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Old 23rd February 2017, 01:36 PM   #1
Mercenary
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Default Interesting implement

In the MET Museum there is an interesting implement. I found it very interesting by its construction:
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collec...pp=20&pos=2
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Old 23rd February 2017, 02:12 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
In the MET Museum there is an interesting implement. I found it very interesting by its construction:
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collec...pp=20&pos=2


I would say it is a Katar, but without the extending armguards. While quite rare, katars missing the extending armguards are definitely not unheard of.

I am surprised the "experts" at the Met didn't realise what it is. Or maybe I am not that surprised...

I hope Jens sees this thread and gives us more information on this rather unusual Katar.
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Old 23rd February 2017, 02:59 PM   #3
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I cant tell you what it is, it looks like a 'wounded' katar, but if you would use this one as a katar you would get the two peacocks pressed into your hand, which would not be very plessant.
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Old 23rd February 2017, 03:15 PM   #4
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It has the katar form but if it is a katar I would think it would cause the user some damage to the palm unless it is held in a different way than normal in which case I cannot see it being that effective. Having said that I don't know what else it could be. Jens has and still is, I believe, researching the katar and may be able to shed some light on whether or not the item in question is a katar.
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Old 23rd February 2017, 03:27 PM   #5
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if i remember these are sindhi kattars
sometimes with engravings on the blade, a man with a sun
and also the birds on the handle...
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Old 23rd February 2017, 03:34 PM   #6
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KATAR JAMADHAR is what i have in mind...
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Old 23rd February 2017, 08:36 PM   #7
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Miguel, you are right I am researching the katar as best I can, and I have four researches going at the moment, so I dont tthink I should take up more.

I can not say, from the picture, if this is a garsoe katar or not, but Miguel's comment is very good.
Its really a very odd thing.
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Old 23rd February 2017, 09:40 PM   #8
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As Jens noted, the Katar in the original posting couldn't be effectively used as it would provide a completely inadequate grip.
However, I believe this Katar was never meant to be used.
Just by looking at the blade one can easily notice it doesn't appear to have an edge and strong tips suitable for stabbing.
So I am of the oppinion it is a purely decorative piece.
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Old 24th February 2017, 01:04 AM   #9
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Pure IMHO:
It is not exhibited; it is kept in storage.
Who knows what the "Fletcher fund" is supposed to be...

People donate all kinds of stuff to a multitude of organizations, often for tax purposes, and the museums are stuck with them.

It is too impractical for a fighting usage and too crude and unattractive for a decorative one.

My guess it is a souvenir, and likely not old at all.
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Old 24th February 2017, 03:27 AM   #10
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In my opinion, this could well be a 'votive' weapon, that is, one used only symbolically in ritual and ceremony in religious circumstances, in this case probably Hindu. In southern states in India, such as Karnataka and Kerala and others, there is the ceremony of Aayudha Pooja, or worship of weapons.

I am unclear on what weapons or how these ceremonies are practiced or determined, but this example may have been made for such use. As noted, its age is not great but seems somewhat patinated. I believe certain types of formulated pastes or substances are put on these in the ritual which may account for discoloration.

The use of votive weapons in temples and religious rituals, ceremony and procession is known widely in India and many places in Hindu and Buddhist Faiths. In Tibet, the 'phurbu' (or ghost dagger) is such a weapon, used only figuratively in rituals.

Interesting item, and indeed seems to be made nominally in the general shape of a katar, which of course did have forms made with often two blades or other variants.
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Old 24th February 2017, 01:41 PM   #11
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Ariel:

The Met actually bought this piece (see under Provenance) so I guess someone thought it worthy of collecting. It appears that the Fletcher Fund was used to pay for it.

Ian

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Pure IMHO:
It is not exhibited; it is kept in storage.
Who knows what the "Fletcher fund" is supposed to be...

People donate all kinds of stuff to a multitude of organizations, often for tax purposes, and the museums are stuck with them.

It is too impractical for a fighting usage and too crude and unattractive for a decorative one.

