A small jade dagger with head of an ibex
The hilt of the pale green jade is carved with an ibex’s head. Features including the recurved, transversely ridged horns and the long, pointed beard beneath the slightly open mouth. The gold-framed ruby eyes as well as the hardness of gold reflects the exclusivity of the work. The straight blade is single edged, typical of this dagger type.
Daggers with animal heads probably first appeared in the early sixteenth century at the Mughal court, where they were often used as gifts from princes to other princes or their subjects. They can be seen depicted in manuscript paintings, for example, The Windsor Padshahnama.
The Furusiyya Art Foundation Collection (IR-332), UK