Recently I hade many queries regarding koftgari art. There are many questions like is that real gold or silver used, is it a kind of electroplating or something? How is it done ?, So in this post, I’m explaining what actually is Koftgari art/ work and how is it done. In ancient times swords were considered as a sign of power, wealth and keep one’s self-esteem high. They were decorated with gold, silver, and other precious stones. Decorating the sword hilt, blades, and scabbard with pure gold and silver is known as Koftgari Art. In Koftgari very fine 24 kt pure gold or silver wire is damascened on steel with different tools in various floral or geometric patterns, giving a rich and royal look to the sword.
First, we make the scratches with a very sharp knife type tool on the base and then a very fine wire ( with a thickness of hair) of gold or silver is damascened with a pen-style tool making the required image or pattern on the base. Final touches of polishing are done by rubbing the pure agate (Hakik) stone on gold or silver giving a lustrous finish to the work. Various hunting scenes and other attractive scenes were created with the gold and silver wires. There were different names for different scenes in this art. Like hunting scenes were referred to as “Shikargah”. If a floral pattern was done on borders only, then it was known as “Korbandi”. The combination of silver and gold work is known as “Ganga- Jamni” named after the two famous rivers of India.
On different occasions, kings and nobles used to carry swords with different work patterns. While attending the royal court gold koftgari sword was carried and on marriages, silver koftgari swords were worn by the attendants and the groom used to carry the sword with gold koftgari work. There are many examples of religious inscriptions and the name of the sword owner written on the blade or the hilt of the sword written in gold or silver with this art.