Dagger and Sheath

Date: ca. 1605–27

Culture: Indian, Mughal

Medium: Steel, gold, ruby, emerald, wood, textile, glass

Dimensions: L. 14 5/8 in. (37.1 cm); L. without scabbard 13 15/16 in. (35.4 cm); L. of grip 4 13/16 in. (12.2 cm); L. of blade 9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm); W. of grip 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm); L. of scabbard 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm)

Classification: Daggers

Credit Line: Purchase, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund and The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 1984

Accession Number: 1984.332

Description

The hilt of the dagger is constructed of heavy sections of gold over an iron core and its scabbard mounts are of solid gold. All the intricately engraved surfaces are set with gems and colored glass finely cut with floral forms. The designs closely parallel those in Mughal painting of the early seventeenth century, suggesting the dagger dates from the reign of Emperor Jahangir (1605–27), whose deep love of nature, especially flowers, is well documented in his memoirs, the Tuzuk. The blade is forged of watered steel.

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