ARMOUR-PIERCING JADE DAGGER
Place of Origin: MUGHAL DOMINIONS, INDIA
Date: 18th Century
Overall Length: 348mm (13 ¾ Inches)
Carved in typical ‘pistol-grip’ form, the jade handle of this dagger exhibits the pale green colour that is so often sought after by collectors. Though it is of considerable size and weight, the softly glowing stone has been carved with careful precision and attention to detail: blossoming flowerheads and recurving leaves appear throughout, seen in densest array at the pommel where they unfurl from a line of foliage which moves along the medial brim of the hilt. A central array of six-petalled flowerheads and drooping leaves is carved at the centre of the lobed quillon block on each face.
The steel blade – like the hilt – is of heavy section and cut with a complex array of four fullers separated at the forte of the blade by stylised lotuses. A central spearhead-shape curves in line with the fullers before tapering to meet them just below the blade’s heavily reinforced armour-piercing tip – though this feature is not uncommon in such blades, here it is particularly pronounced.
A dagger comparable for its weight and the pale hue of its hilt was exhibited by Runjeet Singh in Arms & Armour From the East 2016 (Cat. No. 15).
UK art market
 Runjeet Singh, Arms & Armour from the East 2016, pp. 40-41, Cat. No. 15.