A silver-mounted dozum dagger






19th century


Forging, casting, chiseling, chasing, embossing, piercing, gem-setting


Steel, silver, brass, turquoise, wood


Overall length (without scabbard) 413 mm; blade length 264 mm; scabbard length 350 mm

The straight, single-edged blade of triangular cross-section is made of pattern-welded steel. The surface of the blade on each side has a low-contrast pattern, which consists of dark and light lines converging near the tip. The hilt is composed of an octagonal silver pommel cap and a waisted brass grip of round cross-section with a wooden core. In addition, there are two ribbed oval silver rims at the top and the bottom of the grip, as well as a short faceted brass collar between the lower rim and the blade. The obverse side of the pommel is skillfully pierced and chased with scrolls surrounding a garuda figure (Bhutanese: chung). The upper side of the pommel is decorated in the same technique with scrolls. The reverse side embraces a pierced honeycomb structure comprising a Y-shaped motif within each cell. The wooden scabbard is covered with sheet brass and fitted with decorative silver mounts including a U-shaped frame, a locket and a tapering panel on the obverse side. Both the brass grip and the silver scabbard mounts are skillfully pierced and chased with scrolls surrounding the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism or ashtamangala (Bhutanese: tashi dagay) and the thunder dragon called "druk". In addition, the locket is surmounted with a double ribbed frieze and is girded with a chased geometric band, while the remaining silver mounts are set with small turquoise cabochons on the obverse side. The brass covering of the scabbard is embossed with a vegetal design on the reverse side.

COMMENT. Dozum is the traditional Bhutanese single-edged dagger or knife reminiscent of the patag sword but with a short blade tapering to the tip. The hilt and scabbard often demonstrate high-quality metalwork. The dozum (or dossum, doozum, drozom, dudzom) was worn not only as an important part of Bhutanese man's traditional dress but also as a status symbol.

LITERATURE: Сиваченко Е. Сталь и Золото: Восточное оружие из собрания Feldman Family Museum = Steel and Gold: Eastern Weapons from the Feldman Family Museum Collection. – Киев, 2019. – С. 656-657, №282.