Enquiry about object: 3296
Tibetan Nomad’s Silver-Mounted Knife & Scabbard with Coral
Khampa, Western Tibet 19th century
length: 24.5cm, width: 3.1cm, weight: 189g
from the collection of Sir Christopher Ondaatje, UK.
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This knife and sheaf or scabbard would have been worn by a nomad in western Tibet. The scabbard of wood, or horn, has been partly clad in silver that is mounted with three coral cabochons in silver box settings. The silver panels are chased in high relief with Himalayan floral scrollwork.
The blade is of single-edged steel that comes to a point.
The knife shows signs of much use and age.
The knife is from the collection of Sir Christopher Ondaatje. Ondaatje is of Sinhalese and Dutch ancestry and was born in Sri Lanka (or Ceylon as it was known) in 1933. A businessman, writer and Olympian, he is the older brother of author Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient, among many works.