South Indian Katar
A very fine and unusual 17th century katar from South India.
The finely pierced and fretted iron hilt typical of what was produced in the Deccan and Tanjore at that time. However the side bars that curve in and out of the central grip where a flowering blossom sits on either side, is a feature distinctly associated with katars from 19thC Kutch (North-West India). It is possible that the Kutch katar took its iconic style from this earlier South Indian model, where it evolved to what we see now (see item #3, Arms and Armour from the East, Singh, 2015).
There are other features that would indicate that this is a South Indian production, for example the beaded edge, a feature frequently seen on high quality chillanum daggers from the Deccan (see #7, Singh 2015).
An integral blade of Indian manufacture with shallow fullers, a large blossoming flower at the forte, and a row of smaller flowers at the base, again a feature found on South Indian katars.
A beautiful and potentially important and academic example of Indian metalwork.