Khanjar dagger

Khanjar dagger

c. 1600s

Part of a set. See all set records

Jade hilt with iron and gold; steel blade with iron and gold; wood sheath covered in velvet with metallic thread

Overall: 34.4 cm (13 9/16 in.)

Gift of S. D. Wright 1930.708

Description

Daggers with curved blades, known as khanjar, were worn tucked into the belt as one of the basic accessories for Mughal men. An all-purpose knife that could be used in hunting or fighting, the khanjar was also a visible status symbol. The use of jade and gold indicates that this dagger was owned by a member of the court.
The gold inscriptions on the blade, just under the hilt, are quotations from the Koran, the most sacred book for Muslims. On one side is the opening line: “In the Name of God the Merciful and the Compassionate,” and on the other is a popular verse from sura (chapter) 61: “Help comes from God, and Victory is imminent.”

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