Antique Sikh Chackram from India

Item AA9      

This Item was Sold on 8 June 2012 for $389

Similar artifacts for sale are often found on the Australian Aboriginal Artifacts web page.

Historical Pricing information for this item and similar artifacts can be found at: Historical Artifact Prices.

The Indian throwing ring knife variously known as the Chakram, Chakra, Chackram, Chackrum, Chakar, Chakram Quoit, Quoit is one of the least understood of all weapons . Generally thought to be the exclusive provenance of the Sikhs, Egerton shows a broad bladed example of 6" diameter in his landmark 1880 study identified as Aboriginal and non-Aryan Tribes of Central Indian and the Andaman Islands. These generally are called the "Wild Tribes" and are known to have produced fine metal work in their weapons, particularly battle axes. Allowing for a broader use of the chakram, he describes the vast variation in construction and quality encountered. Furthermore, it seems quite likely that the Sikhs (founded in 1469) may have adapted the weapon from the refugees of the earlier Aryan invasion. Egerton also states that the arm that is exclusively peculiar to this sect (Sikhs) is the quoit, but he goes on to remove any doubt that it is a true weapon and used in battle.

The Sikhs became martial under Guru Govind Singh and they used the Chackram effectively against the Moghul dynasty. The Chackram has a history that is as old as Indian civilization itself. It's useage is embedded in Indian myth and legend. In the epics . . . the Mahabharata for instance . . . an asura trying to get heavenly nectar from the moon had his head chakra-ed off. Still he tries to swallow the moon and succeeds ever so often before the moon escapes through the cut neck . . . an eclipse myth. Sculptures and paintings of many gods and godesses show the chakra being twirled. You can read more about the Chackram on my Chackram web page.

This item is an old Chackram from India. It was purchased from the antiquity dealer - William Fagan & Company (currently called Fagan Arms) in the mid 1980s. William Fagan acquired it from an auction house in England. It is supposed to be the exact ring depicted in Wilkinson's publication "Swords and Daggers". It was likely brought to England in the19th Century by an English soldier. There are 3 sets of treemarks spaced 120 degrees apart around the perimeter of the upper surface. The treemarks contain 3 lines and 6 circles. The lower surface has a small collection tag. The ring is made out of steel. The outer rim is rounded down to form a sharp outer edge and an airfoil profile. The inner rim is blunt. There is an indication of light oxidation and micro-pitting, but the surface is nearly smooth and there are no large pits or major damage of any kind.

This Chakram is unlike the Chackram used by Xena Warrior Princess. It is not a plastic toy. I have thrown it several times in soft dry grass and it flies straight and true, but don't expect a long duration flight like an Aerobie. There is not a lot of lift on metal Chakrams compared to their weight.

Outer Diameter = 23.7 cm ; Inner Diameter = 21.8 cm ; Inner Rim Thickness = 3 mm ; Weight = 260 gm

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