Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1751 Rajput zamindar
Subjectज़मींदार zamīndār noble
Culture: Rajput
Setting: Maratha wars / late Mughal empire, Hindustan 18th-early 19thc
Object: daggers


* Stone 1934 p352
"The Indo-Persian knife generally known by this name [khanjar] ... was very popular in India and Persia and is apt to be more highly decorated than any other form of knife from this region.  The blades are generally fine forgings of watered steel, sometimes finely carved; and the hilts are of ivory, jade or some other hard stone, frequently set with jewels.  The scabbards are often mounted to match the hilts."

* Richardson/Bennett 2015 p30
"The khanjar is the commonest type of dagger, found in a variety of forms across the Muslim world.  It has a double-edged curved blade, and in India often has a reinforced point to give strength to enable the blade to be used against mail armour.  Rock crystal, nephrite (jade) and other hardstones usually form the hilts of these daggers, and they are often carved in the form of animal's heads, and set with precious and semi-precious stones in gold.  Dagger such as this are often seen in portraits of Mughal nobles."

* Withers/Capwell 2010 p228
"Khanjar is the general Arabic term for dagger.  Often, however, the term is used by collectors to describe a body of daggers with curved, double-edged blades from India, mostly with jade hilts, and from Persia, frequently with walrus ivory or steel hilts."

​* Fryer 1969 p86
"Khanjar  An Indo-Persian dagger, with slightly recurved blade often of finely Damascus steel.  The hilt, generally of 'pistol grip' shape, was usually of jade, carved or inset with gems."


* Coe/Connolly/Harding/Harris/Larocca/Richardson/North/Spring/Wilkinson p196 (Frederick Wilkinson, "India and Southeast Asia" p186-203)
"One weapon which appears to be unique to India is the katar or punch dagger which, in some respects, resembles the pata for it is gripped in the same fashion, the blade becoming an extension of the arm.  The hilt consists of two bars or flattened arms which spring from the base of the blade and join with two parallel bars which are gripped by the hand.  The katar of northern India has a blade which is wide at the hilt and tapers fairly quickly to the point.  In most cases the blade thickens at the point, giving the extra strength needed to punch through the metal rings of an enemy's coat of mail.  [CONTRA Arts of the Muslim knight 2008 p143.]  Some katars have wide blades engraved with a variety of themes, and some have a central rib, but many are quite plain. ... A variant form is the scissors katar, which has an outer hollow blade which divides down the centre; this is opened by squeezing together the two central holding bars to expose a third inner blade.  The katar could well be the descendant of the maustika mentioned in the arsenal list of Abdul Fazl."

* Richardson/Bennett 2015 p29
"The katar, with its transverse grips, was unique to India, and was to be found across most of the sub-continent.  It was fitted with a variety of blades, ranging from narrow wavy blades preferred in the south to short, straight and broad blades in the north, multiple blades, as well as novelties such as the 'scissors' katar, in which squeezing the grips together causes an outer set of blades to open like scissors, and even multiple daggers in which one or even two little katar were housed inside the outer dagger."

* Fryer 1969 p86
"Katar  An Indian dagger designed for thrusting.  It consists of tapered blade (the tip often reinforced for piercing chain mail) with a hilt formed of two parallel bars connected by two or more crossbars.  Occasionally a knuckle guard is fitted.  Blades are found with 'scissors' action, serrated edges or are even forked."

Pesh Kabz

* Richardson/Bennett 2015 p30
"Found only in the north was the pushqabz, a dagger with a single-edged blade, either straight or double-curved, with a T-shaped back and a long taper to the point, which was sometimes reinforced.  It is closely related to the larger and usually straight-bladed Afghan 'Khyber knife' or chura.  A smaller version, called the kard, had a single-edged, flat-backed straight blade.  Both had deep scabbards which conceal most of the hilt of the dagger (giving the pushqabz its name, 'hidden hilt')."

* Stone 1934 p493-494
"PESH-KABZ, PESHCUBZ, PESHQABZ. A form of dagger used in Persia and Northern India. The name is Persian and means 'foregrip.' The blade is of T section and is quite wide at the hilt, narrowing suddenly just below it, and then tapering regularly to a very slender point. As a rule the blade is straight, but not infrequently has a pronounced reverse curve. The hilt is often of walrus ivory (Persian, shirmani), and is heavy and has neither guard nor pommel. This knife is obviously intended for forcing an opening in mail; and as a piece of engineering design could hardly be improved upon for the purpose."

* Coe/Connolly/Harding/Harris/Larocca/Richardson/North/Spring/Wilkinson 1993 p197 (Frederick Wilkinson, "India and Southeast Asia" p186-203)
"A larger knife not dissimilar in shape [to the kard] is the pesh-kabz, but on this weapon the blade tapers very abruptly to a narrow point. The hilt is similar to that of the kard but much chunkier."

* Byam 1988 p34 caption
"The pesh-kabz was a specialist dagger from Persia and north India, used mainly for piercing chain mail.  The blade was wide at the hilt, narrowing to a cutting edge before tapering to a sharp point."

* Fryer 1969 p88
"Pesh-kabz   An Indo-Persian dagger with slender pointed blade of T section. The headvy guardless hilt often has ivory grips."