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photograph of current display in the Grand Vestibule

A display highlighting the interaction between the monarchy and the wider world

Hattah (active 1903)

Jambiya (dagger) and scabbard c. 1903

RCIN 62815

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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After the First World War, the British sought to cement their influence in the Middle East by strengthening relations with British Protectorates such as Kuwait and Bahrain. Representatives were invited to London to meet the king and experience the grandeur of the imperial capital for themselves.

On 30 October 1919, King George V received Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jabir (1885–1950), nephew of the ruler of Kuwait, at Buckingham Palace. Kuwait had been a British Protectorate since 1899, and Ahmad Al-Jabir was the heir apparent. During the audience, Ahmad Al-Jabir gave the king a sword and this dagger (jambiya), which had belonged his grandfather, Sheikh Mubarak bin Sabah (1839–1915). The blade of the sword was said to be two or three hundred years old, although new gold hilts and scabbards for both weapons had been fitted in 1903. An inscription on one side of the gold crosspiece of the sword shows that these were the work of the Kuwaiti goldsmith Hattah.