This rare sword is a Nepalese temple kora dating to the mid 1800’s. Temple kora were used for sacrificial purposes and are kept within the temple complex generation after generation. It is rare to find one outside these environs. Kora such as this one are still used for the sacrifice of bullocks during the festival of Dashain. Dashain is the longest and most auspicious festival in the Nepalese calendar. The fifteen days of celebration occur during the bright lunar fortnight in late September/early October, ending on the day of the full moon. Throughout the kingdom of Nepal, the goddess Durga in all her manifestations is worshiped with offerings and thousands of animal sacrifices to provide blood for the ritual holy bathing of the goddess, drenching statues of the goddess in blood over the fifteen days.
The 592mm blade has a flat spine with a sharp edge to the inner curve. The tip of the blade flares and curves forward, ending in three sharp points. The forward edge is also sharp although the shape is relatively ineffective for thrusting. The shape and weight of the blade give it a devastating downward cut.
The blade is 40mm wide at the ricasso, widening to 60mm before curving forward and flaring to 132mm. The blade is razor sharp and is deeply engraved with lotus flowers and Hindu symbolism. A figure (Durga?) is shown in a forest and the flared end is engraved with a scene of Durga riding a tiger. The obverse of the blade is similarly etched and includes a brass inlay of Durga in a forest and at the flared end, a brass inlay of the face of Durga within a sun or flower-like circle. The blade is in very good condition with mild age and use related marks and tarnish.
The iron hilt is engraved with panels showing tigers and elephants. The hilt has a wonderful patina and is in very good condition. The blade is firm in the hilt.
This rare kora is complete with its rare cloth covered wooden scabbard. These scabbards are almost never found. The scabbard is in good condition for its age. The cloth covering is fragile and has wear and tears along the edges commensurate with its age.
This is a great example of a rare mid-19th Century Nepalese temple kora. A culturally and religiously significant Hindu sword.
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