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Ayda Katti
An exceptional example
Very rare Coorg knife
Large inlaid hilt
Marine ivory
Extremely rare blade type

Ayda Katti Antique Indian sword Malabar An exceptional example Very rare Coorg knife size Extremely rare blade type www.swordsantiqueweapons.com


An exceptional example of a very rare 18th century war knife.

This example measures 52cms tall excluding the lanyard loop. The blade is 33.5cms long from the edge of the decorated collar to the top of the blade.
As Rawson notes, this weapon type is indigenous to the most westerly part of Mysore, the Curg (or Coorg) and the Malabar coast which is noted on page 49 of his work "The Indian sword". Pages 93 & 94, #45, provide a lot of detail as to the three distinct types found throughout these regions.

The Ayda Katti is thought to be one of the rarest edged weapons known. Elgood notes in "Firearms of the Islamic world", Most were confiscated in response to an outbreak of violence near Malappuram in 1884. "The local British administration confiscated all arms, seizing 17,295 weapons of which 7,503 were guns. The Madras Museum selected a few of the better examples and the remainder were dumped into the sea."
This particular example is as noted, an exceptional example of the type, worn by a person of nobility. Every aspect of the fine inlaid ivory hilt speaks volumes about its quality and rarity.
The pommel end is a rare capstan form with an articulated lanyard ring present. This protruding section secures multiple shaped and engraved decorative brass spacers that sit below and above the classic protruding pommel. The base of the ivory grip is encased in a very finely engraved collar whilst all facets of the sea ivory grip are inlaid with 24 panels of variously shaped engraved brass panels. All inlaid sections display a sun like motif with the long band to the back of the grip showing inter-swirling sun like motifs with a double motif surrounding a heart shaped panel that appears to hold a stone or enamel.
Atop of the ivory grip sits the classic architectural shaped pillar, specific to the Adya Katti. This section of the war knife has a feint copper hue and although untested, it appears to be of a rose gold alloy. The base of the blade is encased in an expertly engraved and chiselled collar, with all faces being extremely detailed. The root of the blade within this collar, shares the same sun like motif as seen inlaid on the grip.
The blade shows a clear forged construction, a bevelled cutting edge now dulled from age and a half sun motif stamped along the entire length of the spine. The body of the blade itself is also of a very rare form, a form noted is Stone's Glossary, page 82, figure 104, #1.

Overall this is an exceptional and exceptionally rare fighting sword or War knife as the name Adya Katti implies, a weapon type that was nearly lost forever during the confiscation by the British Empire during the 19th century. A weapon type rarely seen in museums or private collections.

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