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KARD DAGGER

Place of Origin: PERSIA

Date: 1842 AD

Overall: 390mm (15 ½ inches)

Reference: 318

Status: Reserved

Full Description:

Grip-scales of walrus ivory form the handle of this Persian kard, secured in place through the tang with small brass rivets. The smooth steel backstrap of the hilt is carefully pierced to depict a delightfully constructed calligraphic verse from the Qur’an:

 “Help from Allah and a speedy victory. So give the Glad Tidings to the Believers.” (Surah 61 (al-Saff), part of vs. 13.)[1]

A stylised four-petalled flower is cut into the steel surface at either end of the backstrap’s inscription. The bolster caps are decorated with a large, pierced panel of complex calligraphy (undeciphered) set within a jali: a decorative supporting framework for the Arabic letters. The heavy blade of wootz Damascus steel is chiselled at its forte on each face with a panel of intertwining foliage and arabesques in high-relief within a scrolling arched frame. The single-edged blade then tapers gradually to a pronounced armour-piercing tip.

The kard is complete with its wooden scabbard, which is covered with tooled leather, decorated with bands of foliate decoration, and marked with the year “1257” (1842 in the Gregorian calendar). It is further fitted with a silver chape and locket (the latter further attached with a loop for suspension), both of which are chased with a decorative motif of blossoming lotuses within stylised vine-bordered frames.


[1] Qur’anic translation taken from Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation & Commentary (3rd ed.), Lahore, 1938.