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Iron hilt with gold; steel blade with gold; wood scabbard with velvet and metallic thread
Overall: 96.6 cm (38 1/16 in.)
Gift of S. D. Wright 1930.704
This long curved sword and scabbard are of the kind used and worn by Mughal nobility, as seen often in paintings. The openwork hilt is a characteristic of swords from the southern Indian region known as the Deccan. By the end of the 1500s, the Mughals began making regular incursions into the Deccan as they attempted to expand their empire, increasing the exchange of art forms.
Repeated four times, twice on one side of the blade and twice on the other in gold inlay, is the same line from the Koran, sura 61, verse 13: “Help [comes] from God, and Victory is imminent.” This is a popular inscription on daggers, banners, and other instruments of war, as it reassures the combatants that God is on their side, and therefore they can in good faith expect a speedy victory if they fight valiantly.
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