Place of Origin: PUNJAB, INDIA
Date: 18th - 19th Century
This katar originating from Punjab, India, shows several distinguishing features which make it a piece of exceptional quality and craftsmanship.
The thick gilt side-bars are decorated with scrolling patterns of leaved vines in copper and silver, as well as stylised flowerheads with engraved lines and a variety of petal-shapes. The two handgrips are decorated further with small flowerheads and leaves in copper and silver highlights. The symmetrical v-shaped knuckle-bar is cleverly cut to resemble the forms of leaves such as those which appear on the side-bars and handgrips, the composition culminating at the centre in a sloping triangular arch, as if the composition were intended to resemble a convergence of vine tendrils.
A blossoming flower, carved out of the watered steel surface and flanked at either side by the numbers ‘7’ and ‘0’, springs from the crevice created by the knuckle-guard to form the forte of the blade. This forte-flower forms the base of a sunken arched panel which extends over the first half of the blade, another flower carved in deep relief above and the details of its leaves and petals picked out with close engraving. The remainder of the blade and its gold-lined edges are pierced with a skilful openwork trellis pattern and decorated in koftgari with further floral motifs and careful lines.
Two katars with similarly arched knuckle-bars are published in Susan Stronge, ed., The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 1999, p. 139, Nos. 156 & 157 (The Board of Trustees of the Armouries (XXVI D62 & 85 respectively)). Another example with this feature is preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Accession Number 36.25.694).