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Bara Jamdadu

Place of Origin: Golkonda (India)

Date: 18th Century

Overall Length: 1000mm

Blade Length: 800mm

Reference: 014

Status: Sold

Full Description:

An unusual Indian sword, with a Katar hilt and European tapering double-edged blade.

Described as a ‘Bara Jamdadu’ by Stone (p.93), both being Indic (Indo-Aryan) words, ‘bara’ being the word for ‘large’ and ‘Jamdadu’ probably a revision of the word ‘Jamdaar’ meaning Demons tooth.

This weapon takes obvious influence from both Katar (punch dagger) and Pata (Gauntlet Sword).  The design of the hilt can be seen to be similar to Tanjore Katars from the 16th and 17th centuries.  See a group depicted by Holstein (vol.1, pl. XVIII) which are now in the Metropolitan Museum.  Many of these earlier Katars have grips with a swollen centre, and a gap between two outer bars, the bars linked by means of spinning wheels.  This later example has three fixed spools, and a pierced fleur-de-lis either side.  The cupped arching knuckle guard to which the shaped blade straps are joined are also similar in form.  All gold-damascened overall with a repeated design of interlace and punched quatrefoils.

Two hinging silver wrist-mounts provide lateral leverage against the forearms, making the sword a much more practical weapon, the blade forte incised 'KNEGT' between pellets and an anchor mark on one side and 'IN SOLINGEN' between similar marks on the other.

Late R.Wagner Jr collection (USA)

Pinchot, p.70, fig.4-27


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