Place of Origin: Mughal, India
Date: 17th/18th Century
Overall Length: 340mm
Blade Length: 220mm
A scarce form of Indian 'Khanjar' dagger with a marble hilt carved in the form of a Sheep’s head.
The re-curved blade is forged from Wootz Damascus steel, and has a raised central V shaped spine. The off-white patinated stone hilt is thoughtfully carved and the face has a lifelike manner, with large drooping ears (one partly broken) and large eyes. The top of the head has a stylised fleece pattern in a pleasing rosette arrangement. The back of the head has a rising neck collar that provides a comfortable position for the thumb to sit when the dagger is held in an ice-pick hand position.
A dagger with a hilt in the same style is illustrated in Islamic Arms and Armour from Private Danish Collections (P.176, Nr.140).
A scarce subject matter for zoomorphic Mughal carved hilts.