This example is a beautiful representation of a south Indian katar from the Deccan region. Composed of a single piece of chiseled, carved, and gilded iron, with two grip bars, this katar is a <em style=line-height: 1.6em;tour de force<span style=line-height: 1.6em; of Indian iron work and design. Likely a court presentation piece from one of the Deccani sultanates, the décor comprises carved and pierced floral representations of poppy flowers, a typical Indian motif and found on many Deccan arms from the period. Unlike most katars from this period, the long grip-bars feature finely pierced and carved designed poppy flowers on multi-petal stems that display a rich sinuous design and display much finer and more delicate chiseling than is normally found on many pieced examples. The closest parallels are 17 c. Tanjore katars which are often made with similar design, but which are rarely found in private collections. The finest collection of Tanjore katars is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and was donated by George Cameron Stone in 1935. Those katars likely display sinuous design and often are composed of two to four pieces with the blade separate from the grip, and are often of European origin. This singular example has a blade carved integral to the handle with two grip bars attached to the side-bars. The side bars are delicately carved and pierced entirely throughout their length.
The blade is a rare re-curved type that is uncommon to Indian katars and likewise denotes a southern Indian origin. The ricasso of the blade is carved with matching floral designs, with a central ridge, and a poppy flower at the base near the ricasso. The blade is strengthened and thickened with an armor piercing point and polished along the edges for a striking color contrast. The scabbard is later to the dagger, from the 19 century, but is itself finely crafted with matching gilded iron mounts and red velvet.
Price on request