Category: 17th century

Wootz Katar, Possibly 17th Century

Of robust size and high quality, this venerable Southern Indian katar is perhaps as old as the 1600s. Its blade is held in place by twin elephants, sacred animals, and entirely made of wootz and shows all the beautiful patterns and swirls you’d expect from that mysterious steel.

The hilt has been hand-carved extensively, not just to show floral elements but also zig-zag patterns and hundreds of holes and stars—perforations reminiscent of jali screens.

Despite its centuries of wear this is still a sturdy, historical and aesthetically pleasing piece. It is accompanied by a modern sheath.


Indian Jade and Silver Hilt Khanjar, 17th or 18th Century

With slightly curved double-edged blade of finely watered wootz steel with a double-filler over each side forming a narrow medial ridge to the reinforced point, hilt comprising silver quillon-block with pointed langets and downcurved quillons each with stylised makara-head terminal, and faceted grip of light greyish green jade rising up to a beaked rounded pommel, in its wooden scabbard covered in fishskin (minor damage) with silver locket and chape embossed and chased with a repeated design of foliage. 17.2 cm blade.

Scottish Lowland Left-Hand Dagger, Late 16th Century to Early 17th Century

32.25 cm sharply tapering hollow ground cruciform blade with pronounced raised medial ridge to either side, the crossguard of characteristic form with down turned lobed quillons angled slightly forwards, the base plate of the crossguard formed to receive the cruciform shoulders of the blade in the Scottish manner, the half basket guard composed of flattened rounded bars with lower oval side guard set with a sprung pierced plate, this guard supports the three upper guard bars secured to the ovoid pommel with a single screw, the two fore bars set with further bars in the form of a stylised saltire, wire bound leather covered wooden grip. This dagger is a scarce example of a small grouping of similar arms described as Lowland Scottish and features in a detailed discussion by Claude Blair in his chapter The Early Basket Hilt in Britain which formed part of David Caldwell’s publication Scottish Weapons and Fortifications 1100-1800, see figures 129 and 131 on pages 228 and 230. Please also see figure 279 on page 394 of The Scottish Basket Hilted Sword Volume I 1450-1600 The Baron of Earlshall.



Savoyard Helmet, 17th century.

Takouba, 19th Century Hilt with Older Blade

North Africa, Wide, European, double-edged blade with round tip, of hexagonal section. First part with iron reinforcement, with a stamp. Brass, cross-quillon, engraved and pierced, iron pommel, shaped as Brazil nut, chiselled in the upper part. Leather-covered grip. Leather scabbard, decorated with geometrical imprints, brass mounts, decorated en suite with the quillon. Three suspension laces. Scarce. length 89.5 cm.

English Hanger, Mid-17th Century

With curved fullered blade double-edged and widening towards the point, cut with a series of notches along the back and incised with waved lines between dots along the back edge on both sides, long ricasso struck twice on each side with a maker’s mark, a crowned recumbent stag (?), hilt comprising lobed rear quillon with small button terminal, side-guard with central double swelling divided by a slender oval and enclosing a pair of short scrolls, knuckle-guard with central feature en suite and secured by a screw to the pommel, the latter with a beaked heart-shaped top and button finial, and natural buckhorn grip with central and basal moulded iron ferrules. 58 cm blade. The bladesmith’s mark appears to be that of Jaspar Bongen [of Solingen].

British Basket Hilted Broadsword, 17th Century

17th century Basket Hilt sword, 79 cm steel blade stamped Thomas Hvmffreies, London Fecit, Anno 1668, wire bound sharkskin grip, brass pommel with steel nut, pierced brass three-quarter guard, 97 cm overall.


A South Indian Chilanum/Khanjarli

17th/18th centuryThe 12 inch recurved blade of wootz steel with multiple fullers and point of diamond section, the base chiseled with central palmette, the sides with pierced scrollwork. Hilt with faceted V-shaped guard and short grip with central knopf and large two-piece elephant ivory lunette pommel. 

Iron Mask  17th or 18th Century

Possibly from a scold’s bridle or mask of infamy. A scold’s bridle was an instrument of punishment, as a form of torture and public humiliation. The device was an iron muzzle in an iron framework that enclosed the head. A bridle-bit (or curb-plate), about 2 inches long and 1 inch broad, projected into the mouth and pressed down on top of the tongue. 

The mask of infamy was a torture device used as a form of humiliation. The mask itself caused no physical torture, but the wearer was often chained to a post where he or she was tortured by various members surrounding the scene. The mask would sometimes have a ball, or other type of inner device, to prevent the wailing or screaming of the wearer. The types of masks represented the crime. For example, if the person was considered dirty, he or she would wear the pig shaped mask. It would be locked onto the head for a time determined by the accuser. 

This item was originally displayed as an executioner’s mask alongside a block and axe in the Tower of London.

English Rapier, c.1630-50

Fine and Classic English Civil War Period Rapier c.1630-1650, straight double edge Solingen blade deeply struck with makers devices and the apocryphal date 1535, iron hilt of Norman type 87 comprising an arcaded gallery, pierced and engraved bowl, quillons and side bars all with typical scrolled finials, tall swollen fluted pommel, wire bound grip. Overall length 108 cm, blade 87 cm. Excellent age patina overall. Good condition. This rapier would have been owned by a Protestant. 1535 is of seminal importance in English history and commemorates the year Henry 8th declared himself head of the Church of England. 

I have a soft spot for this type of hilt.