- Year created: c. 1615
- Creator: Unknown
- Country of Origin: North India
- Dimensions: Length: 35.7cm
- Weight: 0.51 kg
- Collection: Arms and Armour
- Gallery: Oriental Armoury
At the Mughal court in the first half of the 17th century, jewelled daggers were reserved for the emperor and the imperial family, and were given to courtiers as a sign of royal favour. When Jahangir’s son Prince Khurram returned victorious from the Deccan in October 1617, he was given the title of Shah Jahan, and presented with many gifts including this jewelled dagger.
With a hilt of pure gold and almost two thousand diamonds, rubies and emeralds, the dagger signals not only the immense wealth of the Mughal emperor, but – through its traditionally Central Indian form – also his political dominion of the Indian heartlands. More than just a magnificent work of art, it is also a cleverly crafted political statement.