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Indo-Persan steel dagger (pesh kabz) signed Husain and dated 1774-75

Hilt with horn grip; Steel blade with chiselled decoration and gold inlay

Afshârid Persia or Afghanistan, dated A.H.1188/1774-75

Length: 41 cm


The double curved blade is chiselled around the forte with split-palmettes and scrolling foliage. The back edge and the steel hilt are adorned with dense scrolling floral patterns.

The dagger is the warrior’s classic personal weapon, always kept close to hand, and often finely decorated, for show and pleasure. The pesh kabz’s distinct shape – a single bevelled extremely sharp cutting edge, with a tapered tip and a strong back – probably comes from Afghanistan. It was widely used in India by the Great Mughals and in Safavid Iran