The hilt of the dagger is constructed of heavy sections of gold over an iron core and its scabbard mounts are of solid gold. All the intricately engraved surfaces are set with gems and colored glass finely cut with floral forms. The designs closely parallel those in Mughal painting of the early seventeenth century, suggesting the dagger dates from the reign of Emperor Jahangir (1605–27), whose deep love of nature, especially flowers, is well documented in his memoirs, the "Tuzuk." The blade is forged of watered steel.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.
Dagger next to sheath, overall
Dagger (without sheath), overall
Hilt and top of sheath
Detail of chape (end cap) of sheath
Dagger in sheath, overall
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Dimensions:L. 14 5/8 in. (37.1 cm); L. without scabbard 13 15/16 in. (35.4 cm); L. of grip 4 13/16 in. (12.2 cm); L. of blade 9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm); W. of grip 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm); L. of scabbard 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm)
Credit Line:Purchase, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund and The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 1984
Art market (until 1984; sold by private treaty through Sotheby's, New York, to MMA).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arms and Armor from the Islamic World," February 10, 2016–December 3, 2017, no. 80.
Beach, Milo Cleveland, Stuart Cary Welch, and Glenn D. Lowry. The Grand Mogul: Imperial Painting in India, 1600–1660. Williamstown, Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1978. nos. 13–14 (similar daggers illustrated).
Norman, A. V. B. "Some Princely Arms from India and Persia in the Wallace Collection." In Islamiske Våben I Dansk Privateje. Copenhagen: Davids Samling, 1982. pp. 12–15 (a similar dagger from the same workshop illustrated).
Skelton, Robert. The Indian Heritage: Court Life & Arts Under Mughal Rule: Victoria & Albert Museum 21 April–22 August 1982. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982. p. 151, no. 322 (a spoon from the same workshop illustrated).
Jenkins, Marilyn, and Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad Sabah. Islamic Art in the Kuwait National Museum: The Al-Sabah Collection. London: Sotheby's, 1983. p. 126 (a similar dagger from the same workshop illustrated).
Pyhrr, Stuart W., and David G. Alexander. "Arms and Armor." Notable Acquisitions (1984–1985), pp. 15–16, ill.
Welch, Stuart Cary. India: Art and Culture, 1300–1900. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985. pp. 203–5, no. 133, ill.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Stuart Cary Welch. The Islamic World. Metropolitan Museum of Art series; 11. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. pp. 142–43, no. 110.
Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Summer 1991), pp. 51, 64, ill.
Bala Krishnan, Usha R., Kumar M. Sushil, and Bharath Ramamrutham. Dance of the Peacock: Jewellery Traditions of India. Bombay: India Book House, 1999. p. 114, fig. 161.
Melikian-Chirvani, Assadullah Souren. "The Jewelled Objects of Hindustan." In Jewelled Arts of Mughal India: Papers of the Conference Held Jointly by the British Museum and the Society of Jewellery Historians at the British Museum, London in 2001, edited by Beatriz Chadour-Sampson, and Nigel Israel. London: Society of Jewellery Historians, 2004. p. 24, figs. 18–19.
Mohamed, Bashir. L'Art des Chevaliers en Pays d'Islam: Collection de la Furusiyya Art Foundation. Milan: Skira, 2007. p. 184, s.v. no. 172.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Stuart Cary Welch. The Islamic World. 3rd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008. pp. 142–43, no. 110.
Mohamed, Bashir. The Arts of the Muslim Knight: The Furusiyya Art Foundation Collection. Milan: Skira, 2008. p. 184, s.v. no. 172,.
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Priscilla P. Soucek, Sheila R. Canby, and Navina Haidar, eds. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. pp. 340, 365–66, no. 255.
Alexander, David, Stuart W. Pyhrr, and Will Kwiatkowski. Islamic Arms and Armor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. pp. 206–207, no. 80, back jacket illustration, ill.
Reddy, Ravinder. Arms & Armour of India, Nepal & Sri Lanka: Types, Decoration and Symbolism. London: Hali Publications Limited, 2018. p. 215, ill.
La Rocca, Donald J. "Asian Arms and Armour at The Met." Arts of Asia (March–April 2019), p. 61, n. 10.
INDIA!, an exhibition of the art of India from the fourteenth through the nineteenth century, opened on this day in 1985 as part of a nationwide Festival of India jointly organized by the Government of India and the Indo-U.S. Sub-commission on Education and Culture.
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