A seven-bladed katar dagger




India (probably Maharashtra)


18th century


Forging, engraving




Length of the hand guard 370 mm; length of the blades from 70 to 195 mm

The straight, double-edged blades are made of pattern-welded steel. Each of them has a reinforced tip and two pairs of fullers on both sides. All blades are riveted to the semi cylindrical broad hand guard, which is made of pattern-welded steel as well. The longest blade is located in the centre, and the remaining three pairs of blades are arranged on both sides as their size decreases. The parallel edges of the hand guard are strengthened by scalloped strips. The large side protrusions are formed as pointed arches each with serrated edges and four through holes. The transverse grip is formed by two bars secured inside the hand guard. Some areas of the hand guard surface are decorated with simple engraved patterns and dots.

COMMENT. This example represents a very unusual and rare type of the multi-bladed katar, in which several blades are attached to the broad hand-guard in parallel to each other. The purpose of this exotic dagger is not entirely clear. It could have been used both as a combat weapon and as a hunting weapon. A similar katar but with three blades was formerly in the Anthony C. Tirri collection (see Tirri, A.C. Islamic Weapons: Maghrib to Moghul. – Miami, 2003. – P. 298, fig. 219A).

LITERATURE: Сиваченко Е. Сталь и Золото: Восточное оружие из собрания Feldman Family Museum = Steel and Gold: Eastern Weapons from the Feldman Family Museum Collection. – Киев, 2019. – С. 518-519, №213.