A Mughal gem-set jade-hilted dagger and scabbard, India, 17th century

Auction Closed

October 27, 03:41 PM GMT


120,000 - 150,000 GBP

Lot Details


the double-edged watered steel blade with central ridge, jade hilt with pistol grip ornately decorated with gem-set, foil-backed floral and leafy stems, the textile-covered wooden scabbard with mounts to chape and tip also with gem-set decoration on a light blue enamelled ground


Private collection, U.K., acquired circa 1976.
Reserved for a high ranking individual, the vibrant gem-set ornamentation adorning the jade hilt on this dagger was created using the kundan technique. Using hyper-purified gold, the inlayer (zar-nishan) would be able to refine the soft metal into strips of malleable foil which become adhesive at room temperature. As a result, it allows the craftsman to create elaborate designs using colourful gemstones and the ductile gold without any need for glue or soldering. The design on this hilt is particularly elaborate and echoed on the two mounts on the wood, velvet-covered scabbard. These are set against a blue enamel ground which beautifully compliments the green jade of the hilt.