Dagger (Kindjal) with Sheath

Caucasian, possibly northern Dagestan

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 379

This dagger has two central grooves in its steel blade. The handle and sheath have been decorated in niello, a black substance containing silver, copper, lead, and sulphur, that is a striking contrast to the silver ground. In the Caucasus, daggers such as this one were inseparable companions of Caucasian men and used for a variety of purposes, such as weapons, cork screws, and paper cutters, as well as dance accessories. Nineteenth-century photographs of Caucasian men in native dress frequently include such daggers, which are attached to their belts in a diagonal manner.

Dagger (Kindjal) with Sheath, Steel, wood, silver, niello, Caucasian, possibly northern Dagestan

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Outer side