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  • Dagger
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • North India
  • Date: c. 1615
  • Medium: Gold, watered steel, table diamonds, rubies and emeralds
  • Length: 35.1 cm
  • Weight: 0.51 kg, without scabbard
  • Inv: OA1409
  • Location: Arms and Armour I
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Further Reading
  • The memoirs of the Mughal emperor Jahangir (r. 1605–27) frequently mention the presentation of jewelled daggers as a way of bestowing imperial favour to important courtiers and princes. When Jahangir’s son Khurram returned victorious from central India in 1617, he was given the name Shah Jahan and presented with many gifts, including a jewelled dagger. A portrait by Nadir al-Zaman now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, is thought to depict this ceremony: it shows Shah Jahan in profile, with a peculiar dagger tucked into his belt. The hamsa bird’s head decoration, as well as the knuckle-guard connecting to the gable, are both highly unusual features that allow us to identify the dagger in the painting with this dagger in the Wallace Collection.