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Original Indian 17th Century Tanjore Katar Hooded Dagger with Leather Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is very rare, made in the Sub Continent of India during the 1600s, this is the oldest style of Indian dagger one finds today. This example, referred to as "TANJORE KATAR," features a hooded hand guard not very often encountered.

In comes in its wood lined hard brown leather custom scabbard, itself possibly 17th century. It is fitted with a 14" multi-fullered blade, this type of dagger was often bound to the warriors arm, and is intended just for thrusting. The weapon measures just under 20" overall.

These are early, these are rare and this one, uncleaned just as we got in a Museum purchase is in lovely condition. Very Early and ready to display

History of the Katar

The katar or katara, is a type of push dagger from South Asia. The weapon is characterised by its H-shaped horizontal hand grip which results in the blade sitting above the user's knuckles. Unique to South Asia, it is the most famous and characteristic of Indian daggers. Ceremonial katars were also used in worship.

The katar was created in south India, its earliest forms being closely associated with the 14th-century Vijayanagara Empire. It may have originated with the mustika, a method of holding a dagger between the middle and index finger still used in gatka today. A specific type of dagger might have been designed for this, as maustika is described vaguely as a "fist dagger" in the arsenal list of Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak. One of the most famous groups of early katar come from the Thanjavur Nayak kingdom (Formerly called Tanjore) of the 17th century. Katar dating back to this period often had a leaf- or shell-like knucklebow curving up from the top of the blade to protect the back of the hand. This form is today sometimes called a "hooded katara" but the knuckleguard was discarded altogether by the later half of the 17th century.
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