My guess it is a souvenir, and likely not old at all.
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Old 24th February 2017, 08:35 PM   #12
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Yes it could have been made for religious use, but even for that I find the blade is very crude - but who knows?
And if, why the missing side guards??
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Old 25th February 2017, 12:26 AM   #13
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I think it is entirely an interpretive weapon, that is, loosely devised to have resemblance to existing arms but not requiring the quality nor the key features normally emplaced for protective or combative use.
As Ian has noted, this was an acquisition which must have had pertinence for the museum to have used benefactors funds to purchase.

This does not seem at all to be a 'souvenier' which would have been more produced to look like the weapons known in India, while this is as noted, not even trying to imitate such arms faithfully.

Elgood does a great job of describing the kinds of rituals and ceremonial uses of weaponry in temples and with religious groups of key Faiths in South India. Reading there on more of these complexities would give better understanding of this type of 'weapons'.
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Old 25th February 2017, 03:31 AM   #14
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I’ll suggest an alternative hypothesis, taking into account some clues related to the original Met exhibit.
The provenance shows the “implement” was obtained some 35 years ago from a named individual. Google search indicates that the named individual is possibly Iranian, and was the president of an oriental carpet company at about the time of the Met’s acquisition.
Although we are all programmed to see such an implement as a weapon, we have agreed that its design is very unsuitable for that purpose. Given its provenance, is it unreasonable to think of it as an elegant tool for use in trimming or shaping sumptuous knotted rugs?
Take another look at what seems to me to be a much more comfortable and useful approach to using the “implement”:

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Old 25th February 2017, 02:51 PM   #15
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Most interesting hypothesise which I would go along with as it ticks the boxes. The peacock was also a symbol in Persia. Well done Holmes.
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Old 25th February 2017, 03:16 PM   #16
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I agree with Miguel.
Berkeley, a most compelling theory, and nice research to bring in the Persian rug making angle! I would never have thought of this as such an implement, but this makes perfect sense.
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Old 25th February 2017, 03:56 PM   #17
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For that, the inner edges of the forked blade should have been razor-sharp. On the object they look dull and horribly uneven.
And didn't Iranian carpet makers have just scissors?

I am glad that Jum agrees with me about its age.

We all have "walls of shame" in our collections. Why would Met be an exception?

Iranian carpet traders can spin provenance stories more fabulous than Chinese E-Bayers:-)

My hypothesis is more pedestrian, but the Occam Razor still cuts quite well.
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Old 25th February 2017, 06:30 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=Berkley]I’ll suggest an alternative hypothesis, taking into account some clues related to the original Met exhibit.
Given its provenance, is it unreasonable to think of it as an elegant tool for use in trimming or shaping sumptuous knotted rugs?
Take another look at what seems to me to be a much more comfortable and useful approach to using the “implement”:

Interesting hypothesis, but I have visited a few carpet workshops that use ancient tools and technique and didn't see anything like this.

Besides, you can google "tools used in carpet making" and won't get anything that looks alike.
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Old 25th February 2017, 09:57 PM   #19
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Well it sounded like a plausible idea, and I am always open to any thoughts especially when reasonably deduced and supporting factors presented.
On the other hand, looking at what might have been the purpose, and noting no sharpened edges etc. the thinking moves back to votive item as originally proposed seems better.

I do very much like these kinds of exchanges where everyone presents ideas and views without friction and keeping open minds. This way we can all evaluate evidence and ideas to form opinions.
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Old 26th February 2017, 03:47 AM   #20
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Jim, thanks for your steady hand on the tiller.
I am reminded of an old saying I learned in the Caribbean: "Some days chicken, some days feathers."
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Old 27th February 2017, 06:09 PM   #21
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Thank you so much Berkley! and I very much like the analogy 'steady hand on the tiller'!
As we navigate the treacherous waters of extremely murky arms and armour investigation, classification and history, there are most definitely challenges.
I think it is always responsible and prudent to change course as required with regard to perspective and theories and as more supporting material becomes available.
We all learn a heck of a lot here as we bounce these things around!!!
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Old 5th April 2017, 06:41 PM   #22
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Here is another one from Rajastan, ended on e-bay. The seller was kind enough to label it as " wall decorative"
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