Weapons - Curved Dagger

Damascene gold, flat shaped, heavy gilded copper

Size: H. 29,8 cm D. 2,3 cm
Origin and time: Persia (Herat) around 1500
KHM (Museum of Fine Arts) Vienna
Inv.No. HJRK_C_88

Curved daggers possess a very broad, slightly bent almost sickle shaped blade, with a double edge which makes them not only useful for thrusting, but also for hitting. Other characteristics of the curved daggers are the distinctive midrib and the holder in the form of an "l". They are often richly adorned with gold and jewellery. Cuts done with this weapon inflict a bigger injury (on the outer side) or a smaller one (on the inner side) due to its curved blade.

The illustrated dagger is a specific Turkish one usually attached to the chest and worn by the highest dignitaries of the Ottoman Court in council meetings, in the presence of the sultan. The refined execution suggests the work of a Persian craftsman. The weapon was offered as a gift to the imperial collection in 1874 by Dr. Ottokar Freiherr von Schlechta senior, head of the Oriental Academy and main interpreter in the Internuntiatur (embassy) at the Sublime Porte.