A hunting knife of Mir Ali Murad Khan Talpur I of Khairpur




India, Sindh (now in Pakistan)


The second half of the 19th century


Forging, inlaying


Steel, iron, silver, gold, ivory


Overall length 445 mm; blade length 283 mm

The straight, single-edged blade is made of plain steel with a recessed ricasso, a strengthened spine and a spear point. The spine of the blade is inlaid with a gold inscription, which can be translated as follows: "His Highness Mir Ali Murad Khan, Sahib Bahadur, Mir of Khairpur". The octagonal grip is carved from ivory, while the pommel cap, waisted collar and S-shaped guard are made of iron and inlaid with silver floral motifs. No scabbard.

COMMENT. Judging by the inscription on the blade, this example belongs to the group of hunting knives in the European style that were probably manufactured no later than 1875 for Mir Ali Murad Khan Talpur I (1814-94), the ruler (mir) of the princely state of Khairpur in Sindh (now in Pakistan) from 1842 to 1894. A similar example, possibly from the same workshop, was presented to Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, during his tour of India in 1875-76 (see Clarke, C.P., Birdwood, C.M. Catalogue of the Collection of Indian Arms and Objects of Art, Presented by the Princes and Nobles of India to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales K.G., K.T., K.P., G.C.B., G.C.S.I., &c. on the Occasion of His Visit to India in 1875-1876. Now in the India Room at Marlborough House. – London, 1898. – Case J, no. 204).

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. 514-515, №211.