Lot 170
  • 170

A gilt battle-axe (bhuj-kutti) with elephant terminal and sheath, North-West India, Sindh, circa 1800

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
25,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • steel
  • 63cm.
carved steel blade gilt with engraved foliate designs, handle with elephant's head terminal set with colourful stones, gilt-copper handle with engraved design and concealed dagger blade revealed by unscrewing terminal, carved gilt-copper sheath with wood lining, on custom stand


Ex-collection The Maharaja of Baroda.
Vincent Laloux, Brussels.


Musée d'Art et Histoire, Geneva, 1988. 
Pavillion des Arts, Paris, 1988.


Mughal Silver Magnificence, XVI-XIXth Century, Antalga, Brussels, 1987, p.78, no.71.

Catalogue Note

The bhuj-kutti is a form of battle-axe prevalent in Sind and Northern India. They are typically short and heavy, with a single-edged blade and a straight handle about twenty inches long. As in the present example, they are usually decorated with stylised elephant’s heads inset with gemstones at the base of the blade, hence why they are known as bhuj-kutti or ‘elephant-knife’. An almost identical battle-axe is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (inv. no.3396). Two other axes of similar form and decoration are in the Wallace Collection, London (OA 1549 and OA 1558).