A good and rare South Indian hooded Katar from Tanjore India, circa 1680-1700.
This all steel fighting sword measures 55cms long overall and carries a 38cms long blade which is 6cms wide at the base.
The thick protective hand guard is covered with chiselled decorative borders and a long central image of Matsya, representing one of the creator Vishnu's forms on earth. The guard finial is that of a grinning demon, possibly being Yali. The thick hooked guard finial also adds further defensive capabilities in that it can prevent sword strikes from travelling further towards the defenders body. The hand is further protected by broad side guards that support the double inner grips.
The thick fullered blade is supported at the hilt top and bottom with decorative langets. The blade is in very good condition for its age and retains a full armour piercing tip.
A very good and early Tanjore Katar, a form rarely seen.