Scabbard for a Punch-Dagger (Katar) (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

18th century
Indian
Arms And Armor
gilded silver, velvet, wood
probably Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, North India
Overall: 9 3/4 × 3 11/16 × 13/16 in. (24.77 × 9.37 × 2.06 cm)
2003.49
The elegantly restrained decorative style of the Mughals was transformed by artists in the 18th century into lighter, lusher, and more extravagant forms. This intricate gilded-silver scabbard, made for a triangular-bladed punch dagger (katar), is a superb example of this almost rococo aesthetic. Floral motifs—always a mainstay of Mughal decoration—are multiplied and interlaced into an ebullient openwork tracery that covers the scabbard’s velvet-clad wooden interior.
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
Stephen Markel, “’This Blaze of Wealth and Magnificence’: The Luxury Arts of Lucknow,” India’s Fabled City. The Art of Courtly Lucknow ex. cat. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art in asso. with DelMonico Books, 2010) p. 206, color ill. p. 207 (also published in corresponding pages of the French edition).
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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