A Mughal Katar, Early 18th century

1799 v2
1799 1
1799 2 v2

Item ref: 1799

  • India, Rajastan
  • Steel, iron and gold
  • 44 cm / 17 in


Private collection, Great Britain

A katar is a type of Indian push dagger, characterised by its H-shaped horizontal hand grip which sits the blade above the user's knuckles. Unique to the Indian subcontinent, ceremonial katars were also used in worship. 

Upper-class Rajputs and Mughals would even hunt tiger with a pair of katar. For a hunter to kill a tiger with such a short-range weapon was considered the surest sign of bravery and martial skill.