Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Kard, or dagger, with an agate hilt

  • Description

    In 19th-century Iran, a few types of dagger – mentioned in some detail by the accounts of European travellers of the time – seem to have been worn most commonly: the khanjar, a curved, double-edged blade mounted on a sword-hilt, the kard, a knife with a straight, single-edged blade, and the qama, a long-bladed dagger introduced in Iran from the Caucasus at this time.

    This example of a kard has a watered steel blade, inlaid with gold, and a rare agate handle. It was likely made in Isfahan, a major centre of production for kards at this time.

    The goldwork is signed by the craftsman Muhammad Hadi and dated to the year 1230 of the Islamic calendar, corresponding to 1814-1815 AD. Hadi is known from at least two other daggers, one in the Moser collection at the Historical Museum, Bern, and the other in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

  • Details

    Associated place
    Asia Iran (place of creation)
    AsiaIran Isfahan (probable place of creation)
    1814 - 1815 (AH 1230)
    Qajar Period (1779 - 1925)
    Muhammad Hadi (active early 19th century)
    Material and technique
    watered steel blade, inlaid with gold; agate hilt
    3.3 x 32.8 x 3.3 cm max. (height x width x depth)
    blade 3 x 23 x 0.8 cm max. (height x width x depth)
    Material index
    inorganicmineralsilicaquartz agate,
    inorganicstonegemstone agate,
    inorganicstonesilicaquartz agate,
    Technique index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    Purchased with the assistance of the Friends of the Ashmolean Museum, 1998.
    Accession no.


    • First floor | Room 31 | Islamic Middle East

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