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Knife handles

  • Place of origin:

    India (made)

  • Date:

    c. 1850 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Agates, jaspers, bloodstone and fossilised palm wood, cut and polished using abrasives with the hole most probably being made using a bow-driven drill.

  • Museum number:

    08266:1/(IS) to 08266:37/(IS)

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

These handles were made in India in the 19th century, with most of the fashioning process involving a combination of hand-working and the use of abrasive-charged discs that would have been turned on a bow-driven lathe. Decorative handles such as these would have been produced in large quantities, most probably for export to the European market.

Physical description

Polished handles, of varied design and colour/patterning. All are of a tapering rectangular form with a square-cut narrower end (some having a longitudinal drill hole and a roughly-ground band) and a wider end that is either rounded or square-cut. There appear to be approximate pairings of similar style, colour and patterning.

Place of Origin

India (made)

Date

c. 1850 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Agates, jaspers, bloodstone and fossilised palm wood, cut and polished using abrasives with the hole most probably being made using a bow-driven drill.

Dimensions

Length: 85.5 mm 08266:1/(IS), Width: 11.65 & 19.50 mm 08266:1/(IS), Thickness: 9.55 & 9.95 mm 08266:1/(IS), Length: 95.15 mm 08266:2/(IS), Width: 13.0 & 16.0 mm 08266:2/(IS), Thickness: 6.8 & 9.8 mm 08266:2/(IS), Width: 13.5 mm 08266:2/(IS), Length: 96.8 mm 08266:3/(IS), Width: 13.2 & 16.7 mm 08266:3/(IS), Thickness: 8.1 & 10.0 mm 08266:3/(IS), Width: 13.2 mm 08266:3/(IS), Length: 90.3 mm 08266:4/(IS), Width: 9.45 & 15.85 mm 08266:4/(IS), Thickness: 6.65 & 10.70 mm 08266:4/(IS), Width: 9.2 mm 08266:4/(IS), Length: 82.25 mm 08266:5/(IS), Width: 11.0 & 17.7 mm 08266:5/(IS), Thickness: 10.55 & 10.20 mm 08266:5/(IS), Length: 82.55 mm 08266:8/(IS), Width: 13.35 & 16.85 mm 08266:8/(IS), Thickness: 9.4 & 11.0 mm 08266:8/(IS), Length: 91.6 mm 08266:9/(IS), Width: 10.55 & 19.85 mm 08266:9/(IS), Thickness: 10.7 & 12.8 mm 08266:9/(IS), Length: 86.5 mm 08266:11/(IS), Width: 12.15 & 18.75 mm 08266:11/(IS), Thickness: 8.75 & 9.15 mm 08266:11/(IS), Length: 84.6 mm 08266:12/(IS), Width: 13.15 & 16.60 mm 08266:12/(IS), Thickness: 10.0 & 11.6 mm 08266:12/(IS), Length: 88.4 mm 08266:13/(IS), Width: 12.6 & 18.6 mm 08266:13/(IS), Thickness: 9.7 & 9.4 mm 08266:13/(IS), Length: 82.95 mm 08266:15/(IS), Width: 13.0 & 16.2 mm 08266:15/(IS), Thickness: 9.25 & 11.20 mm 08266:15/(IS), Length: 85.9 mm 08266:17/(IS), Width: 13.75 & 17.15 mm 08266:17/(IS), Thickness: 10.75 & 12.00 mm 08266:17/(IS), Length: 85.75 mm 08266:19/(IS), Width: 13.4 & 17.6 mm 08266:19/(IS), Thickness: 11.15 & 12.35 mm 08266:19/(IS), Length: 86.1 mm 08266:21/(IS), Width: 13.75 & 17.50 mm 08266:21/(IS), Thickness: 9.3 & 11.0 mm 08266:21/(IS), Length: 85.05 mm 08266:24/(IS), Width: 12.90 & 17.15 mm 08266:24/(IS), Thickness: 10.0 & 9.9 mm 08266:24/(IS), Length: 90.0 mm 08266:25/(IS), Width: 11.9 & 19.9 mm 08266:25/(IS), Thickness: 9.25 & 10.00 mm 08266:25/(IS), Length: 88.0 mm 08266:28/(IS), Width: 13.50 & 17.75 mm 08266:28/(IS), Thickness: 5.05 & 9.20 mm 08266:28/(IS), Width: 12.6 mm 08266:28/(IS), Length: 83.5 mm 08266:33/(IS), Width: 13.40 & 16.25 mm 08266:33/(IS), Thickness: 9.65 & 10.30 mm 08266:33/(IS), Length: 87.1 mm 08266:35/(IS), Width: 12.3 & 16.5 mm 08266:35/(IS), Thickness: 8.3 & 11.5 mm 08266:35/(IS), Width: 10.7 mm 08266:35/(IS), Depth: 33.5 mm 08266:35/(IS) +/- 0.1, Length: 83.45 mm 08266:37/(IS), Width: 13.6 & 16.3 mm 08266:37/(IS), Thickness: 8.5 & 10.0 mm 08266:37/(IS)

Object history note

These handles were made in India in the 19th century and were formerly in The India Museum in London. They were then transferred to the South Kensington Museum (later renamed The Victoria & Albert Museum) in 1879.

Descriptive line

A collection of knife handles of varied design, fashioned from a variety of quartz hardstones, India, 19th century

Materials

Agate; Bloodstone; Fossilised palm wood; Jasper; Moss agate

Categories

Gemstones; Hardstone; Tableware & cutlery

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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