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SOLD A rare Antique 17th -18th century, South Indian, Tanjore Yali dagger Chilanum


SOLD A rare Antique 17th -18th century, South Indian, Tanjore dagger Chilanum with sturdy double – edged recurved hand forged steel blade (slightly visible weathering Damascus pattern) with a medial ridge and reinforced armour piercing tip .The hilt, made in cast and chased bronze comprised of a grip with Yali head (Yali is a Hindu mythical creature also called Sardula or Vyala) on a stork body, the oval guard with scalloped edge and the knuckle guard adorned with bud-shaped finials.

The hilt, comprising a Yali head on a stork body, is extremely rare and there are only a few known examples of weapons with this type of hilt.

Robert Elgoot, in his book,"Hindu Arms and Ritual: Arms and Armour from India 1400-1865". (p.174) wrote: "The hilt comprises a yali head on a stork body this is an unusual combination on these arms but Walhouse (p.253) describes dagger-hilts of this form made in ivory. There are three metal examples that come to mind, a hilt illustrated by Zebrowski (1997,fig.218) which he suggested is seventeen – or eighteen – century, and two swords, one in private collection of Raja of Tanjore (18.65); and the other in Metropolitan Museum of Art ,New York".


1. A comparable dagger sold at Sotheby’s, Arts of the Islamic World, London, 5 October 2011, lot 300.

2. Hindu Arms and Ritual: Arms and Armour from India 1400 – 1865. by Robert Elgoot.

3. Gold, Silver & Bronze from Mughal India by Mark Zebrowski.

4. Indian Arms And Armour Volume II by, G.N. Pant

The buyer will be provided with a copy of the pages from the mentioned references, together with a certificate of authenticity.

MEASUREMENTS: Overall length: 31.4 cm (12 3/8 in).

CONDITION: Surface of the brass hilt slightly rubbed, presumably by handling, which can be expected from an old combat weapon.

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