A gem-set gold dagger and scabbard, India, probably Kutch, 19th century
The hilt composed of iron overlaid with gold and set with diamonds, emeralds and foil-backed rubies on one side, worked in repoussé with floral decoration to other side, the curved steel blade with central ridge, gold-overlaid inscription near grip, scabbard tip with en-suite design.
The blade is double edged and curved with a medial ridge each side and a slightly sunk panel on each side. At the top of the blade is a carved arabesque shaped panel with stylised flowers and foliage. The blade is fitted with an I shaped grip in iron, the lower part oval in plan, hollow underneath rising in a concave curve and becoming four sided to the centre of the grip. On either side of this plate is a small knop shaped quillon from one of which springs a knucklebow. At the centre of the grip is a lozenge sectioned knop with a small moulding above and below. Above this is a further section that expands in a concave curve to the disc pommel. There are the remains of koftgari decoration in gold over the hilt. The scabbard is of wood, covered in pale green silk and fitted with a chape and locket of copper chased with flowers.
The length of the blade is 266 mm, the overall length of the dagger is 387 mm and the length of scabbard is 286 mm. Weight: The weight of the dagger is 0.482 kg, the scabbard weighing 0.104 kg.