A fine Wootz Kard with an ivory hilt and gold koftgari inscription.
A Kard, literally meaning ‘knife’, was a very popular secondary weapon in Persia, Turkey and India. The Kard is a simple dagger and is distinctive through the design of the blade; which is straight and single-edged. The tangs on the Kard are flat and usually the same width as the blade. The Kard was primarily used as a stabbing weapon, and to tear chainmail.
Our example stay true to the traditional design of the Kard, with a single edged straight blade. The hilt is formed of two slim slabs of elephant ivory and held together by steel bolsters. The ivory is in fine condition for its age, with natural wear. The ivory of this Kard exhibits good colour and age patination. The gold damascened work along the tang is immaculate and extremely fine. The gold is bright, outstandingly preserved – approximately 99% intact. The gold koftgari work is very specific and represents tendrils and fruits hanging from a tree. This leads to a very appealing and unique design.
The blade is made of the sought after kara khorassan wootz (black wootz), which in this case is an import from Persia. There is a consistent pattern, of swirls, running along the entire length of the blade; creating almost a glowing effect. The waves of the Wootz are finely spaced. An etch would really bring out the fine Wootz pattern further.
The spine of the blade also has an Urdu inscription that reads:
Work of Muhammad. 1241
1241 is the date of the Islamic Hijri Calendar, which translates to 1825-1826 in the Georgian calendar. The addition of the name is of the artisan.
Overall, a fine example of an early Kard with no faults. The dating and artisan imprint really solidifies this as a sought after collectors item.