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Sheathed 48.6 cm
Dagger 46.7 cm
Weight without scabbard
Iron, steel, stone, wood, velvet, silver, brass
European antique art market
Punjab Province, late 18th century
A large dagger with a blade with a T-shaped cross-section and a diamond shaped reinforced tip, an added feature for thrusting through armour. The blade in original "as found" condition, being in a bright mirror polish with some minor age-related blemishes. It shows signs of a laminated construction and overall tight forging.
The hilt consists of a steel ferrule and full tang construction to which two jasper stone slabs are revited.
The sound, wooden scabbard is covered with worn silk velvet with a decorative band of metallic thread, Indian style. The color probably used to be green which has faded with age. For a long time it was impossible to make colourfast green fabrics. The English seem to have tackeld this issue in the late 18th century. The process applied was costly and therefore only affordable by the rich. Green fabrics became in fashion throughout Europe and thus also in India.
The scabbard mouthpiece is made of iron, with 18 facets, each decorated with a stylized creeper design in silver overlay. It has a separate rim on top, similarly decorated. The brass chape is a later replacement of lesser craftsmanship.
The dagger itself in near excellent condition, with intact contours and edges, the point still feels as sharp as a needle. One period repair to the stone handle, the piece that was chipped off was glued back on, very well done.
This style of the dagger was popular from old Persia to northern India. The style and workmanship on this one suggest it was probably made in the Punjab area, in what is now the borderlands between India and Pakistan. It closely resembles the typical Gujarat daggers both in design and excecution.
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