The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Dagger
  • Dagger
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • India
  • early 17th century
  • Gold, watered steel, table diamonds, rubies and emeralds
  • Length: 35.1 cm
    Weight: 0.51 kg, without scabbard
  • OA1409
  • Oriental Armoury
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The hilt of pure gold is closely set with table diamonds, rubies and emeralds, in a manner characteristic of the Mughal Court workshops during the first decades of the seventeenth century Immediately adjacent to the blade of ‘watered’ steel, the projecting lower guard features a tiger’s head mounted with rubies carved to represent the eyes, nose and whiskers; natural diamond crystals form the teeth. Although the early provenance of this dagger is unknown, it was almost certainly made for a Prince of the Mughal court, possibly even for Shah Jahan (builder of the Taj Mahal) himself. Workmanship of this degree of artistry and skill is of the utmost rarity; only one other dagger as fine as this one is known, in the al Sabah collection, Kuwait.