Steel, wood, silver, niello; L. 23 in. (58.42 cm)
Bequest of Stephen Whitney Phoenix, 1881 (81.1.599)
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.