A walrus ivory-hilted khanjar dagger




Iran (dagger); Ottoman Empire (scabbard)


Начало 19 в. (кинжал); конец 19 или начало 20 в. (ножны)


Ковка, чеканка, гравировка, насечка, чернение, резьба


Сталь, серебро, золото, моржовая кость


Общая длина (без ножен) 365 мм; длина клинка 235 мм; длина ножен 274 мм

The strongly curved, double-edged blade is made of watered steel with a raised central rib on each side. The forte of the blade on each side is decorated in gold koftgari with a vegetal cartouche and four half-palmettes. The waisted hilt is carved in the middle part with two relief scenes from court life involving kings, courtiers and children. The pommel and base features rectangular cartouches are surrounded by beaded borders. The cartouches contain four separate Persian inscriptions forming together the couplet "Its edge is sharper than the intelligence of Plato / It sheds more blood than the eyebrows of the beloved". The silver scabbard is engraved and nielloed with vegetal motifs in the Caucasian style. Moreover, there is the Arabic inscription "The Work of Muhammad" on one side and the coat of arms of the Ottoman Empire or Osmanlı Devlet Arması, on the other. The scabbard is fitted with two suspension rings on opposite sides and terminates in a stylized monster's head. 

COMMENT. Khanjar is the general term, which is applied to different variations of a dagger with a waisted hilt and a curved, double-edged blade in the Islamic world, except for some western areas of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and India. The Arabic term khanjar is widely common in the region, where there are also related local names for such daggers, including the Turkish hançer, the Kurdish xençer, the Azerbaijani xäncär, the Bosnian handžar, and the Tajik xander. In Oman, the United Arab Emirates, as well as in some areas of Saudi Arabia (Al-Hasa) and Yemen (Hadramaut), the word khanjar is used for a traditional curved dagger, which is also commonly known as jambiya. The presented example belongs to a group of Iranian dress khanjars with carved walrus ivory hilts typical of the Qajar period (1794-1925). The scabbard was made later in the Ottoman Empire. 

LITERATURE: 1) Khorasani, M.M. Arms and Armor from Iran: The Bronze Age to the End of the Qajar Period. – Tübingen, 2006. – P. 590, no. 223; 2) 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. 240-241, №82.