The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Dagger
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Iran or Turkey
  • 16th century
  • Agate, gold, chiselled russet steel, pierced and inlaid with gold, silver, cabachon rubies, turquoises, wood and velvet
  • Length: 22.2 cm, blade
    Weight: 0.26 kg, without scabbard
  • Inscription: Couplet in Persian
  • OA1430
  • Oriental Armoury
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This superb dagger was acquired by the 4th Marquess of Hertford at the Paris sale of the duc de Morny. Persian-inspired in form, its hilt is fashioned from dark green agate, the rivet-caps consisting of rubies set in silver-gilt, while the blade is skilfully pierced and inlaid throughout its length with gold. The minutely-executed decoration incorporates couplets of poetry in Persian script. The scabbard mounts are of silver-gilt; like the scabbard itself, they are of Turkish workmanship, but generally much later in date than the rest of the dagger. This weapon is of exceptionally high quality; for example, the decoration of the blade is ‘true’ inlay, whereby the gold was laid into grooves painstakingly cut into the base metal, instead of being simply ‘damascened’ (laid onto a cross-hatched surface and burnished in place).