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Title: Dagger and Sheath
Location: India, Rajasthan or the Deccan
Materials: blade of watered steel, with armour-piercing tip; hilt of pale green jade (nephrite) inlaid and encrusted with gold, rubies and foiled emeralds in gold kundan settings; velvet-covered wooden scabbard with silver-gilt mounts
Dimensions: 40cm (length)
Accession Number: MTW 1135
Edged weapons with hilts of fragile materials, such as jade, were for formal wear, not for use, though they tend to copy well-established models, such as weapons in base metal used in the Battle of Adoni (1689). The surface of the hilt is decorated with fine gold scrolling arabesque with ruby- and emerald-set florets; the gold is lightly chased, imitating foliage, a technique seldom observed in India.
D. Alexander, The Arts of War. Arms and Armour of the 7th to 19th Centuries, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XXI, London 1992, cat.119, pp.186–7.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.450, pp.372–3.
P. Moura Carvalho, Gems and Jewels of Mughal India. Jewelled and enamelled objects from the 16th to 20th centuries, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XVIII, London 2010, cat.113, pp.214–5.