An interesting South Indian style katar with an imported European blade.
Length 21 cm
Width 19 cm
17th or 18th century
From the collection of Han Hendriks 1919-2008.
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Aṅkus (अंकुस) comes from the Sanskrit word aṅkuśa (अङ्कुश) means "elephant goad". It is a hooked instrument with a sharp spearhead-like point. They were used by the mahout (the keepers, trainers, and drivers of elephants) to control elephants.
Elephants were expensive, and important and dangerous assets in the field. Those who controlled them well were of considerable importance to rulers and trusted with important tasks during processions, hunting, and warfare. The aṅkus, in that sense, was as much as a tool as an emblem of rank.
For more, see my glossary article: Aṅkus (अंकुस)
A tanged head of an ankus with spearhead and hook, on a chiseled iron base.The spearhead and hook both with four grooves on either side. The spearhead emerges from a bird-bodied yali, a mythical south Indian creature. The hook is the tail of another bird-bodied yali. Both pointed ends have reinforced tips.
The head is mounted on a long tang with a threaded butt end. The whole was once probably mounted on a wooden shaft, with a pommel screwed at the bottom.
South Indian or Deccan, 17th to early 18th century.
The piece comes from Han Hendriks (1919-2008), a notable Dutch blacksmith with a forge in the Balistraat, The Hague. He kept a study collection of antique ironwork from around the world, some of which I have been able to purchase from his descendants.
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I might be interested in buying it.Contact me
The basket hilt is elaborately overlaid with silver in floral designs.
Somewhat worn but once very high-quality, with great sculptural qualities and remains of silver "true…
Of a style often associated with Tanjore, the seat of the Vijayanagara empire.
With crisp, extremely very well-preserved wootz blade.
Signed Hirado Ju Kunishige