Steel, nephrite, gold, emeralds, rubies, diamonds, ray skin
H. with sheath 15 11/16 in. (39.8 cm); H. without sheath 14 5/8 in. (37.1 cm); W. 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm); Wt. 15.8 oz. (447.9 g); Wt. of sheath 1.8 oz. (51 g)
Gift of Giulia P. Morosini, in memory of her father, Giovanni P. Morosini, 1923
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 380
This dagger belongs to a large group of flamboyant gem-studded weapons that were probably made in Istanbul in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire. Their traditional shapes and luxurious materials were intended to evoke romantic notions of the exotic orient, Arabian Nights, or perhaps the sultan’s treasury. As most of these weapons are found today in American and European collections rather than in Turkish museums, they may have been made exclusively for Western tourists.