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Old 22nd September 2017, 05:54 PM   #1
mariusgmioc
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Default Mughal style dagger

Any comments will be welcomed.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 07:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Any comments will be welcomed.
Beautiful khanjar, it looks like a merger of styles. The metal work reminds me of what I see described as being from kutch. Nice kundan, what is the scene in the blade, can you tell if it overlay or inset? Reminds me of the brass work seen on some Indian weapons blades.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 07:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Beautiful khanjar, it looks like a merger of styles. The metal work reminds me of what I see described as being from kutch. Nice kundan, what is the scene in the blade, can you tell if it overlay or inset? Reminds me of the brass work seen on some Indian weapons blades.


The scenes on both sides of the blade are elephants fighting and tiger hunting deer in koftgari (no brass work). Interesting that before I received it I also thought they are brass work.

The green stones I am pretty sure are glass but the red are rubies and the orange, probably agathe.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 07:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
The scenes on both sides of the blade are elephants fighting and tiger hunting deer in koftgari (no brass work). Interesting that before I received it I also thought they are brass work.

The green stones I am pretty sure are glass but the red are rubies and the orange, probably agathe.
Good picture, can you do the same for the other side? Looks to be a technique that is a bit more than koftgari, not sure exactly what you would call it. Is the metal under the carving treated in some way or is it rusted? Very unique, I do not remember seeing a blade made exactly that way before.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 07:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Good picture, can you do the same for the other side? Looks to be a technique that is a bit more than koftgari, not sure exactly what you would call it. Very unique, I do not remember seeing a blade treated exactly that way before.


Yes, it is more. Basically the scene was first engraved on the blade, then koftgari was applied.

Cannot send more photos as I am in hospital now... trying to recover from a botched operation for appendicitis.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 09:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Yes, it is more. Basically the scene was first engraved on the blade, then koftgari was applied.

Cannot send more photos as I am in hospital now... trying to recover from a botched operation for appendicitis.
Never mind!!!....just get well, health is more important than anything else!!!!
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Old 23rd September 2017, 11:30 AM   #7
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Any suggestions about its age?

Jens, are you there?
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Old 23rd September 2017, 02:24 PM   #8
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Get well!
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Old 24th September 2017, 04:09 PM   #9
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Hi Marius,

Speedy recovery:-).

I am no specialist on crystal and jade daggers, so I will not try to guess how old the dagger is, but I have some doubt that it is very old.
A few things worries me, like the ears of the horse, they are very intact, and why would someone remove the green stones and replace them with green glass, and not at the same time remove the rubies, and replace red glass in stead?
I find the way the stones are added somewhat unusual for a high quality Indian dager, why are they not inlaid in the crystal - like they usually are?
Marius, when you are fit again, contact a jeweller, and ask him to measure the hilt and the stones for hardness, as he will be able to tell you if the hilt is rock crystal, if the green 'stones' are glass and if the rubies really are rubies.

There are, no doubt, daggers made a century or more ago, put in an armoury, and never or very seldom used. These daggers will be intact/very close to intact, but I can not judge this from photos.
The chiselling on the blade seems to be very bussy to me, and why did both of us expect the covering metal to be brass?

Sorry I could not be of more help

Jens
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Old 24th September 2017, 04:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Hi Marius,

Speedy recovery:-).

I am no specialist on crystal and jade daggers, so I will not try to guess how old the dagger is, but I have some doubt that it is very old.
A few things worries me, like the ears of the horse, they are very intact, and why would someone remove the green stones and replace them with green glass, and not at the same time remove the rubies, and replace red glass in stead?
I find the way the stones are added somewhat unusual for a high quality Indian dager, why are they not inlaid in the crystal - like they usually are?
Marius, when you are fit again, contact a jeweller, and ask him to measure the hilt and the stones for hardness, as he will be able to tell you if the hilt is rock crystal, if the green 'stones' are glass and if the rubies really are rubies.

There are, no doubt, daggers made a century or more ago, put in an armoury, and never or very seldom used. These daggers will be intact/very close to intact, but I can not judge this from photos.
The chiselling on the blade seems to be very bussy to me, and why did both of us expect the covering metal to be brass?

