Indian parrot hilt dagger
Overall length

Sheathed 49 cm

Dagger 43.5 cm

Blade length

31 cm

Blade thickness

Base 1 mm

Tip 1.1 mm

Blade width

Base 31.5 mm

5 cm from tip 15 mm

Weight

283 grams

Point of balance

At hilt-blade junction

Materials

Iron, steel, silver, gold, resin

Scabbard: wood, velvet, silver, silk

Origin

North India

Dating

19th century

Provenance

Robert Hales

Price €5500, -

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Description

A charming Indian dagger. The wootz blade has flat sides and a secondary bevel, it is of a type also often seen mounted with jade or other stone hilts. It is made of Indian wootz with a fairly bold pattern. 

The iron hilt is in the shape of a parrot, its eyes are turquoises. The hilt is overlaid with silver and golden borders and a golden parrot beak.

The scabbard is a vintage replacement but rather well-made.

 

Parrot symbolism

Parrots were revered in India, possibly partly because some perched in Hindu temples and learned to recite the prayers they heard daily. The parrot is also the vehicle of Kāma, the god of love. The presence of parrots on Indian arms may be linked to the opposites of love and war that are often mentioned in poetry.

 

Attribution

Parrot hilted daggers are mainly associated with South India, primarily the Deccan. However this piece shows pure northern workmanship and aesthetics on the finishing. Southern styles became popular in the north following some of the Mughal conquests of the Deccan Sultanates, after which caches of arms and even artists were taken back to Rajasthan.

Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar
Parrot hilted khanjar

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With a fine wootz blade with a pronounced center ridge.

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Price on request

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Price on request

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