Place of Origin: India
Date: 18th Century
The pale-coloured jade hilt of this khanjar is exquisitely carved. Gentle, serpentine striations adorn a grip that, at each end, exhibits leaves that bloom into the finely-wrought flowers of the pommel above and guard below. A single ruby cabochon sits in a gold kundan mount in the middle of a carved four-petal flower. The slender, flat, double-edged and typically Mughal blade is of finely watered (wootz) steel, and resides in a wooden scabbard that is covered in maroon velvet (the chape missing). Hales (1) comments that most jade hilts of this type were not decorated with stones, although occasionally they are found set at the corners. Interestingly, this khanjar hilt shares some of the characteristics of another dagger hilt in this catalogue, a chillanum (see Item 6).
Provenance: American private collection.
(1) Hales, Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour, 2013, p.23, no.58.