Sorry I could not be of more help

Jens


Thank you Jens! That's way more than I have expected.


Regarding the green glass, I believe emeralds were much rarer than rubies and that's why we often see Indian blades adorned with a mixture of gems and glass.

As soon as I will get out of the hospital and be fit enough will have the dagger checked. However, considering the light diffraction through the hilt, I am pretty sure it is rock crystal.
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Old 24th September 2017, 04:42 PM   #11
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Marius,

You could be right, that the 'green glass' were emeralds, but still quite small, so when you are at it, why not take the rubies as well?
I have a dagger where the gems are replaced with glass with coloured metal foil under (cat. pp. 63-64).

Jens :-)
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Old 25th September 2017, 10:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Marius,

You could be right, that the 'green glass' were emeralds, but still quite small, so when you are at it, why not take the rubies as well?
I have a dagger where the gems are replaced with glass with coloured metal foil under (cat. pp. 63-64).

Jens :-)


Hi Jens,

I am certain the stones are all original and none were replaced. What I meant was that they were originally a mixture of gems and glass. I have seen this very often in 19-20 century "Mughal" daggers with stone hilts and kundan. Will check again when I will be out of the hospital.

Regards,

Marius

PS: My guess for the age is around 1900.

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Old 25th September 2017, 01:46 PM   #13
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Hi Marius,

It can be very hard to date these hilts, especially from pictures, but I think your guess is correct.

Jens
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Old 29th September 2017, 11:20 AM   #14
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Manged to have the stones tested at the jeweler.

Hilt = Quartz
Eyes & forehead stone = Rubies (fairly good quality albeit not the best)
small red stones = Rubies (low quality; tested just a couple of them as they are carbochon and difficult to test but did a visual exam on the rest)
orange stones = probably Aghate but unsure as they are too small
green stones = glass

While they couldn't be 100% sure they said the mountings appear to be untampered so probably all stones are the originial ones.
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Old 29th September 2017, 02:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Manged to have the stones tested at the jeweler.

Hilt = Quartz
Eyes & forehead stone = Rubies (fairly good quality albeit not the best)
small red stones = Rubies (low quality; tested just a couple of them as they are carbochon and difficult to test but did a visual exam on the rest)
orange stones = probably Aghate but unsure as they are too small
green stones = glass

While they couldn't be 100% sure they said the mountings appear to be untampered so probably all stones are the originial ones.
It is possible that the sheet silver at the base and the stones in the silver was added at a later date, maybe to cover up a fault or just to add some bling...the gold kundan on the eyes does not really match the silver work holding the other stones, just a thought.
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Old 29th September 2017, 03:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
It is possible that the sheet silver at the base and the stones in the silver was added at a later date, maybe to cover up a fault or just to add some bling...the gold kundan on the eyes does not really match the silver work holding the other stones, just a thought.


I don't think so as the silver is basically one piece with the front bolster and it serves also as consolidation for the mounting of the blade since the tang is only about 2 cm (from all I can see).
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Old 29th September 2017, 04:04 PM   #17
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Marius,
It is interesting about the rubies and the green glass, I wonder why that is?
Do you think the silver was made to cover a fault? Maybe the dagger was once dropped, or do you think it is to compensate for the short tang?
Jens
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Old 29th September 2017, 05:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Marius,
It is interesting about the rubies and the green glass, I wonder why that is?
Do you think the silver was made to cover a fault? Maybe the dagger was once dropped, or do you think it is to compensate for the short tang?
Jens


About rubies and green glass it is a rather common occurence on Indian daggers as rubies were and still are very easily available in India (with massive reserves in Sri Lanka) while emeralds are not.

Regarding the silver mounting, this is a presentation dagger and definitely not a fighting dagger.

In fact, all stone-hilted daggers are not fighting daggers but merely dress/presentation daggers (unless they are full tang). While very hard, stone is at the same time rather fragile and simply dropping the knife on a hard floor may crack and break the hilt, rendering the knife unuseable. This is even more true for rock crystal/quartz which is quite susceptible to cracking at even moderate shocks. This combined with a very short tang mandate for a mounting that would brace the hilt and prevent it from cracking if a shock is applied at an angle relative to te axis of the tang.
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