Dagger (Pesh-kabz) with Mother-of-Pearl Handle
This dagger has a straight-edged blade with a T-shaped cross-section, and is decorated with mother-of-pearl plaques around the hilt. The plaques create a chevron pattern and are riveted to the wooden frame, while two pairs of silver bosses highlight either side of the pommel area.
Pesh-kabz is a Persian term meaning ‘fore grip’ and these types of daggers can have straight or curved blades. Designed to pierce through chain mail, they originated in Iran and then spread to Northern India and Central Asia. For similar examples to our dagger see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Accession Number 36.25.976a-c; and The Al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, Accession Number LNS 1617 M, and illustrated in Kaoukji, p. 261, fig. 96.
Literature: Kaoukji, S. Precious Indian Weapons and Other Princely Accoutrements, Thames & Hudson, London, 2017.