Original Indian 18th Century Early Style Armor Piercing Katar Dagger - circa 1750-1800
Original Item: Only One Available. The katar is definitely an odd looking weapon, however it was very effective against Chain Mail and even much plate armor found in India at the time. The tip of the blade is somewhat thickened to give it the strength to penetrate the sturdiest body defense. Our example has had the blade tip damaged, no doubt in combat. It measures 17 inches overall, with a 9 1/2 inch double edged blade.
The weapon is of forged iron construction, with a rather strange design for a hilt. Intended to be grasped by the two horizontal cross bars, the long uprights naturally extended up your arm. It was then bound in place and securely held so your arm became a trusting weapon. The long upright protected you arm from any sword blade attack, and there was no way for the warrior to drop the weapon once in place.
Some forged in decoration around the rear end of the dagger blade. Fine old patina, cleaned 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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