rock crystal hilted dagger


India, Mughal, early 17th century

Rock crystal, gold, ruby, emerald, diamond, textiles

An early seventeenth century Mughal dagger with a rock crystal hilt inlaid with rubies in a gold tracery design; with later sheath with gold mounts. Recorded in the North Corridor Inventory of Windsor Castle c.1870 as no 803 a ‘Nepalese’ dagger and later noted in the collection of King Edward VII in the early 20th century.

These ear daggers can be seen in Mughal miniature paintings from the reign of the Emperor Jahangir, notably the well known painting attributed to 1618 in the Freer Gallery, Washington D.C., of an imaginary encounter between the Mughal Emperor Jahangir and the Persian Shah Abbas, where the Emperor and his cup bearer both wear them. A number of these daggers with straight quillons in Persian style survive.