying it.

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Finely forged, rifled, and with gold overlay.

€1500,-

With gold koftgari decorated hilt.

€3500,-

Belonging to a group of royal katar made by Khemau under Maharao Ram Singh.

€5500,-

With vintage silver mounted scabbard.

€4800,-

With a fine wootz blade with a pronounced center ridge.

€3800,-

The style typical of Kutch, the execution far above what is normally seen on work from that area.

Price on request