Hilt: copper; cast, chased, gilded, and inlaid with rubies.
Blade: steel; forged
L. 15 5/8 in. (39.6 cm)
Arms and Armor
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 2011
Not on view
Portraits of Sultan 'Ali 'Adil Shah of Bijapur (r. 1558–80) show him wearing daggers with zoomorphic hilts similar to this one. In this superlative, ruby-studded hilt, a dragon, whose tail wraps around the grip, attacks a lion, which in turn attacks a deer, symbolism associated with the deity Garuda. Before the deer is a parrotlike bird with a snake in its beak. Lower down on the hilt is the head of a yali, a mythical lionlike animal, with floral scrolls issuing from its mouth.
[ Howard Ricketts, London, until 1974; sold to Welch]; Stuart Cary Welch, Cambridge, MA (1974–d. 2008; his estate 2008–11); his estate sale, Sotheby's, London, April 6, 2011, no. 103, to MMA
Alexander, David G., and Stuart W. Pyhrr. "in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." In Islamic Arms and Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. p. 15, ill. fig. 16 (color).
Haidar, Navina, and Marika Sardar. "Opulence and Fantasy." In Sultans of Deccan India 1500–1700. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. no. 63, pp. 145-146, ill. pl. 63 (color).
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. p. 17.
"6 April 2011." In The Stuart Cary Welch Collection, Part One: Arts of the Islamic World. London: Sotheby's, London, 2011. no. 103, pp. 130-133, ill. (color).