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Dagger hilt

Dagger hilt

  • Place of origin:

    India (possibly, made)
    Pakistan (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1650-1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Greenish grey nephrite jade, gold and rhodolite garnet; wood. Fashioned using a variety of techniques.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This dagger hilt of pale greyish green nephrite jade was probably made for a member of the Mughal court in the mid-17th century. It is finely decorated with flowers and leaves in low relief, and the centres of the flowers would all originally have been set with precious stones. It was in the collection of Sir John Metcalfe by 1874.

Physical description

The dagger hilt is of pale greenish grey nephrite jade in a "pistol-grip" form. It has finely worked low relief decoration of large flowers carved on the quillon block and pommel, and leaves on the quillon edges and on the back of the pommel. In the centres of the flowers, round cavities have been made to house inset stones, two of which remain and three others are missing. In the empty cavities there are remnants of the original gold settings. The two remaining stones are flat or low-domed cabochons of pale rhodolite garnet in reflective (silver), closed settings that were originally coloured red but which have now deteriorated and faded. There is a removable, short wooden rod in the cavity which would originally have held the blade spike.

Place of Origin

India (possibly, made)
Pakistan (possibly, made)


ca. 1650-1700 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Greenish grey nephrite jade, gold and rhodolite garnet; wood. Fashioned using a variety of techniques.


Length: 119.5 mm, Height: 59.5 mm, Width: 22.0 mm, Width: 26.4 mm, Depth: 25.5 mm

Object history note

This dagger hilt was originally in the collection of Sir John Metcalfe and was deposited on loan in the museum in 1874.

Descriptive line

A sword hilt with pistol grip, flower and leaf design carved in low relief, pale greenish grey nephrite jade, inset rhodolite garnets with most missing, Mughal, ca. 1650-1700. Previous loan number LOAN:METCALFE.9


Nephrite; Gold; Rhodolite garnet; Silver

Subjects depicted



Arms & Armour; Gemstones; Hardstone


South & South East Asia Collection

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