Enquiry about object: 5917

    Your First Name (required)

    Your Last Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Your Country (required)

    Your Message

    Indian Sufi Mendicant’s Elbow Rest with Concealed Dagger

    central or northern India
    19th century

    height: 37cm, width: 23.3cm, weight: 1,255g



    UK art market

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This elbow rest is of brass or bronze. Each of the three ends terminates with a well-cast yali-type head, with mouth agape.

    The stem unscrews from the curved top section to reveal a thin, pointy, double-edged blade.

    Such devices were intended to be used as arm or elbow rests for sitting or mediating sufi mendicants, although the structure might also have been used as a muscat rest for firing. The concealed blade also allowed the mendicants to protect themselves.

    A related, though cruder, example is illustrated in Aryan (2005, p. 154).

    The example here has a golden patina and obvious age.


    Aryan, S., Unknown Masterpieces of Indian Folk and Tribal Art, KC Aryan’s Home of Folk Art, 2005.

    Dozens of items are added to our website each month. Be among the first to know about them.
    Sign up to our monthly catalogue