This dagger from Mughal India, with its single-edged curved watered steel blade, has a light celadon-green jade hilt with a curved pommel and curved quillons. The pommel is carved in relief with floral and leaf motifs on both sides. The base of the hilt is similarly carved. Each of the three flowers carved on either side of the pommel and on the pommel’s crest are inset with a ruby cabochon in a gold setting.
The top of the blade is decorated on both sides with a cartouche of overlaid gold koftgari with fern-like scrollwork.
Such daggers and especially the hilts were popular with the Qing Court in China and many examples were imported to China from India. As a consequence, there are many examples in Taipei’s National Palace Museum.
The dagger is in fine condition. The blade fits well in the hilt without any movement. There are no losses to the jade and no restoration.
Hales, R., Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour: A Lifetime’s Passion, Robert Hale CI Ltd, 2013.
Mohamed, B., The Arts of the Muslim Knight: The Furusiyya Art Foundation Collection, Skira, 2008.