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South Indian; India

Dagger and scabbard circa 1870 - 1875

Steel, gold, wood, emeralds and rubies | 31.2 x 5.8 x 2.6 cm (whole object) | RCIN 11302

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A broad hooked blade dagger or jambiya. The jambiya is associated with parts of the Arabian Peninsula, in particular Yemen where it is still worn as part of traditional dress by men. The hilt of the dagger is made of wood, incurved at the grip and ornamented with granulation and filigree work similar to that found on Yemeni jewellery suggesting that it was made there or by Yemeni craftsmen based in India. The gold-clad scabbard chased and embossed with a floral design and peacocks and inlaid with rubies and emeralds was probably made in South India.