Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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kukri, karda, and sheath (two knives and sheath)
  • Nepal
  • kukri, karda, and sheath (two knives and sheath), late 1800s–1950
  • Where object was made: Nepal?
  • iron, brass?, metal, wood, ivory?, leather, glass, inlay, carving, stamping, incising
  • Object Length/Width: a) 41 x 9 cm
    Object Length/Width: a) 16 1/8 x 3 9/16 in
    Object Length/Width: b) 32.5 x 7 cm
    Object Length/Width: b) 12 13/16 x 2 3/4 in
    Object Length/Width: c) 12.5 x 2.5 cm
    Object Length/Width: c) 4 15/16 x 1 in
  • Gift of Dr. Curt Von Wedel
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0399.a,b,c

There is one large knife (2007.0399.a) and one small knife (2007.0399.c) that both fit into a highly decorated sheath (2007.0399.b).

The large knife has a curved iron blade, almost hook-like, with a stamped or incised decorative pattern of scallops and dots on the non-cutting edge. The knife handle is dark wood, with a brass element where the blade enters the handle and a silver-colored metal plate on the end of the handle, and a small brass diamond. The wood handle itself flares at the end, and is decorated with one raised ridge at the beginning of the flare with incised bands below the ridge.

The small knife has an undecorated handle, possibly ivory. The blade is slightly hooked.

The sheath is made of wood and covered in leather. The large knife fits between two slats of wood, and the small knife fits in a small leather pocket on the undecorated side of the sheath. There are two other small leather pockets on the same side. The decorated side has four panels of inlaid glass and metal scroll work. There are "beaded" bands of metal between each panel. The top panel is rectangular with a center flower-like design in red and clusters of three blue drops in each corner. The panel below is five sided with the point down. The center design is a large red drop with blue drops surrounding it. There are red drops in each corner. The third panel is rectangular, but with triangles removed from the top and bottom edge. The center design is a red flower-like design. There are clusters of three red drops at each point. It has a single blue drop on the center of each long side. The bottom panel is diamond shaped, with the bottom point significantly longer than the top. The center design, placed at the intersection of the diamond's axes, is missing its center stone, but the surrounding blue drops of glass are present. There is a cluster of three red drops at the top point, three blue drops at the bottom point and a single green drop at each side point. The negative space in all of the panels is filled with metal curlicues and a white substance. It appears the background, behind the curlicues, may once have been a metallic gold or silver color.