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Kard with downward turned blade

Place of Origin: Iran

Date: Late 18th or early 19th century

Overall: 375mm

Blade: 245mm

Reference: 532

Status: Available

Full Description:

An unusual and substantial Qajar kard (dagger) from the turn of the nineteenth century. The downcurved blade is a rare anomaly and is forged from very high quality dark black wootz or watered steel. The steel is not what is known as Kirk-Narduban or ‘Muhammad's ladder’ (a pattern formed by deliberate and decisive trauma to the hot steel in regular intervals creating a ‘ladder’ pattern). However, among the whirls and swirls of the watered pattern some naturally occurring ‘rungs’ can be seen, so perhaps the maker initially planned to make a laddered blade but decided the natural beauty of the steel was sufficient.

The spine has chiselled fullers that culminate at a simple trefoil pendant, but the dagger is otherwise unadorned. The straps that run around the grip are also made of wootz and the two-piece grip is made of a beautifully veined walrus ivory, secured with four pins, and crowned with a small bulbous pommel of steel. The scabbard has been covered in antique green silk velvet to protect the original worn material and is mounted with a top locket of white metal and chape of silver which appears to have been salvaged from another object. The top locket and the grips both have an old collection number of ‘2-W-94’.

A comparable example can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.1


Private UK collection



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